ASEAN intensifies efforts in promoting and protecting the rights of women and children

JAKARTA, 8 March 2019 – ASEAN continues promoting the welfare and protect the rights of women and children collectively as representatives convened for the 18th ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) Meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 4 March.

At the meeting, the ACWC representatives, in partnership with the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), continued with the development of the Declaration on the Protection of Children from All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN.

“The declaration intends to set the policy for regional cooperation to intensify action on eliminating the borderless crime of online child sexual exploitation,” said Wanchai Roujanavong, ACWC Vice-Chair and Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Children’s Rights.

The representatives also agreed to take part and contribute to the global commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They also decided to fast-track the promotion of women, peace and security in ASEAN through the conduct of a regional study that would map the contribution of women’s organisations to peace building. The study will be launched during a symposium on women, peace and security.

The ACWC is also seeking to boost partnership with the European Union by pursuing follow-up actions after the ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls: Implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) which was held on 22 October 2018 in Ha Noi, Vietnam.

“ACWC remains committed to delivering on ASEAN’s cross-sectoral cooperation,” said Sri Danti Anwar, ACWC Chair and Indonesia’s ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights. ACWC is in the process of addressing the needs of victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, through the development of practical guidelines for frontline service providers and a public campaign on trafficking in persons and the elimination of violence against women.

ACWC also affirmed its contributions to ASEAN’s cooperation on promoting social protection, through the implementation of the Regional Framework and Action Plan on Implementing the Declaration on the Promotion of Social Protection in ASEAN, as well as the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Through the meeting’s open session, representatives continued to strengthen ASEAN’s partnership with the Dialogue Partners, such as the United States through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT, and with international organisations such as UNICEF and UN Women.