The NCWC works on issues relating to child protection and women’s empowerment, which are cross cutting in nature, and therefore requiring the support of all stakeholders. The NCWC since its establishment in 2004 has been fortunate in receiving the support and cooperation of its numerous and various partners, both at the national, regional and international levels.
On the women’s empowerment and gender equality front, the NCWC works closely with almost every agency including the non- government organizations (NGO) and the private sector. A Gender Focal Persons’ (GFP) network established since 2005, the NCWC now has a GFP in almost every agency. This network amongst others supports the NCWC in mainstreaming both formulation and implementation of sector/issue specific plans, policies and programs. Therefore the NCWC believes that every agency in the country is a partner towards protecting and promoting the rights of women in Bhutan.
On the promotion and protection of child rights, the NCWC works in close collaboration with various ministries and agencies like the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Information and Communication, Royal Bhutan Police, Dratshang Lhentshog, National Statistical Bureau, Bhutan National Legal Institute, Royal Court of Justice, CSO Authority, Gross National Happiness Commission, Office of the Attorney General, and Civil Society Organizations.
In addition, the NCWC works closely with relevant stakeholders when dealing with specific issues. For example, on the issue of Violence Against Women, the Royal Bhutan Police, the Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Health and the Royal Court of Justiceare significant partners. Similarly, on issues of economic empowerment, the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture are key partners.
The institutionalization of a coordination mechanism has been carried out through the identification of Child Protection Focal Points (CPFPs) in these organizations, who are entrusted with the responsibility to mainstream child protection into sector policies and plans. The CPFPs having been capacity building opportunities, are guided in fulfilling their responsibilities by the National Plan of Action on Child Protection, which was endorsed as a guiding document for mainstreaming child protection issues by the Committee of Secretaries and the Gross National Happiness Commission in 2012.
The NGOs, in particular the ones dealing with issues of women’s rights, like the RENEW, TARAYANA, SABAH Bhutan and BAOWE continue to be key partners of the NCWC. Similarly, for services towards children in need of care and protection the NCWC is working with NGOs like RENEW, YDF, Loden Foundation, Lhaksam, Draktsho Vocational Training Center for Special Children and Youth, and the Ability Bhutan Society.
Since its establishment in 2004, United Nations (UN) in Bhutan remains to be the biggest and the most consistent development partner of the NCWC. In particular, the UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and the UN WOMEN have significantly contributed to NCWC's endeavours on creating awareness and sensitization on women and children issues, capacity building and institutional strengthening, legal and policy reforms regarding issues related to gender mainstreaming, child protection, women’s participation, global and regional conventions. The Asian Development Bank since 2011 has been supporting the NCWC through the JFPR (Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction)funded project on Advancing Economic Opportunities of Women and Girls. The project came to an end in December 2014 and has been highly successful in meeting its objectives as per the findings of the impact study carried out by an independent consultant.
The SAARC Development Fund has also been supporting the NCWC through the project “South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children” (SAIEVAC) since 2012. The project has been formulated with a vision to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to enjoy their rights in an environment free from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and discrimination. The project will be ending on June 30, 2015
On an ad-hoc basis, the NCWC also collaborated with the World Bank, Representative Office of Denmark, Save the Children and IWRAW on research, institutional strengthening and capacity building fronts.