In an effort to foster greater engagement and functional cooperation, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held a consultation meeting with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) on 25 April 2014 at the ASEAN Secretariat. This was the second meeting between the two human rights mechanisms in ASEAN after their first meeting in November 2011, in Bali, Indonesia. The consultation meeting was co-chaired by H.E. U Kyaw Tint Swe, the Chair of the AICHR and H.E.Datin Paduka Intan Md. Kassim, the Chair of the ACWC.
The AICHR and ACWC discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN. The AICHR and ACWC also exchanged views on possible areas and mechanisms for cross sectoral cooperation and coordination.
Joint collaboration through the AICHR’s and ACWC’s respective work plans, the commonalities as well as possible joint programmes, projects and activities corresponding to the commitments in both Declarations was explored. The AICHR and ACWC identified four priority areas of cooperation, namely trafficking in persons especially women and children, disability, education, and gender, peace and security.
The AICHR and ACWC agreed to functional cooperation and better coordination to move forward towards strategic partnership, including joint activities and information sharing on human rights.
The Consultation Meeting concluded with a discussion between AICHR and the ACWC with the Regional Programme Manager of UN Women to discuss the possibility and modality of support from the UN Women on the identified functional cooperation programmes, projects and activities.
The consultation meeting is the first step for the two bodies to foster better cohesion and to work together for the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of ASEAN. Future meetings of the two bodies will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.