AICHR

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • Press Release: AICHR Study Visit to Australia, 4-7 December 2017
  • Press Release: 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights 29 November 2017, Bohol, the Philippines
  • AICHR Reviews ASEAN’s Implementation of the AHRD with Partners, SOMs and CSOs
  • Press Release: 25th Meeting of the AICHR, 26-27 November 2017, Bohol, Philippines
  • ASEAN conduct training on the linkages between business activities and human rights
  • Press Release: AICHR Regional Dialogue on Mainstreaming of the Right to Education in the ASEAN Community, 10-12 November 2017, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Press Release: AICHR Study Visit to Australia, 4-7 December 2017

Posted on: 12 December, 2017

The AICHR meets the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, MP.

On 4-7 December 2017, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) went on a Study Visit in Sydney and Canberra, Australia organized by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The AICHR delegation, which had representatives from all ASEAN Member States, was led by H.E. Leo M. Herrera-Lim of the Philippines.

During the Visit, AICHR interfaced with the AHRC Commissioners and senior executives, led by its President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher.   AICHR also met with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the different Australian governmental departments that deal directly with gender equality in the workplace, people smuggling and human trafficking.

One of the key highlights of AICHR’s Visit was a call on Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, MP.

AICHR also received briefings on the Australian High Court and the priorities of Australia in the Human Rights Council when it starts its term next year.  AICHR also had met with the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), Disabled Peoples Organizations Australia (DPOA), civil society groups and lawyers’ groups.

On the last day of the Study Visit, AICHR went to the Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education Training Centre.

The Study Visit fostered closer relations between AHRC and AICHR and built upon the engaging interface AICHR had with Australian Ambassador to ASEAN Jane Duke and AHRC Commissioner Ed Santow in May 2017 and focused on many key priority areas of AICHR’s programme for 2017.

Press Release: 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights 29 November 2017, Bohol, the Philippines

Posted on: 30 November, 2017

On the 29th of November 2017, the European Union (EU) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held the 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights, in Bohol in the Philippines. The meeting was hosted by AICHR and followed the 1st EU-ASEAN dialogue held in October 2015 in Brussels.

The dialogue was co-chaired on the ASEAN side by H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim, Chair of AICHR, and on the EU side by Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

Also participating in the dialogue were the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) and the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC).

The second Policy Dialogue on Human Rights was held in an open and constructive atmosphere. The two sides expressed their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties as well as the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and other human rights related regional instruments, and exchanged views about recent developments in human rights in ASEAN and in the EU.

Topics addressed during the Policy Dialogue included trafficking in persons, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, rights of the child, rights of migrant workers, business and human rights / corporate social responsibility, as well as rights of persons with disabilities.

The EU and ASEAN agreed to continue their cooperation and identified specific areas where the EU and ASEAN would work more closely together, including trafficking in persons, business and human rights as well as women’s and children’s rights, and the rights of migrant workers. They agreed to explore holding their next dialogue in 2018.

AICHR Reviews ASEAN’s Implementation of the AHRD with Partners, SOMs and CSOs

Posted on: 30 November, 2017

The great strides ASEAN has made in the field of human rights towards ensuring a more equal, just and peaceful ASEAN Community was celebrated on 28 November 2017. As part of its commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, and on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration 2012 (AHRD), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) on 28 November 2017 in Bohol, the Philippines. The RTD was a  platform to discuss the AHRD with representatives of ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Consultative Relationship with the AICHR.

The AHRD is the foundation of the AICHR’s work in the region. The AHRD affirms all the civil and political rights, and all the economic, social and cultural rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, and includes newly-recognised collective rights to a sustainable environment, to development, and to peace. It provides a framework for human rights co-operation and consultation between ASEAN Member States in advancing ASEAN’s aspiration to be a rules-based, people-oriented and people-centred Community. It was adopted through the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the AHRD on 18 November 2012 where the ASEAN Leaders affirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the AHRD to advance the promotion and protection of human rights in the region.

The RTD highlighted the importance of the AHRD, and allowed the delegates to take stock of the current ASEAN rights landscape; gaps and challenges faced by the region; and opportunities to enhance the AICHR’s efforts in mainstreaming human rights values to all three ASEAN Pillars.

