Top Stories : HRC-40: ASEAN shares its experience in empowering children with disabilities News

Top Stories : HRC-40: ASEAN shares its experience in empowering children with disabilities

H.E. Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN, speaks on behalf of ASEAN during the Annual Meeting on the Rights of the Child, "Empowering Children with Disabilities for the Enjoyment of their Human Rights, including through Inclusive Education", at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council, 4 March 2019.


Mr. President,

I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN is home to over 200 million children. As a region, ASEAN is firmly committed to protecting and advancing the rights of our peoples, especially those who are most vulnerable, including children and persons with disabilities. All ASEAN Member States have ratified and are parties to both the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Throughout the years, ASEAN has consistently prioritized the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, including children. These include: (i) the Ha Noi Declaration on the Enhancement of the Welfare and Development of ASEAN Women and Children (2010); (ii) the Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of the Persons with Disabilities in ASEAN Community (2011) which also proclaimed the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2011-2020); and (iii) the Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (2015).

As enshrined in the ASEAN Community 2025 Vision, adopted in 2015, ASEAN is committed to the realization of an inclusive community that promotes high quality of life, equitable access to opportunities for all and promotes and protects human rights of its people including the rights of children with disabilities. In particular, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 outlines specific strategic measures that aim to reduce barriers and ensure accessibility of persons with disabilities while promoting and protecting their rights.

ASEAN has since further enhanced regional cooperation to empower children with disabilities at the national level to eliminate discrimination, remove barriers and ensure accessibility.

At the 33rd ASEAN Summit held in November 2018, the ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Masterplan adheres to the general principles of the CRPD, including full and effective participation and inclusion in society, equality of opportunity and respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities.

Last December, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) also convened its fourth annual dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community. In addition, in October 2018, the AICHR convened an ASEAN Dialogue on the CRC and its related instruments. In December 2017, the AICHR convened a Workshop on Enhanced Access to Education for Children with Disabilities.

We welcome ASEAN-UN collaboration through the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and stakeholders in promoting and protecting the rights of children with disabilities through activities such as the exchange of best practices, technical cooperation and capacity building.

In line with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the ASEAN Community 2025 Vision ASEAN will continue to invest in all our children and endeavor to leave no one behind.

Thank you, Mr President.