JAKARTA, 22 February 2016 – The Twelfth Meeting of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was convened on 16-19 February 2016 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Meeting reviewed the status of projects and activities under the ACWC Work Plan 2012-2016. The Meeting finalised the ASEAN Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE) Quality Standards particularly for childcare services (birth to 4 years of age) and pre-school services (4-6 years of age). The ECCDE Quality Standards was developed under the coordination of Malaysia. The Meeting also finalised the ASEAN Guideline for a Non-Violent Approach to Nurture, Care, and Development of Children, in All Settings which was developed under the coordination of Thailand.

Another four draft outcome documents of the ACWC’s projects were reviewed by the Meeting, notably: a) draft Progress Report on Women’s Rights, Empowerment and Gender Equality led by the Philippines; b) draft Regional Review of the Laws, Policies and Practices within ASEAN Member States Relating to the Identification and Treatment of Victims of Trafficking, especially Women and Children led by Lao PDR; c) outline of the Baseline Study on Child Protection Systems in ASEAN Member States led by Indonesia; and d) outline of the Report on the ACWC Institutional Strengthening led by the Philippines. These four projects would be further discussed at the Special Meeting of ACWC on 31 March – 3 April 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the view of finalising them.

The Meeting agreed to soft-launch the Network of Social Service Agencies (NOSSA) through the setting up of a website with links to the ASEAN and ACWC websites. This website would be a platform for the thirty three social service agencies, nominated by the ten ASEAN Member States as members, and other stakeholders concerned with violence against women and violence against children to network and share information, knowledge and expertise. The development of the NOSSA website will be led by Singapore with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat.

The Meeting discussed the development of the Work Plan for the next five-year period of 2016-2020, and agreed to carry over sixteen on-going and planned projects under the new Work Plan. The recommendations of the ACWC’s completed activities will be reviewed at the 13th ACWC Meeting for consideration of the new Work Plan.

The Meeting agreed to recommend some amendments on the Terms of Reference of ACWC to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD) for consideration of adoption.

The Meeting conducted an open session with Mdm. Marta Pais, the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, to discuss collaboration to support the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Violence Against Children (ASEAN RPA on EVAC). Mdm Marta Pais also informed the Meeting of the High Time Movement which is a global movement to stop violence against children in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children to which ASEAN Member States have contributed. The Meeting agreed to support the High Time Movement by issuing a Statement on its support.

The Meeting also conducted open sessions with UN Women and UNICEF to discuss, among others, future collaboration to support the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Violence Against Women (ASEAN RPA on EVAW) and ASEAN RPA on EVAC which were adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit in November 2015.

The Meeting also agreed to provide inputs to the draft publication of UNICEF entitled “Legal Protection from Violence: Analysis of Domestic Laws related to Violence against Children in ASEAN”.

The Meeting discussed the Workshop on the socialisation of ASEAN RPA on EVAW and ASEAN RPA on EVAC and to explore joint collaboration with CSOs to implement them. The Workshop is jointly organised with the FORUM ASIA.

The Thirteenth ACWC Meeting is scheduled for October 2016 in Singapore.

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