The first session gathered the participation of ASEAN officials working on the issues of labour; migrant workers; women and children; health development; education; and information and media. The session noted attending bodies’ commitment to support each other’s upcoming activities and develop new formats of collaboration to enhance the implementation of ASEAN’s commitment on human rights.

Pursuant to the AICHR’s on-going efforts to broaden and deepen partnerships with CSOs, the AICHR has now accredited 22 CSOs, and more applications are pending. The second session of the RTD saw a robust and constructive dialogue between the AICHR and CSOs in Consultative Relationship with the AICHR. Delegates highlighted the complementarity between the AHRD and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and explored means for more effective engagement with the AICHR using the AHRD as the region’s reference point.

The RTD was jointly organised by AICHR Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia with the support of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument Human Rights Facility (READI-HRF).

Press Release: 25th Meeting of the AICHR, 26-27 November 2017, Bohol, Philippines

Posted on: 28 November, 2017

The AICHR held its 25th Meeting of the AICHR on 26 to 27 November 2017 in Bohol, the Philippines. The Meeting was chaired by the Representative of the Philippines to the AICHR, H.E. Mr. Leo Herrera-Lim.

The two-day meeting discussed the implementation of AICHR priority programmes/activities and took note of the reports of the AICHR-ACWC Training Workshop on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 2nd Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instrument, and the Executive Summary of the Record of Proceedings of the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law. The Meeting was briefed on the upcoming AICHR workshops relating to education for children with disabilities and the right to health, and the convening of the Roundtable Discussion on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) to commemorate 50th anniversary of ASEAN and 5th anniversary of the AHRD.

The Meeting was also updated on the progress of several thematic studies currently undertaken by the AICHR, including on the right to education and the right to peace.

The AICHR also held an award ceremony for the winners of the ASEAN Youth Video Competition: “ASEAN Against Trafficking: Humans are not for Sale” on the sidelines of the Meeting. The award ceremony showcased the winning videos from Cambodia (Regional Winner) and Malaysia (People’s Choice Award Winner).

Concluding the Meeting with AICHR chairmanship handover ceremony, the Meeting expressed their high appreciation to H.E. Mr. Leo Herrera-Lim and the Philippines for the excellent chairmanship, and welcomed Singapore for their chairmanship in 2018.

The 26th Meeting of the AICHR will be held in Singapore in January 2018.

ASEAN conduct training on the linkages between business activities and human rights

Posted on: 21 November, 2017

BANGKOK, 21 November 2017- The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the AICHR Training Programme on Business and Human Rights on 13-16 November in Bangkok, Thailand. The discussions revolved around the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights in ASEAN. The training brought together around 100 participants and resource persons from the AICHR, representatives of relevant ministries and chambers of commerce from the ASEAN Member States, Dr. Surya Deva (Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights), representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), civil society organisations, business enterprises and academics

In the opening session, H.E. Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, underscored that this activity is part of the AICHR’s continuous effort to conduct trainings on relevant human rights issues in ASEAN. This year’s training intended to provide an overview on the UNGP which affirmed role of business enterprises in the fulfilment of human rights. Dr. Nonthasoot highlighted that “realising the UNGP on business and human rights could help ASEAN to become a people centered people oriented Community.”

During the four-days training, the participants discussed the development and implementation of the UNGP, which are grounded in the recognition of States’ existing human rights obligations, obligation of business enterprises to comply with applicable laws and to respect human rights, as well as the need for appropriate and effective remedies. It was noted that business enterprises have a key part in addressing human rights violations resulting from business activities. They are, therefore, encouraged to instill human rights in its mission and vision to prevent harm to the society and the environment.

Resource persons from the ASEAN Member States shared their experiences in developing National Action Plans (NAPs) in their respective countries. One of the points highlighted by the participants was the need for ASEAN to develop a regional framework on business and human rights to further forged the agenda on business and human rights in the region. On the third day, the participants went for field trips to the Judicial Training Institute of Thailand (JTI) and Stock Exchange of Thailand where they discussed how the principles of the UNGP are being implemented in Thailand.

