UNICEF welcomes ASEAN’s continued commitment to children’s rights

30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

06 November 2019
© UNICEF/UNI204905/Sanoubane
© UNICEF/UNI204905/Sanoubane

Bangkok, 6 November 2019: UNICEF welcomes the commitments made this weekend by ASEAN member States to support children’s rights. These were made during the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand.

UNICEF notes the positive steps forward on topics that have changed childhood in the region. What children face now is very different to what they faced in 1989 and it will look very different again in another 30 years. In 1989, world leaders, made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). By 1995, all ASEAN member States had ratified the CRC.

The Reaffirmation of Commitment to Advancing the Rights of the Child, commits ASEAN leaders to 10 actions which include accelerating efforts to remove barriers that hinder child rights, safeguarding the rights of children to express themselves, and increasing social investments to lift children out of poverty.   

Migration and displacement have had a significant impact on children and their families in the region. Through the Declaration on the Rights of Children in the Context of Migration, member States reaffirm their commitment to ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all relevant policies and practices in the context of migration.

Rapid internet penetration creates fantastic opportunities for children to learn, connect and share online. However, children also face a range of risks and infringements of their privacy.

The Declaration on the Protection of Children from All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse calls on member States to strengthen laws to protect children, enhance law enforcement, ensure systems are in place so that child victims can access help, and supports digital literacy for both children and their caregivers to mitigate risks.

“Significant progress has been made by all ASEAN member States towards the achievement of children’s rights. Millions of children across the region not only survive, they also thrive. The Declarations made by ASEAN leaders during the Summit shows continued commitment by the 10 Heads of State to children and their families. 

“ASEAN is a dynamic region, where half of its 630 million citizens are under 30. The complexity of issues faced by children means that we need to act fast and effectively, leveraging political will and investing resources to make sure we protect and develop our most precious resources, children,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific.


Notes to Editors

The raft commitments made during the 35th ASEAN Summit, include: the Leaders’ Joint Statement on Reaffirmation of Commitment to Advancing the Rights of the Child in ASEAN, the Declaration on the Protection of Children from All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN; the Declaration on the Rights of Children in the Context of Migration; the Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

As well as the Bangkok Declaration on Advancing Partnership in Education for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in ASEAN; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on and ASEAN Vaccine Security and Self-Reliance; Regional Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of Victims of Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children; and Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap

For more information, please contact:

Shima Islam, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, +66 (0) 2 356 9407, ssislam@unicef.org



Media Contacts

Shima Islam
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 (0)23569407


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap

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