ACWC needs more funding from ASEAN members

National 1 minute, 27 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE ASEAN Commission on Women and Children (ACWC) needs more financial support from ASEAN member states, said Brunei’s representative to the intergovernmental body.

The commission was established in 2010 to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and children in ASEAN, but Datin Paduka Hjh Intan Kassim said the ACWC is still lacking in many areas and “does not receive sufficient and required support” from ASEAN governments.

She said that the ACWC has decided to embark on an institutional strengthening project this year, which will be a continuous effort toward improving the effectiveness of the organisation.

“The primary aim of this project is to strengthen ACWC in many aspects so that ACWC is able to fulfill its mandate.”

Datin Hjh Intan, a former lawyer and high-ranking civil servant, has chaired the commission for the past three years, with her tenure ending this June. She said several ACWC members will be completing their three-year appointment in 2016, prompting the rights body to release a series of reports and research before their departure.

Among them is a baseline study on child protection systems, and two separate reports on gender equality and human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

The rights’ activist said ACWC’s vision has been to create a platform for exchanging information, best practices, and setting common standards to protect the rights of women and children.

They have also drawn up a ‘Regional Plan of Action’ to eliminate violence against women and children, which aims to strengthen and develop national policies to prevent gender-based violence.

“We want to harmonise regional approaches to addressing violence against women and children,” said Datin Hjh Intan. “This year we have been able to develop and finalise a regional action plan.”

The Brunei Times