The consultation was held on 14 March 2013 at the Institute of Research and Development for Public Enterprises, in Bangkok, Thailand. Presided by H.E. Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Thailand representative to the AICHR, the consultation was joined by representatives from CSOs in the field of women’s rights. The purpose of the consultation was to inform the AICHR’s direction on drafting the ASEAN Convention on the Elimination of Violence against Women and also to encourage the CSOs to provide their inputs to the Convention to the AICHR.
According the AICHR’s terms of reference Article 4.2 ‘to develop an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration with a view to establishing a framework for human rights cooperation through various ASEAN conventions and other instruments dealing with human rights’, Thailand representative to the AICHR proposed that ASEAN should adopt its own legally-binding instrument to promote and protect human rights of people in the region. This could begin with the issue of women and children, which is a common understanding among ASEAN member states due to ratification on the Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention of the rights of the child (CRC). However, since the AICHR has got lessons from the process of drafting the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), he suggested that full participation of CSOs is required in the drafting process of the Convention with a view to creating sense of ownership and transparency. He therefore advocated the CSOs to have their own draft of the Convention and then he would bring it to consult with the other AICHR’s representatives in the AICHR’s meeting.