This activity was organised by AICHR Thailand with support from partners, including the Department of Rights and Liberty Protection of the Ministry of Justice Thailand, the UNDP, and the ASEAN CSR Network, with the support of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument Human Rights Facility (READI HRF). The Minister of Justice of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, kindly came to open the programme.

Press Release: AICHR Regional Dialogue on Mainstreaming of the Right to Education in the ASEAN Community, 10-12 November 2017, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Posted on: 16 November, 2017

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the AICHR Regional Dialogue on Mainstreaming of the Right to Education in the ASEAN Community. The three-day Dialogue aims at: (a) raising awareness of the right to education as a cross-cutting issue in ASEAN; (b) garnering inputs from ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and stakeholders to mainstream the right to education across the three community pillars of ASEAN; and (c) creating a platform to strengthen regional cooperation on education and human rights.

The Dialogue gathered more than eighty participants, coming from the ASEAN Member States, the AICHR, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, as well as various stakeholders of ASEAN and its partners – including the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED), ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM), Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Representative of Cambodia to the AICHR, H.E. Polyne Hean, underscored that mainstreaming the right to education requires a concerted effort as the challenges and barriers to realising that right are cross-cutting in nature. In the Keynote Speech, H.E. Keo Remy, President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee and Secretary of State of the Office of the Council of Ministers, emphasised that in order to make education a meaningful right, it should be available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable. He highlighted some of ASEAN’s commitments and initiatives in the realisation of the right to education, among others, the 2009 “Cha Am Hua Hin Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve ASEAN Caring and Sharing Community” and the “ASEAN Community Vision 2025”. He recognised and underlined education as a fundamental human right and as an empowering right in itself.

The experts and participants shared good practices and challenges to enhancing the right to quality and inclusive education and discussed possible ways forward for the AICHR as well as ASEAN’s bodies to contribute to the mainstreaming of the right to education across the three Community Pillars of ASEAN. Discussions by the participants highlighted common points such as the lack of quality teachers, budgetary challenges, gaps between urban and rural schools, disaster resilience, the need for an inclusive education, and lack of reliable disaggregated data. They also highlighted that partnerships play a key role in tackling these issues and to find possible ways forward.

At the end of the Dialogue, Group Discussions discussed ways and means to mainstream the right to education across the three Community Pillars of ASEAN; and identified possible approaches to enhance the right to quality and access to different levels of education (e.g. basic education, higher education, technical and vocational education and training, lifelong learning, disaster risk reduction, education for sustainable development, and education through the use of ICT). At the close of the Dialogue, the Representative of Cambodia to the AICHR, as the host, expressed confidence that the Dialogue would be a strong platform to strengthen regional cooperation on education and human rights.

The Dialogue is organised by the AICHR-Cambodia with the support of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF).

ANNOUNCEMENT: Winners of the ASEAN Youth Video Competition: “ASEAN Against Trafficking: Humans are not for Sale”

Posted on: 9 November, 2017

We are pleased to announce the Regional Winner and People’s Choice Award Winner for the ASEAN Youth Video: “ASEAN Against Trafficking: Humans are not for Sale”.

  • Regional Winner:  Chhorn Soklin from Cambodia with a video entitled “Nightmare”

This video tells a story of Sophie, a girl who was a victim of human trafficking and became an agent who spread awareness of human trafficking to other people specially women and children. The link to the video, https://www.facebook.com/aseansecretariat/videos/10155791371753854/

  • People’s Choice Award Winner: Muhammad Asraf Bin Ab Aziz from Malaysia with a video entitled “Nasir” 

The video portrays the grief of a father whose child falls victim to trafficking. The link to the video, https://www.facebook.com/aseansecretariat/videos/vl.353920421698520/10155791390268854/?type=1

The winners are invited for the Award Ceremony on 27 November 2017 in Bohol, the Philippines.

We would like to thank all participants for their creative work to raise awareness of ASEAN youth on the inter-relatedness between human rights and trafficking in persons (TIP).

The ASEAN Youth Video Competition was co-organised by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR).