Calling for Applications!  CSO Forum in advance of the Midterm Review of 2013 Asia Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development

The Asia-Pacific CSO Forum will be held on 24-25 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, and serves as a preparatory civil society (CS) meeting in advance of the midterm review (MTR) of the 2013 Asia Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development.  The intergovernmental MTR is being organized by UNFPA APRO and ESCAP on 26-28 November 2018 at UN ESCAP, and aims to review the implementation of the Programme of Action, the key actions for the further implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the recommendations of the 2013 Asia Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development.

The CSO Forum is open to CS representatives from throughout Asia and the Pacific.  Organizations that work on the following issues are particularly encouraged to apply: SRHR, Gender Equality, HIV, Human Rights, Migration, Aging, Youth, Climate Change, or Conflict.

 Please make your applications as strong as possible, as there will be more applicants than there is space for.

A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Full scholarships include airfare, accommodation and modest daily subsistence allowance (DSA) will be available for a limited number of organizations according to criteria listed above. Partial scholarships includes support for  accommodation and DSA only (for participants that can support their own airfare).  If you need funding to attend, please ensure that you indicate this in your application.

The early deadline for scholarship applications is 15 October 2018.   The deadline for self-funded applications is 22 October 2018.  

Apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/QhU8LiGRUd4cnnD02

Please also indicate on the application form if you are going to attend the MTR as a CS representative on a national delegation.

Due to the limitations of space, only one person per organization is encouraged to apply.  No more than 2 persons will be considered for participation from the same organization.

Note that participation in the CSO Forum (or Youth Forum) is required for those that would like to attend the Midterm Review, but acceptance to the CSO Forum does not imply acceptance to the Midterm Review.  Please also note that the CSO Forum is open to CS representatives that do not wish to attend the MTR.

Applications will be reviewed by a regional CSO Steering Committee in consultation with the ESCAP, prioritizing those who best fit the target group and to ensure balance in geographic and thematic representation, scope of mandate, and level of experience with ESCAP processes amongst other criteria. Notification on the status of the applications will be sent by 31 October 2018.  

 

Published in ICPD

Indonesia NGO Stakeholder Submission for the UPR 

Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia 27th Session April/May 2017 Joint submission by a coalition of NGOs in Indonesia and the Sexual Rights Initiative to highlight human rights violations in Indonesia related to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Published in Resources
21 November 2017 07:31

FPA Gender Strategy

Family Planning Australia Gender Strategy 

This plan was developed to identify how Family Planning Australia can improve reproductive and sexual health outcomes in the region through the promotion of gender equality, with a specific focus on addressing gender-based violence. The plan identifies the actions FPA can take to support their partners in the region over the next five years (2016-2020).  Read it here 

Published in Resources

CS Intervention at the 2017 Asia Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment

APA delivered the Women’s Constituency Intervention under Agenda Item 8: Regional input to outcomes of the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, at the Asia Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment organized by Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Environment (UNE) on 5-8 September 2017.  The Summit brought together the seventh Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-7), organized by ESCAP, and the second Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific, organized by UNE.

The statement as delivered follows: 

 

Chair, honorable delegates, fellow activists, and other stakeholders.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the women’s constituency at the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism. We appreciate the space given to CSOs  and the chance to provide a regional perspective for UNEA 3, and support the transparency of the process.

In Asia Pacific, interlinked systemic barriers are blocking the achievement of just and sustainable development, and the creation of a pollution free environment.  We are particularly concerned about the effects of patriarchy, fundamentalism and authoritarian governance, which are currently undergoing a resurgence in this region.  

We wish to commend UNE for its comprehensive and timely report, ‘For a Pollution Free Planet’.  Pollution has already caused an unprecedented number of deaths in our region, and has harmful effects on pregnancy outcomes, fertility, and fetal health, amongst others.

However, we feel the report lacks a deeper analysis of the feminization of pollution, and how it impacts various marginalized groups.

