Ha Noi, 28 October 2010

WE, the Heads of State or Government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as “ASEAN”), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 17th ASEAN Summit;

RECALLING that the ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the 2nd ASEAN Informal Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December 1997, envisioned ASEAN as a socially cohesive and caring ASEAN where hunger, malnutrition, deprivation and poverty are no longer basic problems, where strong families as the basic units of society nurture their members particularly the children, youth, women and elderly;

REAFFIRMING our commitment made in the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Road map for the ASEAN Community (2009-2015), Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in 2007 and Declaration Against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women and Children in 2004;

FURTHER REAFFIRMING our commitment made in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the ASEAN Region in 2004, Declaration on the Commitments for Children in ASEAN in 2001, Resolution on the ASEAN Plan of Action for Children in 1993 and Declaration on the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region in 1988;

ACKNOWLEDGING the commitments of individual ASEAN Member States to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), A World Fit For Children Declaration, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA), BPFA+5 Outcome Document and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

ENCOURAGED by the establishment of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC);

RECOGNISING that women and children account for more than half of ASEAN population and the need to continue to tap on the strength of these groups as well as to empower those who are in vulnerable situations;

RECOGNISING ALSO that while significant improvements have been made in ASEAN Member States in enhancing the welfare of their peoples in general and of women and children in particular, development gaps, domestic violence and exploitation, climate change, poverty and gender discrimination continue to remain a major challenge to the pursuit of gender equality, women’s empowerment, child participation and a caring and sharing ASEAN Community;

PLEDGE our commitment to promote a people-oriented ASEAN where women and children participate in and benefit fully from the process of ASEAN integration and community building;

AGREE to foster concerted efforts for the enhancement of the welfare and development of women and children in ASEAN through the following actions and measures:

  1. To promote regional cooperation for the enhancement of welfare and development of women and children in ASEAN as an integral part of ASEAN’s efforts to improve the lives of peoples in the region and cope with the challenges and seize the opportunities created by globalisation and regional integration;
  2. To encourage closer regional cooperation in promoting and protecting the rights of women and children especially those living under disadvantaged and vulnerable conditions, including those in disaster and conflict affected areas;
  3. To strengthen the ability of ASEAN Member States to fulfil their commitments to CEDAW, CRC, BPFA, A World Fit For Children and MDGs as mutually reinforcing processes by effectively utilising national resources and prioritizing adequate national budget allocation for the enhancement of welfare, development and participation of women and children;
  4. To strengthen existing institutional mechanisms and technical capacity of ASEAN Member States’ relevant agencies to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming and child-centered approach in planning, programming and budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes at all levels in the region;
  5. To encourage and facilitate related studies, evaluations and proposals to reduce the negative impacts of economic and environmental changes, including climate change, on women and children;
  6. To share information and best practices through the establishment of regional knowledge management system as well as encourage the development of regional networks/mechanisms to share information and enhance the capacity building for organisations, agencies working for women and children, by organising regional fora, studies, dialogues, exchange programmes and visits;
  7. To undertake concrete actions to end violence against women and children by strengthening gender sensitive legislations and plans of action to prevent and address violence through intensifying training for policy-makers, programme developers, implementers and service providers;
  8. To address maternal and child mortality, poor reproductive health; to enable access to safe contraception, safe family planning methods and emergency maternal obstetrical care (EMOC) facilities; and to promote education and information activities to reduce the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS among women and children and facilitate their access to HIV and AIDS treatment and care;
  9. To improve the proportion of children and women with access to housing, improved sources of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities and hygiene, education and other basic necessities;
  10. To strengthen the capacity of government officials in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the delivery, quality and accessibility of basic social services relating to children and women and to support the networking of social service practitioners including the establishment of an ASEAN Social Work Consortium;
  11. To strengthen family resilience – as the basic units of society – and the capacity of families in meeting new challenges arising from rapid social economic and environmental/climate changes through the establishment of an ASEAN network for family development and by engaging organisations working on issues of families, women and children;
  12. To foster the collaboration with the international community, including the relevant UN agencies and Dialogue Partners in the work for the welfare and development of women and children in ASEAN;
  13. To adopt concrete measures to enhance women’s capacity and promote women’s participation in decision-making and leadership in all fields and at all levels;
  14. To undertake concrete measures to promote gender equality and women’s participation in labor market, address gender-based occupational segregation as well as strengthen their economic skills;
  15. To improve maternity protection in workplace;
  16. To achieve the goals for children in the ASEAN region as regards the child’s rights to survival, protection, development and participation in a comprehensive and systematic way;
  17. To promote a healthy start in life through early child care and development, healthcare and education especially children under-5 years of age so as to enable them to achieve optimal growth and development;
  18. To improve the quality of and gender equality in education and school enrollment to children, including children of ethnic and/or indigenous groups as well as children with disability and with special needs, especially at pre-school, primary and secondary levels by promoting greater and sustained investments;
  19. To provide restorative instead of punitive measures to rehabilitate the child in conflict with the law to promote his/her reintegration into society;
  20. To promote and encourage child participation in the ASEAN Community building through the establishment of the ASEAN Children’s Forum and other relevant programmes or activities;
  21. To ensure children’s access to appropriate information, leisure, recreational and cultural activities.

WE TASK the concerned ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial and Senior Official Bodies as well as other relevant bodies, including the ACWC, to implement this Declaration and monitor its progress. All ASEAN Member States shall support these ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in accomplishing this Declaration through maximum efforts by such appropriate instruments as may be necessary and consistent with their respective national laws and policies. We also task the concerned ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial and Senior Official Bodies to mobilise resources to implement this Declaration.

Adopted in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, this Twenty Eighth of October in the Year Two Thousand and Ten, in a single original copy, in the English Language.

Source: http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/48/2DA9C3/Ha-Noi-Declaration-on-the-Enhancement-of-Welfare-and-Development-of-ASEAN-Women-and-Children