ASEAN

CRC ASIA JOINS THE AICHR JUDICIAL COLLOQUIUM ON THE SHARING OF GOOD PRACTICES REGARDING INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

PHOTO: L-R Atty. Regina Padilla-Gerald, Secretary General of ASEAN Law Association; Associate Justice Zaldy V. Trespeses of the Sandiganbayan (anti-graft court of the Philippines); Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang of the Sandiganbayan, in behalf of Chief Justice Sereno; Ms. Amihan Abueva, CRC Asia Regional Executive Director; and H.E. Leo Herrera Lim, AICHR Chair and Philippine representative to AICHR

Kuala Lumpur — As a Civil Society Organization with consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the Child Rights Coalition Asia was invited to join the Judicial Colloquium on Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 13-15 March 2017.

The colloquium gathers Judges across ASEAN Member States (AMS), public prosecutors, and attorney generals, representatives of law associations, representatives of AICHR, and other relevant ASEAN bodies.

Through this meeting, AICHR aims 1) to develop strategies in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms to complement the building of the ASEAN Community 2) to promote capacity building for the effective implementation of international human rights treaty obligations undertaken by the AMS, and 3) to promote the full implementation of ASEAN instruments related to human rights.

It is important to note that all AMS have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).

During the colloquium, the participants will also share experiences and ideas on the implementation of Article 5 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration 2012 and Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (peace, justice, and strong institutions) insofar as they relate to judicial remedies and building effective judicial institutions.

On 1 April 2016, the ASEAN Chief Justices collectively announced the formation of a Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) which will soon be accredited to the ASEAN Charter to enhance co-operation in the judicial sector.

CRC ASIA HOSTS DIALOGUE MEETING OF REGIONAL CSOs WITH ASEAN AND UN CRC

On 5 December 2016, CRC Asia brought together civil society organizations (CSOs) in the region, sectoral bodies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) to Bohol, Philippines to talk about opportunities of collaboration in working for children’s rights and to promote the strengthening of reporting and monitoring of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Asia.

In October this year, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) finalized its Work Plan for 2016-2020. This builds on the accomplishments and follow-ups on the previous five-year Work Plan. It also includes new efforts that are in-line with the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA).

The Work Plans are divided into 18 thematic areas with identified lead and supporting countries. From 2012 to 2016, the ACWC and the 10 ASEAN member states had engaged with civil society organizations in implementing some of the thematic areas. For example, the ACWC has worked with CRC Asia in implementing  a project on creating an enabling environment for child participation in ASEAN.

CRC Asia organized this dialogue meeting as a venue of engagement between ASEAN representatives and regional child rights organizations and networks in the identification of opportunities for civil society to support the new ACWC Work Plan.

Since the ACWC has the function to promote the implementation of international child rights instruments and to assist the ASEAN Member States in preparing reports to the CRC and implementing concluding observations, CRC Asia used this opportunity so that participants can identify action points for the strengthening of reporting and monitoring of the UNCRC implementation.

The meeting was attended by the Atty. Wanchai Rujanowong, Thailand Representative to the ACWC and Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan, who was sent in lieu of Mr. Danh Hoa Nam, Vietnam Representative on Children’s Rights to the ACWC. They shared thematic areas in the ACWC Work Plan and identified opportunities for civil society to support these thematic areas.

Usec. Florita Villar, the Philippine Focal Point in the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMWSD),  presented the current activities and future plans of SOMSWD, specifically on children’s rights.

CRC Asia’s Regional Executive Director and former Philippine Representative to the ACWC, Ms. Amihan Abueva, explained the ACWC Work Plan and identified opportunities for CSOs to support the plan.

Later, Atty. Yasmeen Sharriff, Vice Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child shared ideas on how to strengthen the reporting of the UNCRC implementation and monitoring of concluding observations in ASEAN.

Civil society organizations were given fifteen minutes each to present their organization’s regional child rights advocacies and programs related to the ACWC or SOMSWD.

At the end of Day 1, the participants discussed points for collaboration.

On Day 2, they will visit Brgy. Doljo, a community supported by ECPAT Philippines.

View photos of the meeting here.

