AICHR

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • 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 of the 20th Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Vientiane, Lao PDR, 4 – 5 February 2016
  • Press Release: The AICHR Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 1 – 3 December 2015, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Press Release of the 19th Meeting of the AICHR, 27 – 29 November 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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, 2,011 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.

 

Press Release: The AICHR Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 1 – 3 December 2015, Bangkok, Thailand

Posted on: 4 December, 2015

On 1st to 3rd December 2015, the ASEAN Intergovernmental on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened its first Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community with the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The regional dialogue was led by the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, H.E. Dr. Seree Nonthasoot. The event was also conducted in commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December), with its theme of “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”.

The regional dialogue was one of the three activities on persons with disabilities in the ASEAN region.  It aimed to raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and find common regional approaches and strategies towards mainstreaming these rights both at the ASEAN and ASEAN Member States (AMS) levels. The regional dialogue highlighted the structural challenge of mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities across the three pillars of ASEAN.

It was attended by distinguished guests and expert speakers, which included the Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, H.E. Koichi Aiboshi, ACWC Representatives, SOMSWD Representatives, AICHR Representatives,  Attached to the Secretariat of Prime Minister Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Ms Anusree Tubsuwan, Member of the Legislative Assembly and Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr Monthian Buntan, and General Manager of Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), Mr. Ryuhei Sano. The regional dialogue was also attended by representatives from Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), social welfare ministries, lawmakers, universities, UN bodies, media practitioners, and from the private sectors from ASEAN Member States.

The three-day regional dialogue discussed topics pertaining to good practices and lessons learned in mainstreaming the promotion and protection of the rights persons with disabilities, national responses to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, making the rights of persons with disabilities a reality, and gender perspectives in realising the rights of persons with disabilities. The expert speakers from ASEAN member states and overseas including Japan shared national experiences in promoting an inclusive and productive society for persons with disabilities.

In 2016, the AICHR is planning to conduct the next two activities to follow up on the success of the Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community. The activities will focus on the development of Regional Plan of Actions or Guidelines for the Mainstreaming of the Rights of PWDs, including Training on the Rights of Persons with Disability for ASEAN stakeholders.

Press Release of the 19th Meeting of the AICHR, 27 – 29 November 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted on: 29 November, 2015

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened its 19th Meeting from 27 to 29 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the Chair of the AICHR and the Representative of Malaysia to the AICHR.

During the course of three days meeting, the Representatives of AICHR discussed several concept papers which will be implemented in 2016. The Meeting also agreed on a new thematic study it will undertake, namely the AICHR Thematic Study on Women Affected by Natural Disasters.

The Meeting was briefed on the outcome of recent AICHR Programmes and Activities, including the AICHR Programme on Human Rights Training of the Trainers for Journalists in ASEAN Member States, the AICHR Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Instruments on Human Rights, the AICHR Regional Workshop on the Role of Youth in Promoting Human Rights in ASEAN: Making Rights a Reality and the AICHR – Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Joint Workshop on Human Rights-based Approach to Combat Trafficking in ASEAN.

In line with the recent adoption of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially for Women and Children (ACTIP) and the accompanying Regional Plan of Action, the AICHR looks forward for further collaboration with the SOMTC and other ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in the ASEAN in its efforts to mainstream human rights-based approach in the protection of victims of human trafficking.

The Meeting also discussed the applications by Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) seeking for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR. The list of successful applications will be announced in due course.

This Meeting marked the end of Malaysia’s Chairmanship of the AICHR, as well as the significant change of the AICHR membership in which majority of the AICHR Representatives will end their terms. The Meeting concluded with the handover of the AICHR’s chairmanship from the Representative of Malaysia to the Representative of Lao PDR, H.E. Phoukhong Sisoulath. The Representatives expressed their high appreciation to H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his hard work and excellent leadership over the past year.

The Meeting also thanked the government of Malaysia for the hospitality and excellent arrangements of the Meeting. The first AICHR Meeting in 2016 will be held in February in Lao PDR.

PRESS RELEASE: AICHR – SOMTC Joint Workshop on Human Rights-based Approach to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 5 – 6 November 2015, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Posted on: 9 November, 2015

As ASEAN draws closer to the adoption of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and the ASEAN Plan of Action (APA), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) organised its first ever joint workshop on “Human Rights-based Approach to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children”. Among its objectives is an exchange of ideas between the AICHR, SOMTC, and other relevant ASEAN bodies/sectoral bodies on how human rights and gender perspective should be applied under the ACTIP and its APA.

The Representative of Indonesia to the AICHR, Mr. Rafendi Djamin, underlined that no ASEAN Member State (AMS) is free from the issue of trafficking of women and children, and that it takes place in any form – whether during or after disasters, in the movement of migrant labour, irregular migration caused by war, internal armed conflict, as well as extreme poverty. He emphasised that all forms of trafficking – including force labour, sex labour, or child force labour – are against human dignity and should not exist in modern era. He further stated that trafficking does not come in vacuum, but could be the excess of poverty, irregular migration, war and natural disaster. Finally, he identified that the crosscutting nature of trafficking of women and children could be a start for better cooperation and/or coordination amongst relevant organs/bodies/sectoral bodies of ASEAN.

The Joint Workshop brought together more than seventy (70) participants – coming from the AICHR, SOMTC, various relevant ASEAN bodies/sectoral bodies, ASEAN Secretariat, relevant government agencies of AMS, National Human Rights Institutions of AMS, regional civil society organisations (CSOs), and United Nations (UN) specialised agencies.

 The Chair of SOMTC, H.E. Sieng Lapresse, preceded discussions with his Keynote Remarks – where he called upon participants to look into the affirmations contained in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the AHRD such as “to live in dignity”, freedom from “arbitrary interference with his or her privacy including personal data”, and “the right to free choice of employment”. He addressed that ASEAN should concentrate on the identification of the root cause on trafficking in persons. He viewed the Joint Workshop as the relevant forum and best opportunity for all stakeholders to initiate the development of the right legal structure and policies – building upon existing international law; the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons; Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; as well as the ASEAN Convention and ASEAN Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

Discussions during plenary sessions touched upon human rights perspective on regional initiatives, priorities, as well as policies in combating trafficking in persons (TIPs); application of rights-based approaches towards the implementation on prevention of and protection from TIPs; and highlighted the issue of vulnerability of the people affected by disaster that could become victims of TIPs. Following joint presentation by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), and Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (DMHA) Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, discussions on TIPs for the first time looked into how it could be prevented and punished in situations of natural, as well as man-made disasters.

Following the Joint Workshop, a special closed discussion session between the AICHR, SOMTC, and relevant ASEAN organs/bodies/sectoral bodies was held – aimed to synthesize their efforts in the prevention, protection, and cooperation in addressing the issue of TIPs. The session finally generated recommendations on possible ways forward to further cooperation. Amongst the possible ways forward, whether already put forward in a work plan of each ASEAN bodies, or in form of a developing idea, include – discussions to raise awareness and understanding on ACTIP and APA after its adoption; an annual meeting between the AICHR, SOMTC, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMTC) and other ASEAN sectoral bodies related to the issue of TIPs; inviting each other in any activities related to TIPs and human rights; information sharing on programmes of activities on TIPs; identifying areas of cooperation on mutual interest as part of the implementation of ACTIP and APA (e.g. victims of TIPs identification); and the socialisation on the ACWC’s ‘Guidelines on Protection of Women in Trafficked Situations’ through consultation with other ASEAN bodies/sectoral bodies – following its expected adoption in the upcoming 27th ASEAN Summit.