BANGKOK, 1 December 2018 – ASEAN pushed on a campaign to raise awareness and intensify action addressing violence and abuses against women in the context of trafficking-in-persons through a workshop from 29 November to 1 December in Bangkok.

The ASEAN Regional Strategic Planning Workshop: Development of ASEAN Campaign in support of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the Bohol Trafficking-in-Persons Work Plan was held building on ASEAN’s commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and to combat trafficking-in-persons.

At the nexus of violence against women, trafficking-in-persons, and labour migration are women migrant workers who are most vulnerable and at-risk of abuse and exploitation. At the same time, women, together with their employers, are in a position to help one another and effect positive change to end the cycle of violence and exploitation.

The regional workshop provided a platform for ASEAN bodies to initiate the designing of a joint regional campaign to raise awareness and intensify action that would address the issue.

“Violence against women and trafficking-in-persons are grave violations of human rights and its pervasiveness are deeply damaging,” said Dr. Ratchada Jayagupta, Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights. She added that it was critical to address the nexus between violence against women, trafficking-in-persons, and labour migration as these affect women and impede human development, carrying with it tremendous economic costs borne at all levels.

The three-day regional workshop demonstrated the collaboration across the ASEAN Community pillars with the active participation of ASEAN sectoral bodies overseeing regional cooperation on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, labour and migrant workers, transnational crimes, and human rights, as well as ASEAN’s partnership with international organisations, civil society organisations, and the private sectors.

The workshop was convened by Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights together with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of the Kingdom of Thailand and the ACWC, ASEAN Committee on Women, Senior Labour Officials Meeting, ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, and the ASEAN Secretariat. It was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Asia Foundation, the International Organisation for Migration, and UN Women.