Promoting Social Inclusion in South East Asia

23 April 2014

Delegations from the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste discussed ways to improve social inclusion policies during an event co-hosted by Trinity College Dublin's Centre for Global Health in Bali earlier this month.

Entitled Support to policy making and planning for social inclusion of disadvantaged groups and communities in South-East Asia, the event was jointly organised by UNESCO, Trinity Centre for Global Health and the University of Melbourne's Nossal Institute for Global Health. 

Mr Charaf Ahmimed from UNESCO, Professor of Global Health Malcolm MacLachlan, Trinity Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, and Dr Hasheem Mannan, University of Melbourne, Nossal Institute for Global Health and formerly of Trinity, presented methodologies developed by their institutions to address the issue of social inclusion.

Well attended by government representatives, development partners, UN agencies, international organisations and CSOs, the meeting also provided room for sharing projects that have had an impact on addressing social inclusion. Delegations learned about the change made by community empowerment programmes in all the five countries. Youth groups from Malaysia and the Philippines presented their experiences working with disadvantaged communities. Delegations discussed a wide range of measures to improve social inclusion policies among which the need to develop indicators for measurement; the importance of paying special attention to youth and particularly to youth unemployment and the special effort required to make a transition from a service delivery approach to a rights a based approach.  

As a follow up to this meeting UNESCO, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Melbourne will be supporting further work regarding the assessment of social inclusion policies in South-East Asia. 

Following the meeting, Professor MacLachlan co-facilitated a consultation workshop with Priscille Geiser of Handicap International on "Priorities to strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Asia".  Handicap International and Disabled People's Organisations from Indonesia, China, Laos, Timor Leste, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar. 

This work builds on the Centre for Global Health's on-going collaboration with Handicap International; which includes Handicap International translating the EquiFrame Manual into French to facilitate its use within its programme countries.  EquiFrame was developed through an FP7 funded project to contribute to the analysis and revision of policies in order to promote human rights and social inclusion in them. By combining the Handicap International 'Making it Work' methodology of identifying good practices of UNCRPD implementation, with EquiFrame policy analysis, the centre it is hoped to combine community-level action with policy level implementation.

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