Bangkok, 16 October 2014—On 15 to 16 October 2014, the UN Women and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) convened a workshop aimed at promoting women human right’s compliant justice delivery. The workshop was attended by judges and officers of judicial training institutions in Indonesia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Myanmar, as well as some NGOs working in the region.
UN Women has been working with the justice sector in the above participating countries to improve understanding of the CEDAW Convention among judges and court personnel, and promote its use in courts. Towards this end, the UN Women is also working with ICJ in the development of two documents: 1) a manual on gender stereotyping affecting judicial decision making, and 2) a research document on citing CEDAW in judicial decisions. Both documents are envisioned to provide reference and resource to judicial training curriculums in training institutes. All ASEAN member states are States Parties to the CEDAW, thus the organisers deemed it important to ensure that judiciaries in the region respect the norms and standards stated within the Convention. Judges should therefore be guided by the CEDAW when interpreting and applying the provisions of the national constitutions and laws, including customary law. To do this, judges must familiarize themselves with international jurisprudence on human rights, particularly with the growing material on the protection and promotion of the human rights of women.
In view of HRRC’s work in the area of rule of law, specifically its recent study on judicial training in ASEAN, the organisers invited the HRRC, through Faith Delos Reyes, HRRC Research and Project Coordinator, to contribute information for the two documents mentioned above. Aside from seeking inputs on the preliminary drafts of the above documents and encouraging training institutions to use them, the workshop also aimed to provide a platform for judicial training institutions to share information on training materials on women’s human rights that they use in their programs.