The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has appointed Dr Kenneth Poon Kin-Loong as the new Singapore Government Representative for children’s rights on the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). His term of appointment will be for three years with effect from 7 April 2022.
2 Dr Poon is currently the Co-Director for Centre for Research in Child Development at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where he has been an Associate Professor and Associate Dean since 2014 and 2016 respectively. He is also a Board Member of National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and President of Rainbow Centre, a social service agency that aims to empower persons with disabilities through early intervention and special education programmes for children with disabilities.
3 Over the past two decades of his career, Dr Poon has made significant contributions to the children and youth sector, serving as the co-Chairperson of the Inclusive Preschool Workgroup from 2019 to 2021, and a member of the Panel of Advisors in the Youth Court from 2007 to 2021. As a member of the Second Enabling Masterplan Steering Committee from 2012 to 2016, he worked on the recommendations to improve the early intervention sector. He was also a member of the Advisory Panel on Standards and Professionalism for Early Intervention (APEI) from 2014 to 2017.
4 On the international front, Dr Poon serves as Treasurer for the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Council, an international organisation dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability and related developmental disabilities.
5 Dr Poon will succeed Mr Koh Choon Hui who is the current representative for children’s rights. Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli thanked Mr Koh for his contributions over his term: “As a pioneer representative who outstandingly served his role for 12 years, Mr Koh has been instrumental to the growth of the commission. Notably, his contributions include co-leading the development of the Declaration on the Elimination of Bullying of Children in ASEAN which was adopted during the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits in 2021, as well as co-hosting a training workshop for ASEAN participants on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 2017.”
6 Minister Masagos also extended his welcome to Dr Poon, “Dr Poon’s experience in the youth sector and his work advancing the interests of children puts him in a strong position to represent Singapore on issues relating to the welfare and progress of children on the ACWC.”
About the ACWC
The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was inaugurated in April 2010 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 16th ASEAN Summit. The establishment of the ACWC is aimed at, among others, promoting the well-being, development and participation of women and children in ASEAN. One of the mandates of the Commission is to develop policies, programmes, and innovative strategies to promote and protect the rights of women and children to complement the building of the ASEAN Community.
Twenty Representatives (one for women’s rights and one for children’s rights) have been appointed by the ASEAN Member States to the Commission. Singapore’s representatives are Mrs Laura Hwang (for women’s rights) and Dr Kenneth Poon Kin-Loong (for children’s rights).