Manila, the Philippines, 18 January 2012

The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) convened a dialogue with forty national and regional civil society organisations in the ASEAN region in Manila, the Philippines, on 18 January 2012.

The Dialogue provided a platform for the ACWC and civil society to share information and exchange views on issues of violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) that are of great concerns in the region, and on challenges in the efforts towards the elimination of VAW and VAC.

The Dialogue recognised the importance of responding to the various forms of VAW and VAC in public and private spheres based on a rights-based approach and collaborative and systematic approach with the involvement of civil society and other stakeholders at regional and national levels, as well as with children and women as rights bearers.

Representatives of the participating civil society organisations expressed their views and made recommendations as feedback to the ACWC in finalising its 5- year Work Plan which has to observe the mandate and responsibilities in accordance with the Terms of Reference of the ACWC.

Representatives of the civil society organisations also articulated their interests to work together with the ACWC for the prevention and elimination of all forms of VAW and VAC including, but not limited to, the following actions: (a) documentation and dissemination of good practices, programmes, research findings, and data concerning VAW and VAC in the region; (b) advocacy for the elimination of VAW and VAC through public campaign in the ASEAN region; and (c) dialogues between the ACWC and civil society for more effective responses to the concerns of victims and survivors of VAW and VAC.

The ACWC expressed its appreciation to the civil society for its work and contribution in promoting and protecting the rights of women and children in general and to those organisations that were participating in the Dialogue in particular. The ACWC recognized the importance of enhancing dialogues and cooperation with civil society to accelerate progress towards the elimination of VAW and VAC in the ASEAN region.