The SAARC Secretariat is established by the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), an economic and geopolitical co-operation body among the eight member states of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is based in Kathmandu, Nepal and provides services of coordination, monitoring and implementation of activities, and serves as a channel of communication between the Association and its Member States as well as other regional organizations. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General, whose appointment is recommended by the member states and approved by the Council of Ministers from Member States in alphabetical order for a 3 year term and is assisted by 8 Directors on deputation from the Member States. SAIEVAC, as the first ever regional body to represent the cause of South Asian children at the highest level of SAARC, received recognition as an Apex Body of SAARC in 2011 during the 17th SAARC Summit. SAIEVAC is closely guided by the SAARC Charter and the mandates of the SAARC Secretariat in its overall policies and programme implementation.
SAARC Development Fund (SDF)
The Thirteenth SAARC Summit held in Dhaka from in November 2005 reconstituted the SADF ‘South Asian Development Fund (SADF) into SDF to serve as the “umbrella financial mechanism” for all SAARC projects and programmes in the SAARC region. The SDF has a permanent Secretariat in Thimphu, Bhutan with three Windows (Social, Economic, Infrastructure). Whereas the Social Window primarily focuses on poverty alleviation and social development projects, the Infrastructure Window covers projects in the areas of energy, power, transportation, telecommunications, environment, tourism and other infrastructural areas. The Economic Window primarily is devoted to non-infrastructural funding. SAIEVAC has received long term funding support from the SDF since 2012 to plan and implement projects that contribute to creating an environment free from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and discrimination against children in all the eight SAARC member states.
South Asian Coordinating Group for Ending Violence Against Women and Children (SACG)
SACG is a network of UN agencies, INGO’s and other actors working together at the regional level in South Asia to coordinate actions against violence against women and children.
SACG collaborates closely with other global and regional forums and bodies working on ending violence against women and children such as SAARC, the Office of the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children and the Working group on violence against children in South East Asia.
SACG Objectives :
- Strengthen networking among the SACG member agencies building an alliance to prevent, address and end violence against women, girls and boys.
- Promote a coordinated approach in preventing violence and protecting women and children by strengthening protection systems.
- Engage in collaboration with other global and regional forums and bodies working on ending violence against women and children such as SAARC.
- Provide necessary technical and other support to South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) and participate in SAIEVAC technical meetings as observers and resource bodies.
SACG was chosen to guide and provide technical and financial support first to SAF and lately to SAIEVAC, because of it’s presence in the region and relevant experience related to exploitation and violence against women and children
The SAIEVAC process gained focus and momentum because of the committed support of the SACG and their close collaboration with the member states.
SACG supports SAIEVAC:
- Support and collaborate with the SAIEVAC Secretariat
Provide support to the SAIEVAC Secretariat in furthering their mandate and activities and in organizing high level meetings and technical workshops;
Help building linkages between SAIEVAC Secretariat and other regional and global mechanisms / entities.
- Support the implementation of the SAIEVAC Workplan
Support implementing the five year SAIEVAC Work Plan, through research, documentation, resource mobilization, fund raising, sharing of best practices, capacity and training programmes, exchange visits and any other activity as agreed between SAIEVAC and SACG Members
Cooperate with Governments and civil society including children to implement the SAIEVAC Work Plan in order to achieve by 2015 the core areas specific objectives and indicators.
- Support SAIEVAC in advocating on ending violence in South Asia
To promote policies and programmes towards ending violence, guided by a rights-based and evidence-based approach with governments, SAIEVAC, SAARC, I/NGOs and groups of women, children and young people.
- Provide input to SAIEVAC by building knowledge base on violence issues in South Asia
Based on the emerging areas of research, to work collectively to build evidence based information and knowledge, which will provide input to the SAIEVAC thematic meetings as well as for other regional initiatives.
- Strengthen SAIEVAC’s regional monitoring on violence issues in South Asia
To support SAIEVAC in monitoring the implementation and progress of global and regional commitments on ending violence including the CRC and its Optional Protocols, CEDAW, SAARC Conventions. Additionally to assist SAIEVAC in the follow-up of the UN Study on Violence against Children and the UN Study on Violence against Women recommendations, Global Congresses against Sexual Exploitation of Children, SAIEVAC Regional Preparatory Consultation against Sexual Exploitation of Children and SAIEVAC Regional Consultations on Violence against Children.
- For further information about SACG, download TOR
- Download list of members
South Asia Coordinating Group on Action against Violence in Children and Women (SACG)
List of Members and Observers
|International Labour Organisation Decent Work Technical Support Team (ILO DWT) for South Asia – CHAIR of SACG|
|World Vision International Asia Pacific Regional Office (WVI APRO) – co-CHAIR of SACG|
|Child Helpline International, represented by CWIN|
|UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA)|
|Save the Children Regional Representation|
|SOS Children’s Villages International, Continental Office for Asia|
|Terre des Hommes|
|United Nations Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for South Asia (UNFPA SRO)|
|United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office (UNHCR RO)|
|United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for South Asia (UNODC ROSA)|
|Plan International Asia Regional Office|
|Delegation of the European Union in Nepal|
|Save the Children in Nepal|
|SOS Children’s Villages Nepal ( or member, when representing the Continental Office)|
|World Vision, Nepal ( or member, when representing the Regional Office)|
National Action and Coordinating Group against Violence against Women and Children (NACG)
A National Action and Coordinating Group against Violence against Women and Children (NACG) is established in each South Asia Country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and linkages are developed to the regional South Asia Coordinating Group on Action against Violence against Women and Children (SACG). The purpose is to strengthen inter-agency work including with governments and children groups to end violence against women and children.
