The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP, with 53 member States and nine associate members, covers a region that is home to 4.1 billion people, constituting two-thirds of the world’s population. ESCAP provides a forum for its member States to engage in policy dialogues, regional cooperation and collective action and assists countries in building and sustaining shared economic growth and social equity across the following core areas of work: disaster risk reduction; environment and sustainable development; information and communications technology; macroeconomic policy and development; social development; statistics; trade and investment; and transport
The outcome of the 15-year regional review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - the Bangkok Declaration on Beijing+15 - underpins ESCAP’s work on preventing and ending violence against women and girls. ESCAP actively supports the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign, in its capacity as Co-Chair of the Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
A priority area of ESCAP’s work in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Asian and Pacific region is the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, such as conflict-affected women and girls, international female migrants, women with disabilities and women affected by HIV/AIDS. ESCAP promotes regional dialogue and the sharing of good practices to facilitate policy formulation and implementation of global and regional commitments; conducts advocacy and outreach; builds and strengthens partnerships between governments, civil society and other stakeholders; and undertakes capacity-building activities to strengthen political will and multi-sectoral actions towards ending violence against women and girls.
In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, ESACP reported that an awareness raising exhibit was displayed in the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, including winning T-shirts from the UNiTE campaign T-Shirt Design Competition.Hide
ESCAP disseminates information about prevention of violence against women and trafficking, and encourages stakeholder participation in such efforts. It organizes panel discussions, film festivals and screenings to increase awareness among different stakeholders. For example, ESCAP has facilitated the production and screening of a short film, called Young Men Speak Out.Hide
At the third session of UNESCAP’s Committee on Emerging Social Issues, 12 to 14 December 2006, the Executive Secretary called attention to the Secretary-General’s in-depth study on all forms of violence against women. Copies of the study were circulated to all Member States and Observers. The Committee considered the document entitled “Emerging issues and challenges related to gender and development” (E/ESCAP/CESI (3)/3) which covered the key findings of and recommendations of the Secretary-General’s study.Hide
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2007, the United Nations system celebrated with a panel presentation and discussion, exhibition, and film screening on the global theme of ‘Ending impunity for violence against women’. The Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Executive Director of UNAIDS called for universal respect for women’s human rights and an end to all forms of violence against women and impunity. Copies of the Secretary-General’s study were widely distributed.Hide
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, ESCAP and UN Women organized an event on “Ending Violence against Women - Our Shared Responsibility” during which new research findings on men’s use of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific were presented. The ILO Director General along government, workers' and employers' representatives participated in a panel debate with the theme “STOP Violence at work” (http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/international-women-day/lang--en/index.htm). ESCWA hosted a roundtable discussion on GBV, during which the ESCWA Regional Appeal on GBV -- signed by 58 prominent Arab figures– was launched stressing the need for the active engagement of several segments of society in ending VAW.Hide
ESCAP and UN Women organized an advocacy event on “Ending Violence against Women and Girls” at the Sixth Asian and Pacific Population Conference on 18 September 2013 which focused on coordinated and multi-sectoral actions to prevent and end violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.Hide
The Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (RCM TWGGEEW) (co-chaired by ESCAP and UN Women) established a Working Group on Gender Statistics, which includes a focus on VAW statistics.Hide
In April 2007, the Gender and Development Section of the Emerging Social Issues Division organized an expert group meeting at ESCAP addressing “Regional Strategies for Implementing the Recommendations from the Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Women with Particular Emphasis on Harmful Traditional and Cultural Practices and the Role of National Machineries”.Hide
ESCAP helps to catalyze gender analysis and policy-making among Member States at the governmental level through ESCAP subsidiary bodies. It serves as a coordinating body and forum of discussion and policy development on gender-based violence issues through the organization of expert group meetings, intergovernmental meetings, and thematic seminars. Recent examples include a sub-regional seminar on using legal instruments to combat trafficking in women and children (2001) and a series of expert group meetings on: the promotion and implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, with emphasis on violence against women and trafficking in women (2005); strategic planning for the intensification of regional, sub-regional and inter-regional cooperation to combat trafficking in women and children (2003).Hide