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The 3rd consultation Seminar of ACWC: sustainable employment and protection of pregnant women


On 28 November, 2012, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) coordinated with the United Nations Entity for Gender equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to organize the 3rd consultation seminar of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the rights of Women and Children (ACWC) in Hanoi.

    Attending the Seminar were Mr. Bui Sy Loi – Deputy Head of the Committee on social affairs of the National Assembly, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hoa – Deputy Minister of the MOLISA, leaders of relevant Central agencies, representatives of the UN women, UNFPA in Vietnam, CIDA, domestic and international non-governmental organizations and some participants of relevant local agencies.
     The Seminar is aimed to share information on the ACWC’s activities in the past time and connect activities in the country, the region on the protection of the rights of women and children; search for priority activities appropriate with the general plan in the region; establish a network to improve the partnership relationship to support the ACWC’s activities in Vietnam in the future.
    The ACWC conducted formal meetings (in February, June, 2011 and February, July, 2012 in Indonesia) to strengthen the organization and discuss priority areas as well as make the ACWC’s action plan in period of 2011 – 2015. At these meetings, representatives of related agencies of the United Nations participated in opening sessions with the ACWC, expressing the consensus and making commitments to support the Commission’s activities at national and regional levels. Representatives of non-governmental organizations in countries and the region were also attended in the consultation process of the ACWC.
     The 3rd meeting was organized in the context of the ASEAN high ranking leaders adopted the ASEAN Declaration on Human rights in the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) with the emphasis on the first part: “The rights of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and vulnerable and marginalized groups are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. The Declaration is considered to be a new developing step in the ASEAN on human rights including the rights of women and children.
     At the Seminar, in addition to updating the ACWC’s activities and discussing relevant contents of the Commission, participants discuss, raise awareness on maternity protection for women in Vietnam and share international experience of other countries in the region and the world in order to further promote the protection of pregnant women at work and in life; this also means the protection of the right to survival and development of children through the themes: Violence prevention in the activities of the ACWC; ASEAN Declaration on human rights; maternity leave regulations and the implementation of the ILO/CEDAW’s international Convention; Overview on pregnancy issues in Vietnam; Legislation and law enforcement on the protection of pregnant women in the Law on social insurance; Some issues on sustainable employment for female employees during pregnancy…     
     Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Hoa expressed the hope that the participants will actively share information on relevant activities, discuss and make orientation for Vietnam’s operation in the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children; making a network to ensure the successful implementation of activities at the local, national level, appropriate with the given priorities in the ACWC’s work plan in the future. The Deputy Minister also sent his deep thanks to the UN Women, CIDA for the financial and technical support for the MOLISA to organize the consultation Seminar and hoped, in the process of operation at the regional as well as national level, the ACWC will continue to receive close cooperation of relevant ministries, branches and organizations working for the well-being of women and children as well as international friends.