AICHR

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • Press Release: AICHR Workshop on Effective Communication Strategies to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 23 – 24 June 2016, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Press Release: AICHR Regional Forum on Media and Human Rights in ASEAN, 16 & 17 May 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • List of Civil Society Organisations with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR
  • Press Release of the 21st Meeting of the AICHR, 5 – 9 April 2016, ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta
  • List of Civil Society Organisations with Consultative Relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
  • Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Press Release: AICHR Workshop on Effective Communication Strategies to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 23 – 24 June 2016, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

Posted on: 27 June, 2016

On 23 – 24 June 2016, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the “AICHR Workshop on Effective Communication Strategies to Combat Trafficking in Persons” in Nha Trang, Viet Nam with the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The Workshop was led by H.E. Ambassador Nguyen Thi Nha, the Representative of Viet Nam to the AICHR.

The aims of the Workshop included (i) to share experiences and good practices on effective communication measures/strategies against human trafficking, (ii) to identify challenges and difficulties in communication process and mass media programs, (iii) to share good practices in developing national communication strategy on awareness raising, and in incorporating the prevention aspect in education, information and communication plan, and (iv) to exchange ideas on how other stakeholders, including the private sector, can play a role in developing communication strategies to prevent trafficking in persons.

It was attended by distinguished guests and expert speakers, which included H.E. Mr. Dao Cong Thien, the Vice-Chairman of the People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa Province, Mr David Knight, Chief of Mission for Viet Nam and Regional Coordinator for Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Ms Yukiko Okano, Minister-Counsellor, Deputy Chief of Mission of Japan to ASEAN, Chair of AICHR, Chair of ACWC, Chair of ACMW, SOMTC Representative, and AICHR Representatives. The Workshop was also attended by representatives from UN bodies, including IOM, UNODC, UNACT Trafficking Project, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Microsoft Operations, and representatives from relevant ministries.

The two-day Workshop discussed topics revolving around identifying challenges in communication process, international and regional experiences and good practices on effective communication strategies, and raising awareness on rehabilitation efforts to support victims of human trafficking in the communication plan. The expert speakers from ASEAN member states and overseas including Japan shared national experiences and good practices on communication processes in combatting trafficking in persons.

Press Release: AICHR Regional Forum on Media and Human Rights in ASEAN, 16 & 17 May 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted on: 23 May, 2016

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) organised the AICHR Regional Forum on Media and Human Rights in ASEAN on 16 and 17 May 2016 at Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur. The Forum was led by AICHR-Malaysia working in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), ASEAN Secretariat and the Regional Europe-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument, Human Rights Facility (READI, HRF).

The Forum was the first AICHR Priority Programme for 2016 led by Malaysia since H.E. Edmund Bon Tai Soon’s appointment as the new Representative of Malaysia to AICHR in April this year. It occasioned the first official engagement between AICHR and the Senior Officials’ Meeting Responsible for Information (SOMRI), the latter being the ASEAN sectoral body in charge of the media and information-related issues for ASEAN Member States.

The Forum brought together more than 100 participants from all ASEAN Member States including AICHR Representatives, representatives of government media agencies, media practitioners, academics and human rights experts.

The objective of the Forum was, among others, for AICHR to engage with the media, to inform its on-going work and to share good practices among media practitioners. Participants paid particular focus to human rights issues involving four selected groups, namely, women and children, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV and migrant workers.

H.E. Edmund Bon, in his welcoming remarks, pointed out that the media is the ‘fourth estate’ – an arm to check and balance the use (and abuse) of power. Commenting on the right to freedom of opinion, expression and information enshrined in Article 23 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), he explained that while freedom of opinion is absolute, freedom of expression may be limited. The grounds for permissible limitations are found in Article 8 of the AHRD, and they must be read narrowly. He said that such limitations must be (i) prescribed by law, (ii) pursue a legitimate aim, and (iii) be restricted to the extent necessary to attain the legitimate aim. Further, he stressed the need for AICHR to assist ASEAN Member States develop a common approach and position on human rights matters of interest – in this case, the right to freedom of opinion, expression and information – as mandated by paragraph 4.11 of AICHR’s Terms of Reference.

