BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 8 October 2019 – ASEAN remains steadfast in responding to issues affecting the rights of women and children.

Through the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN continues to act together to address emerging threats and challenges. During the 19th ACWC Meeting held on 7-8 October 2019 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, the ACWC Representatives finalised and endorsed the draft Declaration on the Protection of Children against All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN. “Moving forward with the implementation of the declaration, ACWC will be at the forefront of developing the regional action plan in partnership with the relevant ASEAN bodies and ASEAN’s partners,” said Mr. Wanchai Roujanavong, ACWC Chair and Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Children’s Rights.

The ACWC Representatives have advanced the implementation of the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN by providing a regional platform to deliberate on the role of women as peace builders. “Following the Regional Symposium on Implementing Women, Peace and Security Agenda in ASEAN and Ways Forward, there is much excitement on moving forward”, said Professor Lourdesita Sobrevega-Chan, the Philippines’ ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights.

“ACWC is at a strategic position to strengthen ASEAN’s cross-sectoral cooperation on key issues,” said Dr. Ratchada Jayagupta, Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights. Currently, ACWC agreed on a regional public campaign on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and the elimination of violence against women. ACWC has also agreed to integrate in its new five-year work plan initiatives to support the implementation of the Regional Framework and Action Plan on Implementing the Declaration on the Promotion of Social Protection in ASEAN, the ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention, as well as the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

ACWC Representatives welcomed the sharing from the Australia Mission, ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT, UNICEF, UN Women and SOS Children’s Villages International at the Open Session. This platform helped to strengthen ASEAN’s partnership with its Dialogue Partners, international organisations and civil society organisations. ACWC looks forward to continued collaborations with its partners.