Women and men’s health is affected differently by pollution.  Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens, with the majority of the region’s poor being women. Their unequal participation in decision-making processes and labour markets compound inequalities and often prevent women from fully contributing to planning, policy-making and implementation.  Other marginalized groups  such as people living with HIV, LGBTIQ, sex workers, people who use drugs and migrants are particularly vulnerable due to intersecting forms of discrimination.  

Honourable delegates, the planet cannot be pollution free if half of women and girls remain undernourished, face routine violence and discrimination, lack power to take decisions at multiple levels,  and lack equal opportunities for employment and  political representation.

Achieving gender equality and fulfilling the human rights of women and girls is a crucial step to sustainable development and sustainable resource use.  This includes ensuring that women and girls  are empowered and able to make fully informed choices and decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and rights.  In this vein, we encourage stronger linkages with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme for Action (PoA) and related processes.

To close,  we underscore the call for a Development Justice framework to tackle the rising and pervasive inequalities in the region and to support the existence of powerful, resourced, connected women’s rights movements and other social movements.

Thank you

 

Published in Resources

Capacities and Consent: Empowering Adolescents to Exercise Their Reproductive Rights 

This publication sets forth the barriers adolescents face in realizing their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), discusses recent critical developments in the human rights framework underpinning these rights, and proposes a way forward for guaranteeing all adolescents the full exercise of their SRHR, including their right to make informed decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. 

Read it here 

Published in Resources

UN Human Rights Resolutions Portal

The Human Rights Resolution Portal provides information on, and access to, all resolutions ever passed by the Human Rights Council, and all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly's Third Committee since 2006.  Access the portal here

Published in Resources

Joint Statement on the Occasion of the 50th Commission on Population and Development

On behalf of Family Planning New Zealand (ECOSOC) and the Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Delivered by Ann Brassil, Family Planning New South Wales, Australia 

 

Excellencies, honourable delegates, fellow advocates and activists.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this joint statement, on behalf of Family Planning New Zealand and with the Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, a regional network with 28 members that mobilizes civil society advocacy to ensure accountability for obligations and commitments that aim to realize sexual and reproductive health and rights for all persons.

The theme of this year’s CPD is particularly pertinent to our region, Asia Pacific, as the region with the greatest cohort of young people in the world[1].

It is only with enactment of laws, policies and programmes that embody a universal respect for human rights and gender equality, enabling people to reach their full potential, that our region can harness the potential of the demographic dividend and achieve equitable and just sustainable development. 

Young people, in particular, must have access to comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services, which address barriers including discrimination, stigma and lack of confidentiality.

It also entails addressing inequalities in access, and enabling and recognizing the needs of marginalized populations, including women and girls, people living with HIV, LGBTIQ, sex workers, indigenous peoples and migrants, amongst others.

We wish to emphasize the importance of respecting the outcomes of the ICPD regional reviews, and building on these commitments in the upcoming mid-term reviews in 2018.  We call on Member States to enable the meaningful participation of CSOs, and acknowledge the importance of the inclusion of civil society perspectives and data as crucial to the success of the review process.

Finally, we close by commending the leadership recently shown by a number of countries around the globe that have prioritized and made financial commitments to address the denial of access to safe and legal abortion, and to ensuring that women and girls have control over all aspects of their sexuality free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. We call for governments from all regions to join them, and we encourage support for UNFPA.

Thank You.



[1] Asia Pacific is home to 60% of the world’s young people. See:  http://www.unescap.org/our-work/social-development/youth

Published in APA Blog

Deliver for Women and Young People In South East Asia and the Pacific: Sexual Rights are Human Rights!

Call to Action 

Seventy-five sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates and stakeholders comprising civil society representatives, parliamentarians and international development partners from South East Asia and the Pacific gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 19 May 2016 for a Regional Caucus on Agenda 2030 and the fulfillment of sexual rights for women and young people. Held during the 4th Global Women Deliver Conference, the Caucus was organized by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA) in collaboration with the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and Unzip the Lips.

We commend the governments in our region for adopting Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious global action plan with cross-cutting human rights principles of participation, equality and non-discrimination; that endeavors to reach those who are furthest behind first.

