29 May 2017 | Manila, Philippines

The 7th Cross Regional Meeting on Violence Against Children (VAC) will be held on June 6-8, 2017.

The meeting will be attended by representatives of ASEAN sectoral bodies with relevant work on violence against children such as the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

Representatives from regional organizations from the Caribbean, Central and Latin America, the Arab States, South Asia, Africa, and the European Union will also be attending the said meeting.

This year’s CRM will be jointly chaired by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Madame Marta Santos-Pais.

With the theme “Placing Children at the Heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda: Accelerating Progress in Children’s Protection from Violence”, it aims to eradicate all forms of abuse and violence against children such as bullying, sexual assault, online violence, and many more.

Children’s Parallel Session

In line with this, a Children’s Parallel Session will also take place that will have children from ASEAN Member States and the Republic of Korea as delegates. This is a milestone for the forum as it is the first time that children will participate in the annual activity of the UN SRSG, which has always been attended by adults. This will be the first ever forum where children get the chance to voice out their concerns and share their opinions regarding this matter.

This will be an avenue to magnify the abuses they are experiencing as well as provide solutions to end harmful deeds to children.

The inputs of the Children’s Parallel Session will be used as the basis of the discussion in supporting efforts to reach the violence-related goals and targets agreed upon in Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.

Past adopted related documents to this meeting are The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Elimination of Violence against Children (ASEAN RPA on EVAC). These documents have the same goal with this meeting, and that to make sure that children are well protected.

As the chair, the Philippines will act as one of the forerunners in eliminating all forms of violence against children. It is envisioned that at the end of this meeting, people will be more aware of the abuses that children are facing of everyday and that more efforts will be given to end all forms of violence against children.

Partnering with DSWD for the event is Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia), a regional network of child rights and human rights organizations composed of 11 member organizations from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia. Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. (DSWD)

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