East Asia and Pacific
The Special Representative has a significant platform of cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and with its Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). These two ASEAN bodies play important roles in the promotion and protection of children's rights in the ASEAN region, including the right of children to a life free from violence. The partnership opens avenues for broadening the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations study among ASEAN Member States, and for joining developments in other regions. In January 2012, the SRSG participated in a Consultative Meeting on violence against women organized by the ACWC in the Philippines.
The Consultative Meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on a rights-based approach to initiatives designed to prevent and address all forms of violence against children and women. In a joint statement agreed upon at the Consultation, the ACWC and the SRSG recognized the importance and potential of enhancing opportunities for dialogue and cooperation with strategic partners at the national, regional and international levels, including with the United Nations system, to accelerate progress towards the elimination of violence against children and women. The ACWC and the SRSG expressed commitment to pursue collaboration in the context of the Commission’s overall mandate for the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children, and identified the priority thematic area of the elimination of violence against women and children for the ACWC 2012-2016 workplan.
As a result of this very fruitful process, in November 2015 ASEAN Heads of State Summit adopted the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children, which is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Plan proposes concrete actions to be achieved within a clear timeframe for violence prevention and children’s effective protection.
The Special Representative has promoted the inclusion of protection of children from violence in the inter-governmental process of High-level Meetings on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in the Asia Pacific Region. The SRSG participated in the first meeting of this process, held in Beijing in November 2010. The Beijing Declaration adopted at that Meeting calls for a systematic approach to addressing child protection through the enactment of legislation and policy safeguarding children from potential harm and bans on all forms of violence against children. It also expresses the commitment to strengthen and adequately resource national child protection and welfare systems and mechanisms, the establishment of timely and appropriate responses and the mitigation of impact violence on children and their families. These commitments were renewed by governments and further action urged on the elimination of violence against children at follow-up High-level Meetings held in New Delhi in October, 2013, and in Kuala Lumpur in November 2016.