Joint Statement: ASEAN and SAARC must put children’s rights at the heart of COVID-19 response

As the world grapples to address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, there is a growing need for a  collective, coherent, and multi-stakeholder response to the pandemic. We welcome that the two intergovernmental regional bodies – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) –  have declared their commitments to take regional-level measures to fight the pandemic and address its impacts.

We call on ASEAN, SAARC, and their respective Member States to ensure the application of a child rights-based approach in their decisions and actions on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, as it has been recommended by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.