Yangon, 15 October 2014 – The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) successfully concluded its 9th Meeting held from 13-14 October 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar. Attended by the ACWC Representatives from ASEAN Member States, the Meeting reviewed and reported progress on the implementation of its 5-year work plan covering 2012-2016.
Already in its fifth year, the efforts of this inter-governmental body saw an increase in collaboration with other ASEAN sectoral bodies whose mandates and actions have implications to women and children. This collaborative effort stemmed from the need to synergize actions with other ASEAN sectoral bodies to achieve coherence in policies and prevent duplication of efforts. Four joint projects related to gender were agreed for implementation in collaboration with the ASEAN Committee on Women, and one project on the public campaign for the elimination of violence against women in collaboration with the Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Information. Reciprocal invitations to respective activities were also made between ACWC and the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Senior Officials Meeting for Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), and Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC).
Cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners has intensified. In the Meeting, the ACWC Representatives welcomed the progress on on-going projects and those in the pipe line that were supported by the European Union and the United States of America, and those that were being implemented in collaboration with UNICEF and UN Women. The 9th ACWC Meeting held dialogue sessions with representatives from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Human Rights Resource Center, US Senior Advisor for Global Women Issues and the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office to discuss areas of mutual interest and possible areas of collaboration. On 15 October 2014, the ACWC Representatives had a joint consultation session with the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) to strengthen the collaborative work to implement the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN that was adopted by the Leaders in 2013.
Efforts are underway to realise the Declaration, including the establishment of the Network of Social Service Agencies (NOSSA) that is targeted to be launched in 2015 in Singapore. The NOSSA is envisioned to be a regional network of social service agencies involved in preventing, protecting and helping victims of VAW and VAC in ASEAN through capacity building, knowledge sharing among others. Other efforts in support of the Declaration include the convening of a three-day training course for 20 frontline ASEAN social workers who worked with women and children victims of violence by Singapore on 8-10 April 2014.
This year, two activities are planned by ACWC notably the ASEAN Regional Conference of Senior Officials on Strengthening the Protection and Empowerment of Women Migrant Workers on 13-14 November 2014 in Manila, the Philippines, and the ASEAN Consultation on Cultural and Religious Practices Impacting on the Rights of Children on 18-20 November 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia.The Meeting also welcomed the three-day training course conducted by Singapore for 20 frontline ASEAN social workers who worked with women and children victims of violence on 8-10 April 2014
The 10th ACWC Meeting will be held on 25-27 February 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia.