Public forum on youth, CSO advocacy in Asean at BSB Youth Centre
| Lyna Mohamad |
THE youth are very important to the Asean Community because they are the future and the association has made a number of commitments toward children and the youth as partners in reaching their goals in the region.
These commitments include the 1983 Declaration of Principles to Strengthen Asean Collaboration on Youth; the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Agenda on Asean Youth Development; the 2000 Yangon Declaration on Preparing Asean Youth for the Challenges of Globalisation; the 2001 Declaration on the Commitments for Children in Asean; the 2003 Manila Declaration on Strengthening Participation in Sustainable Youth Employment; and the 2010 Hanoi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of Asean Women and Children.
The youth are mentioned in the socio-cultural community pillar as partners and beneficiaries in achieving goals for well-being but the question remains on how the youth can actually participate and give meaning to the development of the Asean Community.
Participation and involvement of the youth can be exercised in various spaces such as home, school, community-based institutions, society-at-large, and in international forums.
Approaches for meaningful participation can be divided into the consultative process, participative process, and the promotion of advocacy.
It is important for the youth to get themselves organised and start identifying partners in promoting their role in building the Asean Community, such as working in partnership with Asean-based civil society organisations.
With regard to this, the Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM), and the Youth Centre, Department of Youth and Sports, jointly held a public forum entitled ‘Youth and CSO Advocacy in Asean’ at the Dewan Silaturrahim of the Bandar Seri Begawan Youth Centre yesterday.
One of the speakers at the forum, Yuyun Wahyuningrum – who holds a Master of Arts (MA) on Human Rights from the Mahidol University in Thailand and graduated in 2007 after submitting her thesis entitled ‘The Politics of Trafficking in Indonesia: Gender, National Rhetoric and Power’ – works as a senior advisor on Asean and Human Rights at the Indonesian Non-Governmental Organisation Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy, or Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
She has been instrumental and influential in civil society’s advocacy in a people-centred Asean and its human rights systems, and has held various similar posts prior to joining the HRWG.
She has worked as a policy advisor on Asean at Oxfam International (2009-2010); East Asia Programme Manager at the Asian Forum of Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia); and as a campaign coordinator at the Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacy Task Force on Asean and Human Rights (2008-2009); Southeast Asia Coordinator at the Child Workers in Asia (CWA) based in Bangkok, Thailand (2004-2006); Southeast Asia Coordinator on the Campaign against Child Trafficking at the Terre des Netherlands (2002); a programme officer for child labour and trafficking at Solidarity Center Indonesia, based in Jakarta; and worked on the issue of child rights, trade unions, and trafficking of women and children, at different national and international organisations based in Jakarta, Indonesia (1998-2004).
She was also part of the driving force that resulted in Indonesia implementing a National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking of Women and Children (2002-2007).
Yuyun Wahyuningrum was a scholarship recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law/Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
The MKM was registered under the Registrar of Societies on December 2, 2009, with the main objective of addressing social issues in Brunei Darussalam and coordinating the efforts of various social welfare organisations in the Sultanate towards improving the welfare of vulnerable groups.
These objectives can be achieved through training, guidance, awareness campaigns and research.
The council aims to complement and supplement efforts made by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s government with regard to social welfare, especially vulnerable groups such as children, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, less fortunate, and family institutions for their programmes.
MKM has been actively involved with civil society activities and advocacies in Asean and is currently a member of the Southeast Asian Women Caucus and the International Council on Social Welfare.
The MKM has hosted a Regional Social Welfare workshop for NGOs during the ‘5th Asean GO and NGO Forum on Social Welfare’ in November 2010, where the workshop was jointly organised with the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW).
The group has also successfully conducted a recent ‘Brunei Civil Society workshop on the Asean organisation earlier this year in January, which was jointly organised with the Southeast Asia Committee on Advocacy (SEACA).
The South East Asian Committee for Advocacy is a programme that focuses on advocacy capacity building of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Southeast Asia.