17th Informal ASEM Human Rights Seminar (ASEMHRS17) - Training on ‘Human Rights and Children’

Training Component of the 17th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights
(9-12 April 2018, Leiden, The Netherlands)

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) had the pleasure to organise the training component of the 17th Informal Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar on Human Rights, on the theme of Human Rights and Children, in partnership with Leiden University on 9-12 April 2018, The Netherlands. It was a follow-up to the 17th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, on the same theme, that took place last year on 7-8 November 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Main Rapporteur of the 17th Seminar, Prof Ton LIEFAARD from Leiden University, Leiden Law School, led the training and drew on the recommendations presented at the end of the debates and deliberations of the Working Groups at the 17th Seminar in Bulgaria. Ms Amihan ABUEVA, Regional Executive Director of the Child Rights Coalition Asia, The Philippines, and 3rd Working Group Rapporteur, also contributed to the training as a trainer.

Ms Ophelia KANEVA, co-host of the 17th Seminar in Sofia, as the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection (Bulgaria), and current Lecturer on the Rights of the Child at the University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski", Bulgaria; also briefed the participants about the children's participation and outcomes of the first Informal ASEM Human Rights Seminar in the Balkans.

Over the course of 3.5 days 18 participants, composed of both ASEM government officials and a few civil society members, explored topical children's rights issues through a multidisciplinary approach encompassing legal, business and NGO perspective. A mix of Asian and European scholars and international child rights' experts conducted the training to give the participants a broad landscape about the problems and possible solutions affecting children rights in Asia & Europe.

The participants benefitted from the academic environment and resources of the Leiden University campuses in Leiden & The Hague. They got the opportunity to listen in on live court proceeding at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, and were tutored by renowned prosecutor Ms Gloria ATIBA-DAVIES, Head of the Gender and Children Unit in the Office of the Prosecutor, ICC. While in the Hague, the participants were also instructed by Mr. Arjen van den BERG, Deputy Head of the Asia and Oceania Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the challenges and best practices of the Netherlands and outreach efforts of his Ministry in relations to Children's Rights in Asia & Europe.

Besides sharing the Key Messages of the 17th Seminar, the training attempted to enhance participants' knowledge on Human Rights and Children in the context of Asia and Europe, and build their ability to promote and protect the rights of children in their daily work.

Should you wish to learn more about the Informal ASEM Human Rights Series, click here.