COLOMBO (08 October 2017) – Senait Gebregziabher, Regional Director of Plan International in Asia signed MoU with Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) at the AFPPD 12th General Assembly held under the theme “Engaging Parliamentarians – Pursuing Human Development”.
A Strategic Collaboration
This MoU is concluded to promote collaboration between Plan International's Asia Regional Office (ARO) and AFPPD and to advance and protect the rights of all children in Asia.
More specifically, the MoU aims to:
- establish joint advocacy initiative with parliamentarians in Asia to hold governments accountable to their commitment to international and regional Human Rights instruments;
- prevent and eliminate early child and forced marriage by harmonising existing laws and regulatory frameworks;
- prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against children including gender based violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion and superstition, among the others; and
- identify areas of joint research to build stronger evidence base around generating knowledge and informing learning and advocacy with the parliamentarians.
Reaching out to Parliamentarians
Plan International's ARO Regional Director and ARO Regional Head of Child Protection had the opportunity to participate in the extremely rich and diverse exchanges at the AFPPD General Assembly and to forge strategic relationships with more than hundred parliamentarians and staff members from across thirty countries in the Asia-Pacific region, in addition to experts from strategic partner organizations, civil society organizations and academic institutions. Plan International in Asia also had the opportunity to get involved in strategic planning of the National Committees of the Parliamentarians and successfully advocate for elimination of child early and forced marriages, which was included as a priority in their action plans as a result.
This new strategic partnership is seen as unique opportunity to increase synergies with parliamentarians in Asia and influence their legislative and policy-making agendas, as well as to advance their efforts in harmonising and monitoring enforcement of the existing laws and policies vital for girls and women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Note: This article was originally published by AFPPD.