7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to Conclude Today in Bali, Indonesia

Bali, 15 August 2014 — The Human Rights Resource Centre today prepares to conclude the 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Themed “Combatting Violence Against Women & Violence Against Children in Conflict Situations and Beyond,” the Summer Institute aims to provide an opportunity for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), academics, and human rights practitioners to come together to discuss the issue of preventing and prosecuting violence against women and violence against children.

Globally, there has been a growing thrust to confront the issue of violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) in conflict. Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council continue to reiterate and refine the international community’s commitment and response to ensuring international standards are developed to combat violence against women and girls. Resolutions 1325 through 2122 provide a solid platform for establishing global norms on preventing violence and protecting women and girls in conflict situations, as well as ensuring their participation in peace-building processes.

Regionally, ASEAN’s human rights bodies have been making progress in building a regional response to VAW and VAC. The AICHR has begun discussions to consider drafting a Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children in ASEAN. It is also completing a thematic study on the Right to Peace in ASEAN. Simultaneously, the ACWC undertook to draft a Declaration on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children in ASEAN, which includes a commitment by ASEAN Member States to strengthen partnerships with civil society and academia in the work of the elimination of violence against women and children in all its forms.

Held from 13-15 August at the Sanur Plaza Hotel in Bali, this year’s Summer Institute is designed to create an exchange between the AICHR, the ACWC and civil society, by presenting current findings from studies issued on the topic, both in and outside of ASEAN, as well as “notes from the field” from key international actors. These findings shall form a basis for discussion about what might be the “next steps” for the AICHR and ACWC on preventing VAW and VAC.

The meeting will culminate in a plan of action and proposed possible further collaboration to help ensure that:  (i) researchers’ findings are properly communicated to the AICHR and ACWC; (ii) AICHR and the ACWC have a say in the policy-relevance of the work undertaken by the researchers, perhaps leading to more useful studies being produced; and (iii) both remain informed of ongoing practices in the field and challenges “on the ground.”

Message of Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, during HRRC’s 7th Summer Institute

I Dewa Putu Eka Wijaya Wardana, SH, MH, the Deputy Governor of Bali, officially commenced the Summer Institute with an opening address. The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Zainab Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, via video conference. The HRRC had invited Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of the Worldwide Support for Development, to also give a keynote address;  unfortunately, his commitments would not allow him to come. Please download the programme to view the roster of faculty and the topics covered during the event.

The Summer Institute is hosted by the Human Rights Resource Centre in partnership with the Udayana University, the East-West Center, and WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at the Stanford University. This event is made possible through the generous support of the United States Government and the British Embassy in Jakarta.