Jakarta, 26 February 2013 – The Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was convened on 17-18 February 2014 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The progress of twenty four projects and activities under the ACWC Work Plan 2012-2016 was reviewed at the Meeting. To name a few, the ACWC considered the draft Guidelines for Handling of Women Victims of Trafficking in Persons, an outcome document of the Workshop on the Promotion of Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence in Trafficking Cases held on 3-5 February 2014 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Led by Thailand, “stop violence against women” public campaign posters, pamphlets, stickers and VDOs were produced for dissemination to ASEAN Member States to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November. Complementing this, a website was under construction for the same purpose and expected to be fully functioning in March 2014. Earlier on, the compilation of ASEAN best practices in eliminating violence against women and violence against children was published and launched by the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia on 12 December 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Consultation sessions with the Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, and representatives of the Government of New Zealand, European Union, and United States of America took place on 18 February 2014. Scope and mechanisms of their respective support to the work of ACWC were discussed.
Aiming at implementing the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN adopted at the 23rd ASEAN Summit last year, ACWC dialogued with civil society organisations from ASEAN Member States on 19 February 2014. Joint collaboration through the ACWC’s planned projects corresponding to the commitments in the Declaration or new initiatives was explored. The participating civil society organisations also shared information on their respective areas of expertise and relevant initiatives.
Separately, the Inter-sectoral Meeting was held on 20 February 2014 with the participation of Chairs and/or Representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and ASEAN sectoral bodies in charge of women’s affairs, social welfare, rural development and poverty eradication, education, labour and migrant workers, as well as trafficking in persons. The ACWC Representatives exchanged views with them on possible areas and mechanisms of cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination to jointly implement the Declaration by leveraging their respective relevant initiatives.
The Ninth ACWC Meeting was scheduled for 29 September – 1 October 2014 in Myanmar.