Tenth Press Release of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC)

The Tenth Meeting of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was convened on 25-27 February 2015 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The review of the implementation of the ACWC Work Plan 2012-2016 was followed by the discussion of the development of the Work Plan for 2016-2020.

Since the Ninth ACWC Meeting in October 2014, two activities have been completed. The ASEAN Regional Conference of Senior Officials on Strengthening the Protection and Empowerment of Women Migrant Workers was convened by the Philippines on 13-14 November 2014 in Manila. The Conference was a joint undertaking of ACWC and ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In the same month, the ASEAN Consultation on Cultural and Religious Practices Impacting the Rights of Children was hosted by Indonesia with the support of UNICEF on 18-20 November 2014 in Jakarta. Religious leaders, cultural leaders and government officials from ASEAN Member States were engaged in the Consultation.

The Meeting adopted the Gender Sensitive Guideline for Handling Women Victims of Trafficking in Persons which aims to support the improvement and enhancement of practices in handling women and girl victims of trafficking by law enforcement agencies, social workers, health officers, service providers, and other frontline agencies and NGOs that are dealing with human trafficking cases. The Guideline had been reviewed and enriched by the inputs of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and other relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies.

As for the establishment of the ASEAN Network of Social Service Agencies (NOSSA) led by Singapore, with the support of ASEAN-US PROGRESS, a series of in-country consultations were conducted in January-February 2015 to solicit feedback from social service agencies and other relevant stakeholders on the future programmes and possible structure of the Network. There was good response for the establishment of NOSSA. The findings of the in-country consultations were shared with the ACWC and the next steps discussed leading to the launch of NOSSA Thirty-three nominated social service agencies involved in preventing, protecting and helping victims of violence against women and violence against children from ten ASEAN Member States have been appointed as the initial members of NOSSA.

ACWC is developing Regional Plans of Action for the implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) and the Elimination of Violence Against Children (EVAC) as adopted at the 23rd ASEAN Summit in 2014, coordinated by Thailand, as one of the ACWC’s initiatives aiming at implementing the Declaration on EVAW and EVAC in ASEAN. A series of workshops would be conducted to finalise the Regional Plans of Action for adoption by ACWC this year. The Meeting noted that the Regional Conference on Social Impact of Climate Change on Women and Children, led by Cambodia would be held on 25-26 March 2015.

The ACWC had a consultation with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) on 27 February 2015 to share information on the progress of ACWC’s work, and exchange views on ways to promote gender equality, women’s and children’s rights across the three pillars in the ASEAN Community building beyond 2015 as well as visibility of ACWC at international level.The ACWC met with Madam Marta Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Elimination of Violence Against Children, on 27 February 2015 to exchange views on current children issues such as the use of technology and cyber pornography, social protection for children, and bullying. In January 2012, ACWC issued a joint statement with Madam Marta Pais reflecting their commitment to collaborate in areas of mutual interest to eliminate violence against children.

The Eleventh ACWC Meeting was scheduled for 18-20 October 2015 in the Philippines.

February 28th, 2015|