On Friday 30 April 2021, the ASEAN Studies Center of Universitas Gadjah Mada in collaboration with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and supported by The Netherland Embassy in Jakarta held a Round Table Discussion (RTD) between the ASEAN Commission of Women and Children (ACWC) and CSOs across ASEAN member states.
The discussion was officially opened by the opening remarks from Mr. Dafri Agussalim as the Executive Director of ASEAN Studies Center UGM, Ms. Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu as the Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA, and Prof. Roel van der Veen as a representative of Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Indonesia.
This forum also constructed a consultation with the CSOs on the rights of women and children in ASEAN that has a purpose to facilitate discussions between CSOs working in human rights, particularly on women’s and children’s right in order to increase the involvement of CSOs in the work of women and children’s rights in ASEAN with ACWC. It is expected to formulate outcomes in the form of recommendations for ACWC workplan 2021-2025, ideal working mechanism between ACWC and CSOs by strengthening its ToR, and an outlook for ASEAN CSOs involvement in the works of ACWC.
In opening the RTD, H.E. Yuyum Fhahni Paryani, Indonesian Representative of the ACWC (Children), shed light on the work, success, and challenges of the ACWC through its ten years of establishment, and highlighted the importance of collaboration among CSO to promote and uphold women and children. The opening presentation was then followed by the RTD, which was navigated by Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, a former National Commission on Violence against Women (KOMNAS Perempuan), as lead facilitator.
The RTD consisted of three panels that discussed issues pertinent to enhance further engagement between CSOs on women and children from across the region. The forum was divided into three parallel panels. Thi first delved into the topic of the “ACWC Work-plan and its alignment with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework” which was facilitated by Karina Larasati BR, a senior fellow of Policy Lab. The second panel touched on the subject of a “Reporting Mechanism of Cases and an ASEAN Live Database of Violations against Women and Children” the discussion of which was facilitated by Desi Hanara, the Southeast Asia Regional Coordinator of Freedom of Religion or Belief, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). The last panel, through the facilitation of facilitated Rachel Arinii Judhistari, FORUM-ASIA, discussed the “ACWC – CSOs Engagement Mechanism”. The RTD aimed to provide a consultation session between CSOs working on the rights of women and children in ASEAN and their representatives at the regional level, while at the same time providing input to the work plan of the ACWC.
A Townhall Session, as facilitated by Lead Facilitator, Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, collated all points of discussion, input, and possible ways forward towards a better engagement between ACWC and CSOs in promoting and protecting women and children. In light of the unrest in Myanmar, participants of the RTD took part in a photo session, with the three fingers salute pose, as popularised by activists in Myanmar.
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