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What we do

Asia, both South and Southeast sub-regions, faces a myriad of child protection issues, which run the gamut of child rights violations, and which are characterised by violence in varying degrees and forms. Violence against boys and girls take different forms and the consequences to their lives are different. Although the two sub-regions face similar problems in terms of the rights of the child to protection, each takes a unique approach based on the legal framework, the specific cultural contexts, and the role of its regional mechanisms for collaboration. 

A core problem of both ASEAN and SAARC in relation to violence against children is that there is a lack of accountability and commitment to the effective realisation of children’s rights. Therefore, the Regional Project aims to increase the accountability and commitment of ASEAN and SAARC to children’s rights, particularly the right to protection, through strengthening ongoing advocacy efforts by regional CSO coalitions. This is envisioned to be achieved by:

  • increasing the capacity of CRC Asia and NACGs to advocate for improved child protection policies and programmes of ACWC and SAIEVAC in line with the UNCRC and its Optional Protocols (OPs);
  • influencing ACWC and related ASEAN sectoral bodies to strengthen policies and programmes that promote child rights and gender justice and protect children from all forms of violence;
  • and reinforcing the alignment of the SAARC environment with UNCRC and OPs to address Child Sexual Abuse/Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

During the initial 3 years, the following list of activities will be conducted under the project with the aim of achieving the corresponding objectives:

 

Objective 1:

To increase the capacity of CRC Asia and NACGs to advocate for improved child protection policies and programmes of ACWC and SAIEVAC in line with the UNCRC and its OPs. 

  • Regional training on advocacy skills, different aspects of violence against children and components of child protection systems and related human rights instruments is conducted for selected CRC Asia and NACG members
  • Annual Project Progress and Review meetings with key representatives from CRC Asia and NACGs

 

Objective 2:

To influence ACWC and related ASEAN sectoral bodies to strengthen policies and programmes that promote child rights and gender justice, and protect children from all forms of violence.

  • Advocacy mapping and stakeholders’ analysis
  • Basic understanding of violence against children (VAC), the gender dimensions of VAC, how to advocate for greater child protection against VAC, ASEAN and Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children (DEVAWEVAC), (self-protection) for members and child-led groups
  • Regional or Country-to-Country Policy Forums to address violence against children
  • Dialogue meetings with ACWC and related ASEAN sectoral bodies on prioritizing policies and programmes that protect children from violence (national and regional)
  • Popularisation of existing research/studies on VAC relevant to CRC Asia advocacy
  • Dissemination of research and information on VAC and CRC Asia policy recommendations to eliminate VAC
  • Development of child-friendly, inclusive  and gender-sensitive materials for child-led groups

 

Objective 3:

To reinforce the alignment of the SAARC environment with UNCRC and OPs to address CSA/CSEC.

  • Conduct analysis of the two regional conventions relating to their alignment with UNCRC and OPs
  • Develop an advocacy strategy and action plan
  • Execution of the advocacy strategy and action plan 
  • Regional advocacy meeting prior to 2016 SAARC summit where next SAARC summit will be held
  • Needs assessment on capacity building
  • Needs based tool development based on assessment of available training tools
  • Conduct capacity development activities
  • Initiate a process for signature for MoA for adequate resources to execute and monitor the project within the SAIEVAC framework
  • Mapping and assessment of existing children and youth organisations in SAARC countries and at SAIEVAC level
  • Training on child participation within SAIEVAC context
  • Enhancement of a regional children platform within SAIEVAC through the effective engagement of boys and girls in regional advocacy activities against child sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation 

 

Background 2011-2015:

 

The initial phase of the programme focused on strengthening CSO capacities in the areas of child rights monitoring, child protection and child participation. It also served as a regional platform for CSO coalitions to share, exchange and further advance their advocacy efforts. 

 

Plan International Asia's Regional Programme focuseD on three priority thematic areas

Our development goals were to strengthen civil society coalitions' capacities in the following three areas:

  • Child rights monitoring
  • Child protection
  • Child participation

Child rights monitoring

We strengthened civil society’s role in the implementation and monitoring of children’s human rights through:

  • Capacity building.
  • Involving children in the alternative periodic reporting process under the UNCRC.
  • Regional analysis and research of achievements, stumbling blocks and barriers to alternative UNCRC reporting and civil society involvement, to increase the effectiveness of the CSOs.
  • Annual regional gatherings of the CSO representatives to share experiences, create learning platforms, strengthen advocacy, influence respective governments. 

Child protection

We strengthened civil societies’ engagement in protecting children against all forms of violence through:

  • South Asia Regional conference on VAC follow-up to review progress made (2012).
  • Support to sub-regional level CSO advocacy through South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC) and National Action and Coordinating Groups to End Violence against Children (NACGs).
  • Mapping and comparative analysis of Plan International supported community-based child protection mechanisms, with a focus on CSOs and children’s involvement.
  • Support CSOs to involve children in their own protection and the production of tools to assist children in recognising risks and undertake collective action.

Child participation

We strengthened the participation of children in their own development through:

  • Producing and piloting minimum standards for children’s organisations based on regional mapping and analysis of existing forms of children’s associations.
  • Supporting the processes of mainstreaming children’s participation within CSOs and across different programme areas.
  • Documenting the benefits of children’s involvement in their own development based on best practices across the Asia region.
  • Annual regional gathering of children’s groups' representatives to ensure consultations, exchange and sharing of experiences to help extend peer support in integrating excluded and marginalised groups of children into mainstream society.

Capacity building

CSOs involved in the CRC monitoring were offered opportunities to strengthen their own capacities in line with their learning needs, with special emphasis given to countries where the CRC reporting process was still in its early stages (Nepal, Timor-Leste and Vietnam).

Research and analysis

Regional analysis and research into CSOs’ achievements, stumbling blocks and barriers to alternative UNCRC reporting, and CSO involvement was undertaken in 2012, resulting in a regional report. The report provided a number of overarching recommendations on how to increase CSOs' effectiveness in this area.

Networking

Annual regional gatherings of CSOs were regularly organised to help coalitions’ representatives share their experiences, create common learning platforms, strengthen joint advocacy and brainstorm tactics to influence their respective governments to address effective follow-up to the UNCRC Concluding Observations.

Activities and outputs

Starting in 2011, we organised activities within the Programme such as workshops for the CSOs. There were also training sessions on involvment in CRC monitoring and alternative reporting, including getting child representatives to take part. Technical consultations with SAIEVAC and SACG were organised as well.

Under the Programme, Plan International Asia produced the Bamboo Shoots and Sticks and Stones publications, and learning materials on child protection. Child-friendly resources were also created, namely the Child Protection Resources that included a number of handbooks and a calendar.

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