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The ASEAN Community Council has under its purview the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and is supported by the relevant Senior Officials. Each Community Council meets twice a year. The ASEAN Community Council is comprised of three main bodies:

  • ASEAN Political-Security Community Council
  • ASEAN Economic Community Council
  • ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council

Each of the above Councils represents one of the three integral pillars of the ASEAN Vision 2020 Document, dedicated to establishing a unified ASEAN community. Each one of these Community Council’s work is directed by a ‘Community Blueprint’ and is supported by relevant sectoral ministerial bodies.

Each Community Council is responsible for (Article 9, ASEAN Charter):

  • Ensuring the implementation of the relevant decisions of the ASEAN Summit
  • Coordinating the work of the different sectors under its purview and on issues which cut across the other Community Councils
  • Submitting reports and recommendations to the ASEAN Summit on matters under its purview

How does it help tackle violence against women?

Each one of the ASEAN’s human rights bodies falls under the authority of the Community Councils, as well as ministerial bodies related to promoting women’s issues in ASEAN. Both the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children and the ASEAN Women’s Committee operate under the authority of the Socio-cultural Community Council, while the ASEAN Intergovernmental Council works under the Political and Security Community Council.

By overseeing these bodies, the Community Councils are able to provide added support to their work. For example, as one of its strategic measures to promote and protect human rights, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Blueprint dedicates itself to enhancing:

…regional initiatives and stakeholder participation to promote the elimination of all forms of discrimination–institutionalised or otherwise–exploitation, trafficking, harmful practices, and violence and abuse against children, women, persons with disabilities, youths, migrant workers, the elderly/older persons, and victims/survivors of trafficking in persons, ethnic minority groups, and vulnerable and marginalised groups.

In addition to reviewing the AICHR’s Terms of Reference, the Political and Security Council also supports the AICHR’s work through the publication of their reports and mainstreaming human rights through other bodies under its authority.

ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies

The ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies are comprised of the ministers of specific sectors. For example, all the labour ministers of all the member countries will make up one sectoral ministerial body: the ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting. Women’s issues are currently under the responsibility of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women, however the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of women and Children reports to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development.

Each ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body is responsible for:

  • Implementing the agreements and decisions of the ASEAN Summit under their respective purview
  • Strengthening cooperation in their respective fields in support of ASEAN integration and community building
  • Submitting reports and recommendations to their respective Community Councils

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