Eleven Countries met for the “South East Asia (SEA) Sub-Regional Conference on the Human Rights and Dignity of Girl Children”, at Phnom Penh Cambodia on May 11 and 12, 2015. The Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC) Inc., through its Executive Director, was invited to be one of the Resource Speakers at the said conference.
Organized by the Garden of Hope Foundation (an international human rights organization based in Taiwan and New York, respectively), the said conference was part of the on-going “Asian Girls Human Rights Campaign”, a region-wide movement to promote the United Nations Declaration of the International Day of the Girl Child around Asia.
Why Asian Girls? UN studies revealed that in Asia, girls are largely neglected and devalued. More girls have been victims of trafficking, exploitation, female genital mutilation, and mail order bride. Selective sex abortions and infanticide are still problems in developing Asian nations, while in more developed areas of the region, girls are under constant pressure to look good and conform to unrealistic ideals, which damages their self-esteem http://girlday.goh.org.tw
Organizations (such as Garden of Hope, SCWO, WAO, PS the Chldren, CSAGA, SALT, Ardhanary Institute, IJM Cambodia, Precious Women, CLRDC, Green Pasture) from eleven countries (Belgium, Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, U.S., Vietnam) met in Phnom Penh for the said conference to discuss how to create “girl friendly cities” in the framework of dignity and human rights for girls in Asia.
The conference focused on three main themes of (1) personal safety and health rights; (2) increasing participation and removing stereotypes in education; and (3) policies and practices in realizing the promises of CRC, CEDAW and other international treaties. It was discussed in detail some of the many problems that affect girls in Southeast Asia including sexual reproductive health rights, sexual abuse, the cycle of violence, the culture of blind obedience and denial, LBT human rights, equality in education, sex education, employment, family relations, and the media.
The conference was concluded by coming up with a “Declaration” in building up human rights cities in Asia within the framework of dignity and human rights of Girls.