Asian Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA) has released the “Engaging with the ‘New’ ASEAN” report highlighting the need for civil society to collaborate with ASEAN members to improve reproductive and health rights of women and youth in the region. The report also provides an overview of the sexual and reproductive health trends in ASEAN countries and recommendations on opportunities for civic engagement.
Huge inequalities exist in health rights among and within the member states. Compared to countries in South Asia, ASEAN members in South-East Asia have a higher rate of unsafe abortion at 14-16%. A quarter of the population in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam lack access to family planning needs. Migrants, displaced persons, youth, and disabled persons continue to be among the underserved population in these countries. The report plans to address these glaring disparities through collaboration between ASEAN states.
When speaking about the resource kit, Dr. Gill Geer, one of the authors of the kit and Time plus Talents Director and former Director General of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), said, "This is a critical time for civil society to engage with ASEAN and we hope this resource kit will serve as a useful tool to assist the many strong advocates in this region to engage and promote these rights within the ASEAN structure and bodies to achieve their ambitious vision for the region.”
The report comes at a crucial time as the region is working to develop new regional documents including the ASEAN Human Rights Development (AHRD) report and host the Asian Summit scheduled to be held from 18-20th November, 2012.
To learn more about the press release, click here.