In March 27th-28th, 2015, INSTITUT PEREMPUAN (WOMEN'S INSTITUTE) attended the Regional Consultation "Strengthening the AICHR's Protection Mandate by Exploring Strategies to Protect Women and Girls from Violence in ASEAN" held in Manila, Philippines. This event was initiated by the Philippines Representative for AICHR and supported by the Government of the Philippines. The purpose of this event was to map the issue of violence against women and girls and discuss about protection mechanisms of AICHR for cases of violence against women in ASEAN level.
AICHR was established based on the 26th Joint Communique among ministers of foreign affairs of ASEAN member states in 1993, which produce several commitments, two of which contains a commitment on the promotion of human rights in ASEAN. Mechanism of AICHR arranged in Terms of Reference (ToR) of AICHR that adopted in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in July 2009. During this time AICHR can not execute a greater mandate for promoting human rights in ASEAN because of limited authority.
This event was initiated by the Philippine Representative for the AICHR Rosario G Manalo. Forward expectations, the issue of strengthening mandate for protection for violence against women (VAW) will open up opportunities to the mandate of the protection of AICHR to respond human rights violation in broader level. The event was opened by Ambassador Rosario G Manalo as Philippine Representative for the AICHR. Then continued by Regional Director for the Regional Office for Asia and Pacific UN Women Roberta Clark, and Levinson Alcantara from POEA. Levinson Alcantara share about the Philippine’s experience in promoting the rights of women migrant workers in the ACMW context and mainstreaming of women's issues from national level to ACMW level. According to him, ACMW instruments are expected as a legally binding instrument and provide better protection for migrant workers and their families. Philippine see ACMW as an opportunity to provide protection for women workers, domestic workers, etc. Meanwhile, Roberta Clarke explained more about protection mechanisms at regional and international level that could be adopted by ASEAN (e.g mechanism of periodical reports by CEDAW, communication procedure at CSW, communication and inquiry procedure by CEDAW, special rappourteur, etc.).
On In-Country Session and Cross-Country Session, participants identified issues of violence against women and girls that need immediate responses, such as domestic workers, migrant workers, women in minority groups, LBTI, etc. After that, each country delegation presented their issues to all participants.
On second day, participants discussed what mechanism that need to be developed by AICHR for protecting of victims violence against women and girls. Some suggestions from participants regarding the mechanism of protection for cases of violence against women are: review of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the precautionary/preventive mechanism, human rights cooperation (between AICHR and other human rights institutions), complaint mechanism, investigation, inquiry mechanism, reporting mechanism, focal point of human rights, special rapporteur on VAWG, etc. In addition, there are also suggestion from Yuyun Wahyuningrum for using AICHR’s mandate as set out in point 4.10 of ToR of AICHR "to obtain information from ASEAN Member States on the promotion and the protection of human rights". The mandate was considered as an opportunity for AICHR to respond to violence against women and girls in ASEAN region.
Participants were divided into groups to discuss and give input related to the mechanism stated above. The workshop was finished after every group presented each proposal. The workshop results will be processed to produce a strategy paper on AICHR’s strategy for the protection of women and girls in ASEAN.
Demi Keadilan, Kesetaraan, dan Kemanusiaan,
For Justice, Equality, and Humanity,
INSTITUT PEREMPUAN - WOMEN'S INSTITUTE
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