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Cross-pillar collaboration on mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN Community

Posted on: 19 April, 2017

JAKARTA, 19 April 2017 – ASEAN officials in-charge of human rights and social welfare, together with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) met at the ASEAN Secretariat from 18 to 19 April 2017 for the second meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community. ASEAN is building on the momentum from the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and the ratification by all ASEAN Member States of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to realise a more inclusive and resilient ASEAN Community and robust cooperation and partnership between ASEAN sectoral bodies and stakeholders.

The Task Force is a joint undertaking of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Senior Officials Meetings on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). This marks the first cross-pillar collaboration on disability rights between the ASEAN Political-Security Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

It aims to develop a regional action plan which takes its foundation from existing ASEAN documents, namely the Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of the Persons with Disabilities in ASEAN Community and the Mobilisation Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2011-2020.

The Task Force agreed to learn from the experiences of ASEAN Member States by exchanging national action plans on persons with disabilities. The Task Force also agreed that there is a critical need to enhance collective efforts.

The ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shared with the Task Force the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in reinforcing the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Representative of Thailand to the AICHR and Dr. Mu’man Nuryana, SOMSWD Focal Point of Indonesia and the Chair of SOMSWD, with the support of the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled in May 2017.


Posted on: 17 March, 2017

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) organized the first-ever AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices regarding International Human Rights Law from 13 to 15 March 2017 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The Colloquium was jointly organized by the AICHR-Malaysia, AICHR-Lao PDR and AICHR-Thailand, with the support from the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development Security (ASEAN-U.S. Progress), Regional Europe-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument, Human Rights Facility (READI, HRF), Heinrich Boell Stiftung Southeast Asia, Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).

The Keynote Address was delivered by His Excellency (H.E.) Dato’ Ramlan Ibrahim, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, on behalf of H.E. Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia. H.E. Dato’ Ramlan highlighted that AICHR should actively devise methods and strategies to be the human rights standard-setting institution of ASEAN, and that it is necessary for the region to have a common baseline on how the rights in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) are to be defined and implemented, as this will accelerate ASEAN’s political, economic and social and cultural development.

The Right Honourable Tun Arifin bin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Malaysia delivered the Opening Statement. The Chief Justice of Malaysia shared the history of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ), and observed that there are opportunities for judicial cooperation between the CACJ and AICHR in terms of sharing technical expertise and good practices on human rights matters which are of interest to both; in particular, on the rights of children, women and persons with disabilities.

H.E. Edmund Bon Tai Soon in his opening remarks highlighted that the AICHR’s Terms of Reference (TOR) provides sufficient mandate to establish institutional links with the ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to mainstream human rights across the three pillars of ASEAN Community namely the Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community. H.E. Edmund Bon also suggested that there is a need to establish an inter-sectoral expert or working group on human rights and the Judiciary, or a regional resource centre to provide technical expertise and assistance to policymakers, judges and lawyers, or collaboration through the publishing guidance notes or comments on the interpretation and application of the AHRD, and making recommendations to enhance rights protection.

The Colloquium was attended by Representatives of AICHR, Senior Judges, representatives of Public Prosecution and Attorney General Offices, ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting (ALAWMM), ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM), ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), ASEAN Commission on Women and Children (ACWC) and ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) from ASEAN Member States. Also in attendance were international judges, representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Southeast Asia National Human Rights Institution Forum (SEANF) and Civil Society Organisations with consultative status with AICHR.

The objectives of the Colloquium, amongst others, were to encourage greater peer-to-peer interaction, share good practices and challenges in the implementation of international human rights laws and to strengthen judicial co-operation between relevant stakeholders.

The Colloquium concluded with the adoption of Colloquium’s Conclusions and Recommendations for the consideration of the AICHR. Amongst the key recommendations were the need to conduct capacity building programmes for the judiciary and to provide technical support, obtain information, develop common approaches and sharing of good practices on human rights. The Colloquium also emphasized the need to compile a regional reference guide in respect of the AHRD and relevant international human rights instruments. Where appropriate, it was also suggested for the AICHR to further consult and collaborate with relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, and other entities including the CACJ, ASEAN Law Association (ALA), members of CSOs as well as other international and national organizations.

Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

Posted on: 23 February, 2017

The AICHR is receiving applications for CSOs/Institutions wishing to have Consultative Relationship with the AICHR.

Submission of applications are welcomed until 31st March 2017. Applications that are considered complete (Application Form and all supporting documents) will be discussed at the next AICHR Meeting.

Please be advised that the documents submitted to should not exceed 5MB.

Application Form appears as below.

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

For more details on eligibility and procedures of applying, please refer to:

  Guidelines on the AICHR’s Relations with Civil Society Organisations (525.6 KiB, 3,864 hits)


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.