The Chair of SOMRI, in his speech, emphasised the need for media practitioners to uphold ethics, professionalism and standards in their dissemination of information. He reiterated that media practitioners have the responsibility to check and verify stories before they are reported in order to avoid possible conflicts.

The two-day Forum was divided into four sessions, i.e. (i) Bridging the Gaps between Human Rights & the Role of Media; (ii) Ethics and Professionalism in Reporting: Embracing Human Rights; (iii) New Media in Promoting Human Rights: Opportunities and Challenges; and (iv) Media Reporting on the Rights of women and children, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV and migrant workers.

Among others, the Forum discussed the need to promote media self-regulatory instruments in accordance with principles of international human rights law, and the means by which governments and media practitioners may work together to better promote human rights through the media. The participants also shared good practices when reporting on vulnerable groups by paying closer attention to the purpose of the reports and the language used in describing the said groups.

In the spirit that the Forum is to positively impact ASEAN’s human rights mechanism, H.E. Edmund Bon chaired two sessions at the end of each day leading to a participants’ shared ‘Outcome Document’. The Document contains observations and recommendations from the Forum for AICHR’s adoption including the drafting of an explanatory note or comment on Article 23 of the AHRD and guidelines of good practices on media reporting.

On behalf of AICHR-Malaysia, H.E. Edmund Bon will present a report on the Forum (including the Outcome Document) to AICHR, and to discuss necessary follow-up action that should be implemented.

List of Civil Society Organisations with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Posted on: 23 May, 2016

Upon deliberation at the 21st Meeting of the AICHR, the AICHR is pleased to announce the list of CSOs with successful applications for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR as follows:

  1. ASEAN Service Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC)
  2. Center for Reintegration of Ex-Prisoners into Society
  3. Human Rights and Development Foundation
  4. Institute for Strategic and Development Studies
  5. Pusat KOMAS
  6. The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations

The AICHR looks forward for a meaningful and constructive engagement and interaction with the CSOs with Consultative Relationship to further enhance cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

 

Press Release of the 21st Meeting of the AICHR, 5 – 9 April 2016, ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta

Posted on: 9 April, 2016

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its 21st Meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta from 5 to 9 April 2016.

The annual meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat is one of the two main meetings of the AICHR. This is the first time the AICHR Representatives 2016 – 2018 gathered, and the meeting was dynamic and positive. Over the course of five days, the meeting had extensive discussions over many topics, including the adoption of several Concept Papers for activities under Priority Programmes/Activities of the AICHR 2016.

In its endeavor to pragmatically promote and protect human rights in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and to fulfill the measures of the ASEAN Political Security Community Blueprint 2025, all 10 Member States will take initiatives in leading activities in 2017 when ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary.

In 2016, the AICHR will embark on activities on the following themes: trafficking in persons; rights of persons with disabilities; human rights, environment and climate change, as part of the programmatic approach that has been adopted by the AICHR.  The AICHR will also commence on a new thematic study, which focuses on the legal aid systems in all ASEAN Member States.

As part of the preparation for the AICHR’s interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, the Meeting deliberated on the AICHR Annual Report 2016 and the Priority Programmes/Activities of the AICHR 2017.

The Meeting conducted its annual interface with the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to ASEAN where the current AICHR Representatives were introduced to the CPR. As the new Representatives come from various backgrounds, the Meeting was briefed on the role and function of the CPR, particularly in relation to ASEAN Dialogue Partners and cross-pillar coordination. The launch of the ASEAN Community calls for further promotion and protection of human rights to benefit the peoples of ASEAN. The AICHR and the CPR look forward to closer coordination and enhanced working relationship through regular interaction, sharing of information and jointly organized activities.

