JAKARTA, 7 February 2018 – The Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community convened its 5th meeting on 5-6 February 2018.

The Task Force which comprises of representatives of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion an Protection of the Rights of Women and Children deliberated on the first draft of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Masterplan seeks to complement the implementation of ASEAN Member States’ commitments towards achieving an inclusive community as reaffirmed in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

On the second day, the Task Force had an interface with a representative of the ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) who highlighted challenges faced by persons with disabilities and  emphasised on empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring enabling environment to achieve an inclusive society.

Further, the Task Force also met with Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, Dr. A.K.P Mochtan. DSG Mochtan shared with the meeting that the new ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) building will incorporate universal design that is disability-friendly and ASEC is revising its employment policies to be more inclusive. He also reaffirmed the ASEAN Secretariat’s commitment in mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities and communicating the Masterplan to the broader public.

The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Representative of Thailand to the AICHR and Richard Tan, SOMSWD Focal Point of Singapore, with the support of the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.

The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled in March 2018.