JAKARTA, 28 September 2016 – The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) launched the Regional Review on Laws, Policies and Practices within ASEAN related to the identification, management and treatment of victims of trafficking especially women and children today. The Regional Review aims to support the implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children which was signed by the Heads of States at the 27th ASEAN Summit in November 2015. The Regional Review provides an accurate and up-to-date assessment of the current situations, good practices, and issues for consideration, as well as presenting recommendations for improvement in responses to victims of trafficking.

The Regional Review was enriched by the results of in-country researches conducted last year through desk reviews, key informant interviews, focused group discussions, and shelter visits. The Regional Review covers the entire spectrum of trafficking in persons including victim identification and referral, protection, support, and recovery assistance to victims, access to remedies, no detention/prosecution of victims for status offences, return and reintegration of victims, as well as prevention of trafficking. Emphasis is given to the importance of human rights-based approach in combating trafficking in persons and helping the victims.

“Through this publication, we are better informed of the necessary changes in the legal frameworks that would lead to fully combatting the occurrence of trafficking in the region,” underlined H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. “However, the launch of the Regional Review is just the beginning of our work. In ensuring that no one is left behind in forging ahead towards the ASEAN Vision 2025, we need to work together to make ASEAN felt and relevant to the people, particularly victims of trafficking in persons,” he added.

Madame Lily Purba, ACWC Chair and Indonesia’s Representative to ACWC for Women’s Rights, highlighted that “this project is one of the ACWC’s initiatives to contribute to the goal of ending violence against women and children. With the adoption of the Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children, and the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons during the 28th ASEAN Summit in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the ACWC will be pursuing more initiatives that would address the issue of trafficking in persons in ASEAN in collaboration with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime, ASEAN Committee on Women, the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development, and other stakeholders.”

The Launch was addressed by the Deputy for the Protection of Women and Children of Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs of Indonesia, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, Deputy Secretary-General for ASCC, US Ambassador to ASEAN, and EU Ambassador to ASEAN. The Launch was attended by ACWC, AICHR, and ASEAN sectoral bodies in charge of transnational crime, social welfare, women, and migrant workers. High-level representatives of the Permanent Missions of ASEAN Member States and Embassies of Dialogue Partners, relevant line ministries of Indonesia, as well as Jakarta-based civil society organisations attended the Launch.

The Regional Review was conducted as part of ACWC’s Work Plan 2012-2016 under the coordination of Lao PDR’s Representative for Children’s Rights with the support of Malaysia’s Representative to ACWC for Children’s Rights and the Philippines’ Representative for Women’s Rights. The project was implemented with the support of the U.S.- ASEAN Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS) and Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) Human Rights Programme.

  • Remarks by H.E Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community for The Launch of The Regional Review on Laws, Policies and Practices Within ASEAN Relating to The Identification, Management and Treatment of Victims of Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, can be downloaded here.
  • Remarks Dr. Dinna Wisnu Indonesian Representative for ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights ACWC Launching, can be downloaded here.
  • Ambassador Hachigian Remarks at the Launching of Trafficking in Person Regional Review, can be viewed here.
  • Opening Remarks by the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Francisco Fontan, can be downloaded here.
  • Welcoming Remarks by H.E. Ms. Lily Purba, Chair of The ASEAN Commision on The Promotion and Protection of The Rights of Women and Children for The Launch of the Regional Review on Laws, Policies and Practices within ASEAN Relating to the Identification, Management and Treatment of Victims of Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, can be downloaded here.
  • Download the factsheet of the Regional Review here.
  • Download the full Regional Review here.

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