The Meeting also conducted its annual dialogue with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh where the AICHR expressed its appreciation towards his support for the establishment of the Human Rights Division under the ASEAN Political – Security Community Department. The Meeting also discussed the strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat’s support to the work of the AICHR in realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The AICHR met with H.E. Nina Hachigian, the U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN. Her Excellency expressed the U.S.’ continued support towards the building of a people-oriented, people-centered, and rules-based ASEAN Community, through the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS programme.

The AICHR received H.E. Fransisco Fontan Pardo, the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, and expressed its appreciation for the continued support of the EU to the work of the ASEAN human rights mechanisms.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for the excellent arrangements of the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place on 2 to 3 July 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

List of Civil Society Organisations with Consultative Relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

Posted on: 17 February, 2016

Upon deliberation at the 19th Meeting of the AICHR, the AICHR is pleased to announce the list of CSOs with successful applications for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR as follows:

  1. Child Rights Coalition Asia
  2. MARUAH (Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Singapore)
  3. Persatuan Penyandang Disabilitas Indonesia
  4. Save the Children Philippines
  5. The Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation

The AICHR looks forward for a meaningful and constructive engagement and interaction with the CSOs with Consultative Relationship to further enhance cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

 

Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Posted on: 15 February, 2016

Application Form for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) applying for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR is now available.

Those wishing to have their application discussed at the next AICHR Meeting which will be held from 5 to 9 April 2016, please submit the Application Form along with supporting documents by 1st March 2016 .

  Application Form for Consultative Relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) (20.5 KiB, 0 hits)

For more details, please refer to:

  Guidelines on the AICHR’s Relations with Civil Society Organisations (525.6 KiB, 2,298 hits)

Press Release of the 20th Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Vientiane, Lao PDR, 4 – 5 February 2016

Posted on: 5 February, 2016

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened the 20th Meeting of the AICHR on 4 and 5 February 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Phoukhong Sisoulath, the Chair of the AICHR and the Representative of Lao PDR to the AICHR. The Meeting was the first regular meeting under the Chairmanship of Lao PDR and the first for the AICHR Representatives during 2016-2018 term.

Prior to the 20th AICHR Meeting, the AICHR conducted a Workshop on Transition (“the Workshop”) between the AICHR Representatives 2013 – 2015 and the AICHR Representatives 2016 – 2018. The Workshop aimed to facilitate smooth transition of the work already undertaken and ensure good continuity of the institutional arrangements of the AICHR.  The Workshop discussed the overview on key documents of AICHR, project achievements, as well as the status of implementation of AICHR Five Year Work Plan and Annual Priority Programmes. Further, this one-day workshop provided an excellent venue for dialogue and sharing of experiences between the outgoing and incoming Representatives on the challenges facing the AICHR, issues carried forward and the emerging issues. One of the highlight of the workshop was on how the AICHR should continue its endeavor to mainstream human rights across all pillars of ASEAN, especially in light of the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

The 20th Meeting of the AICHR commenced with the discussion of priority activities that will be undertaken in 2016. Several of the activities built on the projects already undertaken by the AICHR, such as the 2nd AICHR Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, where this year the AICHR is focusing on the right to health, right to education and right to employment for persons with disabilities;  the AICHR Seminar on Promoting CSR and Human Rights in ASEAN, which will work on the recommendations from the  baseline study the AICHR conducted for its Thematic Study on CSR and Human Rights; and the Annual Consultation on Human Rights-based Approach in the Implementation of ACTIP and APA; the AICHR Regional Forum on Media and Human Rights; the AICHR Youth Debates on Human Rights, which will be the third Youth Debate to be conducted. These activities indicate the shift into a more consistent and programmatic approach of AICHR’s projects.

Following the recent placement of the dedicated unit for the AICHR under the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the Meeting was briefed on the recently convened Eighth Coordinating Conference for the ASEAN Political-Security Community which discussed on the implementation of action lines under the APSC Blueprint 2025 by ASEAN Sectoral Bodies under the Political-Security pillar.

The Meeting thanked the Representative of Lao PDR to the AICHR and the government of Lao PDR for the hospitality and excellent arrangements for the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta.