Protecting vulnerable adults in Singapore: the creation of the Vulnerable Adults Act 2018

Jill Manthorpe*, Joanne Liming Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the development and content of the Vulnerable Adults Act 2018 (hereafter “the Act”) in Singapore. It reports the parliamentary processes and deliberations. Design/methodology/approach: A synthesis of publicly available research, policy documents, parliamentary debate, media reports and commentary. Findings: The paper sets the Act’s development and aims in Singapore’s social and legal contexts. It notes the interface with other legislation and the focus of the Act on community and family abuse and neglect. Research limitations/implications: The paper suggests some areas for research including how the Act is used and its impact and also points to areas where the Act does not apply. Practical implications: The paper outlines new professional powers and responsibilities and the role of government and community-based organisations. Originality/value: This paper provides an early account of the genesis and aims of the new legislation, its powers and administration. Also, international comparisons are drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-44
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adult Protection
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021


  • Law
  • Policy
  • Singapore
  • Vulnerable adults


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