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ASEAN Regional Guidance on “Empowering Women and Children: Delivering Quality Social Work Services for Those at Risk of or Affected by Violence

This Regional Guidance aims to support policymakers and members of the social service workforce and allied sectors in The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States  to design and deliver quality social work services for women and children at risk of or who have experienced violence. It has been developed in support of the 2020 Ha Noi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work Towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community and its accompanying ASEAN Road Map for the Implementation of the Hanoi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work for Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community.

The Regional Guidance:

  • Is considerate of the diversity of the ASEAN Member States so that it can remain relevant in each distinct context – specific country examples are provided in the Annexes;
  • Describes important considerations for strengthening social work systems to address and prevent violence against women and violence against children across their promotive, preventive and responsive functions, recognising that a robust social work system requires a professional workforce and a multi-sectoral approach to prevent and respond to violence;
  • Acknowledges the unique and intersectional factors that may increase the risk of violence for women and children. For example, poverty, age, disability, relationship status, caregiving responsibilities, religious, ethnic or political affiliation, citizenship and migration status;
  • Emphasises the significance of its application in Southeast Asia, which is recognised as one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas. Emergencies, whether caused by conflict, natural disasters or other crisis, can exacerbate existing inequalities and discrimination, ultimately increasing the likelihood of violence against women and against children. This Regional Guidance is therefore applicable across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus; and
  • Complements existing global, regional and national commitments to human rights, children’s rights, gender equality, and social protection.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
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Gray literature
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