NACG is composed of UN agencies, multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies, NGOs, civil society organizations, children and young people’s group.
Some of NACG objectives are:
- To strengthen networking among the agencies at national level, building a national alliance to prevent, address and end violence against women, children, girls and boys.
- To promote rights based and coordinated approach to preventing violence and protecting women and children by strengthening national and community based protection systems at all levels.
- To engage in collaboration with global and national forums and bodies working on ending violence against women and children, such as the Office of the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children.
- To actively encourage and support national level inter-agency cooperation at all levels such as cooperation with and between government, UN agencies, INGO’s and civil society organisations including children and young people to ensure adequate coverage and availability of child protection services.
- To actively link with the SACG at the regional level, collaborate and provide support to the regional initiatives.
NACG supports SAIEVAC:
- Support and Collaborate with the SAIEVAC Governing Board Members/Coordinator, and National SAIEVAC Mechanisms
- Support the implementation of the SAIEVAC Workplan
- To advocate with SAIEVAC Governing Board Members and SAIEVAC Coordinators on ending violence at the national level and in South Asia
- To institutionalize child participation at National Level
- To strengthen children initiative at the SAIEVAC children’s regional and national forum
- To support meaningful participation of children in SAIEVAC work and processes.
South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law, (SAARCLAW) represents the legal fraternity of the SAARC member countries comprising judges, lawyers, academicians, law teachers, public officers and a host of other law-related persons. It is duly registered with the SAARC Secretariat at Kathmandu and awarded the status of a Regional Apex Body Of SAARC. It owes its origin to the desire of the members of the legal community to establish an association within the SAARC region to disseminate information and to promote an understanding of the concerns and developments of the region.
SAARCLAW was established in Colombo on 24th October 1991, with affiliate Country Chapters established in all SAARC countries now. In its nineteen years of operation the members of SAARCLAW have persistently worked towards the achievement of its objectives of bringing together the legal communities within the region for closer co-operation, development of understanding, promotion of exchange of ideas and dissemination of information, and to use and develop law as a source and an instrument towards social change for development as well as for building co-operation among the peoples of the region. SAIEVAC has signed a MOU with SAARCLAW in October 2013, in order to mutually help the Member States to strive towards the goal of Ending Violence Against Children based on the outcome/recommendations of the SAARCLAW SAIEVAC Conference on Child Protection and Constitutionalism, and the concomitant directives or guidance so contained in the Thimphu Declaration of the 9th SAARC Chief Justices Conference.
Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG) on Violence Against Children
In 2002, the Secretary General conducted an in-depth study on the question of violence against children, following a recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children (A/61/299), led by Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, addressed violence against children in five settings: the family, schools, alternative care institutions and detention facilities, places where children work and communities. The Study called for urgent action to prevent and respond to all forms of violence and presented a set of strategic recommendations.
To promote dissemination of the Study and ensure effective follow up to its recommendations,
the Secretary General on May 1st, 2009 announced the appointment of Marta Santos Pais (Portugal) as his Special Representative on Violence against Children.
Roles and Responsibilities
The SRSG reports directly to the UN Secretary General, chairs the United Nations Inter Agency Working Group on Violence against Children and collaborates closely with a wide range of partners, within and beyond the UN system.
She is a global independent advocate in favour of the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against children.
SRSG’s responsibilities are as follows:
- To act as a bridge builder and a catalyst of actions in all regions, and across sectors and settings where violence against children may occur.
- To mobilize action and political support to maintain momentum around this agenda and generate renewed concern at the harmful effects of violence on children; to promote behavioural and social change, and to achieve effective progress.
- To cooperate closely with human rights bodies and mechanisms, with UN funds and programmes and specialized agencies, and with regional organizations.
- To promote cooperation with national institutions and civil society organizations, including children and young people.
Watch the Video here – SRSG Marta Santos Pais addresses children consultation
- To know more about SRSG’s violence against children mandate, key priorities and click here
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) is a Regional Non-Governmental Organization based in Bangkok, Thailand. AFPPD functions as a coordinating body of 26 National Committees of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. AFPPD engages with parliamentarians from Asia and the Pacific region to champion policies on population and development. AFPPD educates, motivates, involves, and mobilises parliamentarians on the linkages between increasing population and development issues such as reproductive health, family planning, food security, water resources, sustainable development, environment, ageing, urbanization, migration, HIV/AIDS and gender equality. AFPPD serves as the regional secretariat of the national parliamentarian committees, in supporting their efforts to improve the living standard and welfare of the people in Asia and the Pacific. SAIEVAC and AFPPD have agreed in principle to sign a MOU sometime in the middle of 2014 to address mutually beneficial issues. Among other things, SAIEVAC-SAARCLAW-AFPPD will also meet to set in motion a 3-year Plan of Co-operation before the end of 2014.