AICHR

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • Press Release: 23rd Meeting of the AICHR, 13-15 February 2017, Boracay, the Philippines
  • CSO with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR
  • First Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 5-6 December 2016, Bangkok, Thailand
  • AICHR Regional Workshop on Strengthening National Plans of Action on Trafficking in Persons to Ensure Effective Implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and ASEAN Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 1 & 2 December 2016
  • Press Release of the 22nd Meeting of the AICHR, 23-25 November 2016, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
  • Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Press Release: 23rd Meeting of the AICHR, 13-15 February 2017, Boracay, the Philippines

Posted on: 15 February, 2017

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its first meeting under the Chairmanship of the Philippines on 13 to 15 February 2017 in Boracay, the Philippines. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim, the Representative of the Philippines to the AICHR.

The 23rd Meeting of the AICHR deliberated its commemorative activities for the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, namely the AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the AICHR Booklet and Video, and the Launch of the Regional Action Plan (RAP) on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community. The RAP will be a joint undertaking between the AICHR and the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).

During its three-day meeting the AICHR extensively discussed its 2017 Priority Programmes that have expanded to new areas including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), access to education, judiciary and human rights, and right to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Meeting was also updated on the development of several ongoing thematic studies which are expected to be launched this year, namely on Legal Aid, the Right to Education, and on Women Affected by Natural Disasters.

On cross-pillar/cross-sectoral cooperation, the Meeting discussed their regular consultation with Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC) on the human rights-based approach to the implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). Other topics discussed included the proposed AICHR-ACWC Training Workshop on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the potential engagement with Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Information (SOMRI).

The Meeting agreed to convene the 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights back-to-back with the AICHR Meeting in May 2017 at the ASEAN Secretariat.

The Meeting thanked the Representative of the Philippines to the AICHR and the Government of the Philippines for their gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements for the meeting. The 24th Meeting of the AICHR will be convened at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta on 15 to 19 May 2017.

CSO with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Posted on: 4 January, 2017

The AICHR is pleased to announce the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact as a CSO with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR.

The AICHR looks forward for a meaningful and constructive engagement and interaction with the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact to further enhance cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN.

First Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 5-6 December 2016, Bangkok, Thailand

Posted on: 8 December, 2016

The Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community successfully convened its first meeting on 5 to 6 December 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Task Force was led by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR with the support from the Government of Japan through Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

The Task Force is entrusted with the mandate to draft a regional instrument that will serve to implement the ASEAN Vision 2025 on the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities across all three pillars of the ASEAN Community through consultation among relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and stakeholders in the region, including disabled people organisations (DPOs).

On the first day, the meeting was briefed by the representative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission on Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) on the international and Asia Pacific framework for the promotion and protection of the rights and persons with disabilities as well on recent global developments. During the two-day meeting, the members of the Task Force extensively discussed current situations of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN region, and exchanged views regarding the gaps in the implementation of regional framework pertaining to disability rights and relevant challenges. The Task Force also deliberated on the framework for the draft regional instrument.

The second meeting of the Task Force is scheduled to take place on 2 to 3 February 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

AICHR Regional Workshop on Strengthening National Plans of Action on Trafficking in Persons to Ensure Effective Implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and ASEAN Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 1 & 2 December 2016

Posted on: 4 December, 2016

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) conducted a Regional Workshop on Strengthening National Plans of Action on Trafficking in Persons to Ensure Effective Implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and ASEAN Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA) on 1 – 2 December 2016 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The Workshop was organized and led by the AICHR-Cambodia, with the support from the Republic of Korea (ROK) through ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund.

H.E. Keo Remy, the President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee was the Keynote Speaker of the Workshop. As the first country to ratify the ACTIP, H.E. Remy highlighted Cambodia’s commitments and efforts to counter trafficking in persons (TIP) covering various key strategies, notably the strengthening of laws and policies by enactment of various national anti-trafficking laws. In their remarks, the Chair of the AICHR, H.E. Mr Phoukhong Sisoulath and the Representative of Cambodia to the AICHR, H.E. Ms. Polyne Hean highlighted that this Workshop is part of the AICHR’s continued commitment to facilitate the mainstreaming of human rights-based approach in the implementation of the ACTIP and APA.

The Workshop was attended by relevant ASEAN Organs and Sectoral Bodies, international agencies as well as relevant Cambodian line ministries responsible for counter-trafficking. It examined the good practices and challenges of the national plans of action on TIP both inside and outside the ASEAN region. Some of the good practices highlighted include bilateral arrangements among the sending and receiving countries, the use of technology and social media to enhance anti-TIP efforts as well as the establishment of specialist units within the national agencies of the AMS to better address the issues of TIP. In terms of challenges, common issues faced by ASEAN Member States (AMS) include the limitation of resources and proper victims identification system.

The Workshop deliberated the recommendations to strengthen the national plans of action on TIP and looked into ways and means to integrate the provisions of the ACTIP and APA into the national plans of action, policies and legislation of the AMS. The relevant AMS were encouraged to ratify the ACTIP, integrate its provisions into their national plans of action and undertake mid-term stock-taking of their national plans of action to ensure their coherence with the ACTIP and APA.

 

Press Release of the 22nd Meeting of the AICHR, 23-25 November 2016, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Posted on: 29 November, 2016

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened its 22nd Meeting from 23 to 25 November 2016 in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Phoukhong Sisoulath, the Representative of Lao PDR to the AICHR.

