SOUTHEAST ASIA: Statement of the 2011 ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples' Forum

Summary: More than 1,300 civil society delegates representing various civil society organisations, including children's rights NGOs, presented a set of recommendations to the government leaders attending the 17th ASEAN Summit which began on 7 May 2011.

Recommendations on children and youth included:


  • ASEAN must develop and implement measures to ensure that the rights of children living in or from ASEAN member states, as expressed in the UNCRC and two Optional Protocols, are respected, protected, and fulfilled by states and other duty-bearers.
  • ASEAN member states must ensure the right to participation of all children including children living with and/or affected by disabilities, HIV, leprosy and other health concerns, indigenous groups, affected and/or involved in armed conflict, affected by abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence, children affected by migration, and stateless children in all matters that affect them, is actively exercised in all settings including ASEAN. They must also create an enabling environment that supports ethical and meaningful child participation.
  • All children whose rights have been violated should have access to redress mechanism and be provided with adequate care and support for their recovery and reintegration. We expect existing regional and mechanism in ASEAN, particularly AICHR and ACWC to develop and implement measures to ensure and improve measures to ensure and improve compliance of ASEAN member states to their human rights obligations.
  • ASEAN member states should adopt and ratify an Optional Protocol to the UNCRC creating individual complaints mechanism without reservations and ensure is accessibility to victims of child rights violations.
  • ASEAN must support establishment of national or regional child protection systems and mechanism, including the development of regional information system aimed at generating updated and verifiable information of child rights situations, ensure information-sharing and exchange between governments and civil society that would facilitate effective monitoring of governmental compliance.


  • ASEAN must immediately set up and enforce an independent regional youth council or commission, and meaningfully engage the youth in policy planning, implementing, monitoring, decision-making and reform of this body. The council or commission shall be involved in strategic, transparent, and accountable measures on education, employment, public health, and sustainable environment in local, national, and regional levels.
  • ASEAN must ensure optimum reach of education, including aspects related to the promotion and protection of the environmental sustainability, community-based education, local wisdom, peace, democratic values, human rights and social justice to all segments of the population, especially marginalised groups – young women and girls, young people living with HIV, young ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities, young people affected by leprosy, young people living under poverty, young sex workers, and young people who use drugs and young LGBTIQ.
  • ASEAN must promote entrepreneurship among ASEAN youth by providing skills training and a regional fund which must be easily accessed by all marginalized groups.

Further information


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