​PHUKET, 6-4 SEPTEMBER – The 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Commission on The Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was held from 4th-6th September 2017 in Phuket, Thailand. The Meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand.

The Meeting discussed the follow-up from the 14th Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia and reviewed the status of implementation of projects of the ACWC Work Plan 2012-2016. A number of important projects have been completed such as the AICHR-ACWC Training Workshop on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by Singapore, the report on Institutional Strengthening of the ACWC by the Philippines and International Workshop and International Conference on Diversion through Restorative Justice by Thailand. At the Meeting, Thailand presented the public campaign video to stop violence against women for 2017. The Meeting congratulated Thailand and exchanged views on the ways forward to ensure the continuity of the public campaign, and engage other relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies such as SOMRI.

In addition, the Meeting approved the ACWC Work Plan 2016-2020.  The representatives agreed on the new projects and activities that would be included in the ACWC Work Plan 2016-2020 to be submitted for approval. The projects that were approved are under the thematic areas of eliminating child marriage, awareness raising campaign on social impact of climate change on women and children, women, peace and security and women economic empowerment. These include Regional Dialogue on children bullying and abuse at schools by Viet Nam and online and the Women’s Economic Empowerment and ICT project by Cambodia.

The Meeting conducted an open session with Child Rights Coalition (CRC ASIA) who presented to the Meeting its organisation and proposed areas of partnership with ACWC with the focus on child protection. CRC ASIA encouraged further engagement of ACWC with civil society organizations (CSOs). Likewise, the meeting held an open session with UNICEF who shared with the Meeting the priority areas of collaboration with ACWC which are violence against children, child protection online, ASEAN integration and child rights, restorative justice and children and migration.

The Meeting also conducted an open session with UN WOMEN who expressed appreciation of a long-term partnership between UN WOMEN and ACWC and ensured stronger collaboration particularly in the areas of women economic empowerment, migration and elimination of violence against women through evidence and data-based policies and gender mainstreaming across the three pillars.

The Meeting also held an open session with Due Diligence Project who shared with the Meeting on the organization and mandates as well as expressed their interest to collaborate with ACWC especially on the capacity-building on elimination of violence against women and girls.

The 15th ACWC meeting discussed the draft declaration on the Gender-Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals and the draft Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security.

The 16th ACWC Meeting will be held in February 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.