As part of its efforts to promote human rights in ASEAN, the Meeting was briefed on the outcomes of recently held AICHR activities, the AICHR-SOMTC Consultation on Human Rights-Based Approach in the Implementation of ACTIP and APA in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the AICHR Seminar on Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility on Human Rights in ASEAN in Singapore. For its efforts to realize a more inclusive ASEAN society, the Meeting also took note of the two AICHR activities pertaining to disabilities, namely the 2nd Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community and the AICHR Training Programme on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

During this three-day meeting, the Representatives of AICHR extensively discussed programmes and activities that the AICHR will undertake in 2017 to further regional cooperation on promoting human rights in ASEAN which will cover issues such as the right to education, sustainable development goals, and sharing good practices regarding international human rights law; as well as the continuation of several AICHR programmes, including the AICHR youth debate, regional dialogue on disability, workshop on human rights, environment and climate change, and the AICHR-SOMTC second consultation. Further, the first AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law is scheduled to be held on 6 – 8 March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. The Colloquium seeks to encourage greater peer-to-peer interaction between senior apex court judges of ASEAN Member States in line with Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Marking the end of Lao PDR’s Chairmanship to the AICHR, the Meeting concluded with the handover of the AICHR Chairmanship from the Representative of Lao PDR to the Temporary Representative of the Philippines, Ambassador Belinda M. Ante. The Representatives expressed their high appreciation to H.E. Mr. Phoukhong Sisoulath for his hard work and excellent Chairmanship over the past year.

The Meeting also thanked the Government of Lao PDR for the hospitality and excellent arrangements of the Meeting. The 23rd Meeting of the AICHR will be held in February in the Philippines.

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Posted on: 18 November, 2016

The AICHR is pleased to announced the following list of  CSOs whose applications for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR are successful:

1. Human Rights Resource Center

2. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific

3. Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore

4. Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

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 in ASEAN.

Summary of Activity Report: AICHR – SOMTC Consultation Meeting on Human Rights Based-Approach in the Implementation of ACTIP and APA, Jakarta, 29-30 September 2016

Posted on: 11 November, 2016

The ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) is the first product of ASEAN that demonstrates a desire to work together as member states to combat a particular form of transnational crimes. Being a serious nature of the crime that continues to affect and take tolls on the lives of people using various modus of deception, abduction and exploitation, efforts to combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) need a human-rights based approach for a number of reasons.

First, because the modus operandi of TIP grows fast and complex, abusing existing cultural traditions (such as arranged marriages), lifestyle (such as desire to work abroad, to adopt children, or to enjoy lavish life), tourism, education, and vulnerabilities of families by using various means that is not easy to detect. Second, because the efforts to combat TIP more often lead to the victims and at individual recruiters rather than the mastermind and the demand side of the crime. Third, TIP is often mistakenly seen as merely immigration problem. Fourth, attention for victims and potential victims is only present to the extent that they are relevant for law enforcement purposes.

AICHR appreciates the warm gesture of the SOMTC to work together through a regular Consultation and Cooperation with AICHR to ensure that ASEAN’s effort to combat TIP is victim-oriented while also effective in combating the crime from its roots. This event in Jakarta is the First Consultation Meeting between AICHR and SOMTC which were attended by SOMTC Representatives, many of whom are in the leadership positions in the country’s units of anti transnational crime, the ACWC, SOMSWD, government officials and non-government organizations with consultative status of AICHR. AICHR is humbled by the enthusiastic participants who stayed fully through the event and the fruitful exchange of information and thinking to further human-rights based approach to combating TIP.

The Consultation highlighted the following points for going forward. First, AICHR noted the joint intention from the participants to continue working together across sectors with AICHR and SOMTC to implement human-rights based approach in combating TIP both through formal mechanism as well as informal means of cooperation. The informal means were usefully built through the consultation and the various activities AICHR is organizing on the topic of anti-TIP, which was recognized as needed for immediate response. Second, ASEAN noted the experience of Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore, the countries of ASEAN that have ratified ACTIP on how they prepared legal frameworks, capacity building activities, and financial support to combat TIP. ASEAN also learned how countries in Europe and the United States develop their procedures to interview victims and to investigate the crime to the roots. Third, segments of law enforcer and AICHR Representatives highlighted the importance of preventing this crime to cut down the crime cases given that investigations are taking some time and a mechanism for human-rights based approach in prosecution and victim rehabilitation is still undergoing.

As the outcome of the consultation, the participants recommended to provide tailored support for the specific needs of individual ASEAN member-states towards ratifying and strengthening ACTIP implementation. In the future, a number of delegates in the forum proposed that this AICHR consultation meeting can act as the institutionalized consultation among ASEAN bodies related to combating TIP. In addition, the SOMTC Action Plan will be studied so that there is no overlap. Furthermore, there are a number of ways to prevent TIP that need to be further explored by ASEAN sectoral bodies outside of law enforcement, including by expanding the roles of community members, parents, and survivors of TIP.

We thank AICHR Indonesia for organizing this Consultation. We also recognize the work of AICHR Vietnam to recognize the importance of various means of communication and languages to promote human-rights based approach and the work of AICHR Cambodia to facilitate dialog on developing national action plans on anti TIP.  (*)