The fulfillment of sexual rights is critical to enabling the full participation of all people in society, reducing inequalities, and to achieving just and sustainable development. Sexual rights include the right to a healthy sex life, the elimination of violence, discrimination and coercion on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and universal access to comprehensive sexuality education, all of which are intrinsic to achieving sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Several countries in South East Asia and the Pacific have laws and policies that impinge on sexual rights by criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults, discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, prohibiting or limiting access to safe abortion services, and including clauses that are barriers for adolescents and young people to access the full range of SRHR information and services.

Sexual rights resonate across the integrated and cross-cutting SDGs, particularly to targets under Goals 3, 4, 5, 10 and 16 that relate to health, education, gender equality, reducing inequalities and partnerships. If countries in our region are to achieve the SDGs and ‘leave no one behind’, it is imperative that sustained efforts are made by governments by respecting, protecting and fulfilling the sexual health and rights of all persons.

We call on governments in our region to be accountable for the achievement of the SDGs and ensure that the sexual rights of women and young people are fulfilled, by:
➢ Fully engaging with the systematic, participatory and transparent follow-up and review process for Agenda 2030, including 1) support for and participation in the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development as the primary vehicle for addressing cross-regional challenges and sharing good practices, and 2) commitment to at least two voluntary national reviews at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)
➢ Enabling civil society to meaningfully contribute, monitor and review the implementation of the Agenda at all levels: sub-national, national, regional and global
➢ Creating a national-level dialogue mechanism for Agenda 2030 between government and civil society, including community based organizations and indigenous groups, and ensure that it is a safe space for civil society
➢ Enhancing the capacity of civil society and governments to engage with the Agenda 2030 follow-up and review processes.
➢ Ensuring full implementation and commit national budgets to the SDGs, with an emphasis on Goals 3, 4, 5 10 and 16.
➢ Reviewing the legal and policy frameworks for the health and human rights of women and young people, and amend where necessary. This requires, among other issues, ensuring that anti-discrimination laws, policies and guidelines are in place to create an enabling environment.
➢ Removing all barriers for adolescents and young people, women including migrant women, and LGBTQIA to access SRHR information, education and services; and ensuring the availability of adolescent- and youth friendly services including full range of contraceptives, safe abortion, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV treatment and mental health services.
➢ Developing age-appropriate, gender and culturally sensitive curriculum and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for adolescents and young people both in and out of school. This should include trainings for teachers, parents and other educational institutions e.g. alternative learning systems.
➢ Raising awareness of the human rights and needs of LGBTQIA with the general population, including through social media and other innovative platforms.
➢ Investing in the engagement of private institutions and civil society as crucial partners in achieving sustainable development, with funds earmarked for youth-led organizations, community-based organizations, and indigenous groups, amongst others.
➢ Ensuring access to safe and legal abortion information and services, including post-abortion care.
➢ Collecting data on the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and taking steps to ban and eliminate the practice of FGM/C and protect women and girls from all such harmful practices.
➢ Creating measures to provide clean water and sanitation to key populations through legislative and executive mechanisms of government with the gained support of the private sector and civil society.
➢ Sensitization of religious scholars on human right issues, and sexual rights

 

Signatories:

Aliansi Remaja Independen, Indonesia

Aliansi Satu Visi (One Vision Alliance), Indonesia

Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates Inc, Philippines

Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), Regional

Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), Regional

Burnet Institute, Australia

CARE International, Global

Family Planning Alliance Australia 

Family Planning New South Wales, Australia 

Family Planning New Zealand

Global UNiTE Youth Network, Asia and Pacific, Regional

Malaysian Council of Child Welfare, Malaysia

Marie Stopes International, Global

National Forum of Women with Disabilities

National Committee For Children and Young People on HIV, Philippines

Roots of Health, Philippines

Rutgers WPF Indonesia, Indonesia

Youth Peer Education Network Pilipinas (Y-PEER Pilipinas), the Philippines

YouthLEAD (Asia Pacific Regional Network of Young Key Populations), Regional

Women’s Plans Foundation, Australia

 

Individuals

Ms Fathimath Waheeda, Facilitator for Life Skills and Peer Education (Republic of Maldives)

Published in Resources

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