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ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

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Press Release: Special Meeting of the AICHR, 23-24 July 2016, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Posted on: 25 July, 2016

The Special Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was convened on 23 – 24 July 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

The Meeting conducted its annual interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM). At this fifth interface, the AICHR submitted its Annual Report 2016 to the AMM which sets out the programmes and activities undertaken over the past year, and provided its observations and the challenges. The AMM endorsed the Priority Programmes/Activities of the AICHR 2017.

During this two-day meeting, the AICHR deliberated on upcoming activities to be undertaken this year. As part of its endeavor to strengthen interaction with other ASEAN Organs and Bodies, the AICHR in collaboration with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN will co-organise a Panel Discussion on the Socialisation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) which aims to highlight the good work that ASEAN is doing to protect its people by its all-inclusive approach to address trafficking. As a follow-up to one of the recommendations from the previous Workshop, the Meeting agreed to organise the 3rd AICHR workshop relating human rights, environment and climate change, the AICHR Workshop on the Rights Based Approach to Regional Management Strategy for an Effective Environmental Assessment.

In its effort to contribute to the building of a rules-based, people-centered and people oriented ASEAN Community, the Meeting agreed to organise the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices regarding International Human Rights Law and Human Rights Cases in Domestic Courts. One of the objectives of this activity is to encourage greater peer-to-peer interaction between relevant stakeholders such as judges, AICHR representatives, and other ASEAN relevant sectorial bodies such as ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting (ALAWMM) and ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM).

The Meeting took note of the reports of several activities the AICHR has been conducting this year, and extensively discussed on the new thematic study the AICHR is embarking upon, the Thematic Study on the Right to Education, as well as one of its new initiatives to be undertaken in 2017 which pertains to the right to safe drinking water & sanitation. The Meeting was also briefed on the progress on the establishment of Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Lao PDR for the gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements of the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place at the last week of October in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

 

Press Release: Special Meeting of the AICHR, 2-3 July 2016, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Posted on: 5 July, 2016

The Special Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was convened on 2 – 3 July 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Prior to this, the AICHR had conducted its 2nd Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 29 June – 1 July, 2016.

During the Meeting, the AICHR reviewed the progress of its work since their last meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat in April 2016 and finalized its Annual Report to be submitted to ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. They discussed new projects such as the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices regarding International Human Rights Law and Human Rights Cases in Domestic Courts.

The AICHR met with the representatives of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) to discuss possible joint cooperation. A key outcome of this interface was the agreement to regularize the interactions by meeting annually to further enhance synergy between the three bodies on their programmes. In addition, the AICHR approved in principle the establishment of a task force with a mandate to develop a regional action plan to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN Community.

The AICHR also met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to explore future collaboration to promote and support human rights work in the region.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Thailand for the gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements for the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place on 23 to 24 July 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR where they will have an interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers.

Press Release: 2nd Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 29 June – 1 July 2016, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Posted on: 3 July, 2016

The 2nd Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community was held between  29th June to 1st July 2016  in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Led by the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, H.E. Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, with the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS, and UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability, the 2nd Regional Dialogue was successful in bringing together varied stakeholders to discuss the rights of persons with disabilities and how to enhance their promotion and protection in  the ASEAN Community. This initiative also seeks to implement the the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 as well as the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) in mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities across the three pillars of ASEAN . It is also timely since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has just become the third common International Human Rights Treaty to ASEAN, having been ratified by all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS).

 

This Dialogue builds upon the results of the 1st Regional Dialogue that was held in 2015. It focused on issues of health, education and employment affecting persons with disabilities. It was participated by the representatives and experts from the AICHR and relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, ASEAN Secretariat, Ministries dealing with the issue of persons with disabilities from AMS, UN/International Organizations, member of the CRPD Committee, Disabled People’s Organsations (DPOs) of all 10 AMS and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). It is noteworthy that all participants actively contributed in sharing their experiences, challenges and recommendations.

The keynote was delivered by the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This was followed by a discussion on the ASEAN Community and its implication to the enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities. The 2nd Regional Dialogue provided a platform for sharing of good practices, challenges and opportunities on the issues mentioned above and it highlighted the critical need to provide inclusive education and employment, as well as accessible health services for the persons with disabilities in ASEAN.

The participants deliberated the way forward on the development of a regional action plan for the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities in ASEAN. They acknowledged that the 2nd Regional Dialogue had provided an avenue for exchange of ideas and inclusion of key stakeholders to discuss and strategize on ASEAN’s collective efforts to reduce barriers for persons with disabilities in the ASEAN Community.

The 3rd Regional Dialogue will be conducted in 2017 and is expected to garner final inputs from relevant stakeholders on the proposed regional action plan for possible submission to the ASEAN Summit.