Asean leaders vow to eliminate violence against women, children
Azlan Othman

ASEAN leaders expressed their commitment yesterday to stronger and broader approaches to eliminating violence against women and children in the region.

In a declaration adopted at the 23rdAsean Summit chaired by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the leaders recognised that violence affected victims of all ages in different settings.

“Violence against women and violence against children occur irrespective of the stages of the life cycle, whether at home, in school, in the workplace, in public or private spaces (including cyber space) as a result of gender bias, discriminatory and harmful practices and must be eliminated,” it said.

Leaders also expressed the need for a strengthened “holistic, multidisciplinary approach” to promote the rights of women and children along with an approach that is responsive to gender and age as well as being sensitive to children to eliminate violence against women and children.

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the Elimination of Violence Against Children in Asean said that such approaches should include investigating, prosecuting, punishing and where appropriate rehabilitating the perpetrators.

At the same time, victims and survivors should be provided with access to justice, legal assistance, protection, social welfare services, education and health services. - Borneo Bulletin (10 October 2013)