 

ASEAN GUIDELINES FOR A NON-VIOLENT APPROACH TO NURTURE, CARE AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN IN ALL SETTINGS

In its commitment to eliminate violence against children (VAC) in the region, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) has just released ASEAN Guidelines for a Non-violent Approach to Nurture, Care and Development of Children in All Settings. This follows the development of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children of 2013 and the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Children (RPA) of 2014.

The ASEAN Guidelines complement the RPA in that the RPA is the blueprint or roadmap for ASEAN member states to eliminate VAC while the Guidelines inform actions at the micro-level: home, school, community, workplace, alternative care/children’s shelter, early childhood care and development centers (baby homes, nurseries, and day care facilities), and juvenile justice centers.

The ASEAN Guidelines helps those who nurture and care for children to enable the latter to attain their full potential and well-being, free from threats and violence. They can be implemented at the national and local levels in all ASEAN member states in accordance to national and local context and circumstances. They may be used by governments, non-government organizations, and anyone who works with and for children.

The ASEAN Guidelines comply with Article 19 and General Comment 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), to which all the ASEAN member states are party.

To read or download the ASEAN Guidelines, please click here.

CRC ASIA PUBLISHES CHILD-FRIENDLY VERSION OF ASEAN DECLARATION ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN

In 2015, CRC produced a child-friendly material which provided children with an overview of ASEAN and related mechanisms where they can meaningfully engage leaders on child rights. This year, CRC Asia wanted to further enhance the knowledge of children on ASEAN while working on one of its advocacy issues – child protection, particularly the elimination of violence against children.

For this, CRC Asia produced another child-friendly material so children can better understand the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children, ASEAN mechanisms to address this problem, as well as ways in which children can participate.

The child-friendly material is in a handy journal form. It contains text and drawings explaining the learning topics. The writing pages is peppered with a child-friendly version of the articles of UN Convention of the Right so the Child (UNCRC).

The child-friendly material was produced with the support of Save the Children, Plan International, and UNICEF.

Here’s a sneak peek:

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To download, please click here.

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD IN ASEAN!

The Child Rights Coalition Asia has produced a child-friendly journal meant to provide children with an overview of ASEAN and related mechanisms where they can meaningfully engage leaders on child rights. The journal seeks to create interest and better recall among children about ASEAN as a potential area for children’s advocacy work on child rights. The writing pages are peppered with simplified articles of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Here’s a sneak peek:

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To download the journal, click here.

CHILD RIGHTS SITUATION ANALYSIS WITHIN THE ASEAN REGION

Save the Children Philippines in cooperation with the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies of Mahidol University in Thailand, has just published the Child Rights Situation Analysis within the ASEAN Region. 

The first of its kind in Asia, this research presents a comprehensive overview of the situation of children in 10 ASEAN Member States. The report examines of the underlying causes of violations and gaps in the fulfillment of children’s rights. It looks into the existing legal and policy frameworks at the regional and national levels which impact positively or negatively on children. It also examines the environment of changes taking place and likely to take place over in this sub-region and how these may affect children’s rights.

The results of the study will inform Save the Children’s program priorities in the ASEAN region. It is hoped that civil society, governments at the local, national, regional, and international levels will find this study useful in addressing children’s issues and fulfilling children’s rights.

The Child Rights Situation Analysis in the ASEAN Region was financed by Sida, the Swedish International Development Authority.

To download the document, please click here.

ASEAN REGIONAL PLAN OF ACTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN ADOPTED

On 27 November 2015, the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA/EVAC) was adopted by the ASEAN Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

By adopting the RPA/EVAC, the ASEAN member states cemented their commitment to the 2013 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children. The RPA/EVAC contains concrete implementation plans to end all forms of violence against children from 2016 to 2025.

The RPA/EVAC has undergone several consultations with the member states and civil society organizations. The Child Rights Coalition Asia and its members were able to share their inputs to the document this year, before it was finalized and adopted.

The ASEAN member states are now implementing the RPA/EVAC. This will also help them reach the 16.2 target of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Agenda and other VAC-related targets.

Download the full document of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children and the RPA/EVAC here.