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ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

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Press Release: The Philippines Hosts 2nd AICHR ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instrument Workshop

Posted on: 20 September, 2017

ASEAN-Philippines Executive Director Zaldy Patron, AICHR Malaysia Representative Edmund Bon, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) Chair Lily Purba, resource speaker Ambassador Rosario Manalo, AICHR Chair Leo Herrera-Lim, AICHR Thailand Representative Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, AICHR Lao PDR Representative Phoukhong Sisoulath, and resource speaker Professor Aurora De Dios led the discussions during the 2nd AICHR Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instruments on 13-14 September 2017 in Manila, Philippines.

The 2nd Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instruments was hosted by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Philippines on 13-14 September 2017.

In the keynote speech of Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, which was delivered on his behalf by ASEAN-Philippines Assistant Secretary Ma. Hellen Barber De La Vega, he highlighted that the people of ASEAN have shared values as a region in their aspiration to promote and protect human rights, and that a human rights approach is key for ASEAN to achieve prosperity, progress, and peace for its people.

The Workshop complemented and substantially contributed to the implementation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the efforts being undertaken toward the establishment of a framework for human rights cooperation through various ASEAN conventions and other instruments dealing with human rights, as laid down in AICHR’s Five-Year Work Plan (2016-2020).

Participants presenting their ideas in breakaway sessions during the 2nd AICHR Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instruments on 13-14 September 2017 in Manila, Philippines.

Building on the past and present initiatives within the ASEAN region, the Workshop successfully continued the dialogue on the possible development of ASEAN human rights cooperation frameworks, including legal instruments on human rights and regional non-binding guidelines on human rights.

Representatives of the AICHR, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers (ACMW), ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC), ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM), Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and the ASEAN Secretariat attended the Workshop. The Ateneo Human Rights Center served as the academic research partner of AICHR Philippines for the Workshop.

Press Release: AICHR Cross-Sectoral Consultation on the Human Rights based Instruments related to the Implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Person, especially Women and Children, 29-30 August 2017, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Posted on: 14 September, 2017

“It is time to implement the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Person, especially Women and Children (ACTIP) by complying to human rights based approach, given that  7 countries have ratified this convention.”  This was stated by Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, Dr. Dinna Wisnu at the conclusion of the AICHR Cross Sectoral Consultation on the Human Rights-based Instruments related to the Implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Person, especially Women and Children in Yogyakarta (30/8).

Consultation forum was attended by various elements in the region, including: International organizations, related Ministries and Institutions, NGOs, academics and civil society. In the two days of discussions, besides overviewing the human rights-based ACTIP instruments in preventing, combating offenders and supporting TIP victims, the forum also explored the ways of connecting national reference systems at the ASEAN level as well as ways to developing instruments for the implementation of ACTIP.

“The consultation involves all actors available on the ground and we discussed any instruments available and needed to be developed, so I believe the recommendations set out in this consultation will be the best format for implementing ACTIP”, said Drs. Dinna Wisnu.

As the outcome of the consultation, among others, the participants recommended the establishment of regional referral system in the TIP case, appointing a national focal point (NFP) that mandated to refer TIP cases to relevant agencies in each ASEAN country, forming a standardization in monitoring evaluation. The participants also recommended various measures in dealing with victims of TIP based on human rights approach.

 ”Hopefully what we discussed in this forum can help ASEAN implement human rights based approachand provide best options in implementing ACTIP”, said Dr. Dinna while closing the consultation forum. She also expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the attendance and contribution of the participants.

Press Release: AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights 2017, 4-6 September 2017, Bangkok, Thailand

Posted on: 11 September, 2017

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its fourth Youth Debate on Human Rights on 4-6 September 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. About 40 university students from the ten ASEAN Member States participated in the event.

The issues debated revolved around the establishment of an ASEAN Human Rights Court; the challenges of balancing economic growth and human rights in meeting ASEAN development goals; the promotion of women’s rights, a quota system for women representation; the right to work in all Member States; and Environmental damage as a Human Rights Violations. These topics encouraged the participants to focus on the complementarity and inter-sectionality of political stability, economic prosperity, inclusiveness and human rights in ASEAN. The event also focused on the long-term sustainability of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Each Debate Team comprises of students from different Member States

The debate provided a platform for young people in ASEAN to express their views on human rights and interact with experts/academics on human rights issues within the region. The event also aimed to nurture critical thinking, public speaking, leadership and other relevant skills among the young people and future leaders of ASEAN. The award ceremony for the five best speakers was presided by The Deputy Minister of Education, M.L. Panadda Diskul, who represented the Prime Minister of Thailand.

A Special Talk on Migrant Workers in Thailand: A Move Toward Inclusivity and panel discussions on the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN: Forging Ahead Together toward a Sustainable Community, as well as on the ASEAN and Human Rights: Toward Sustainable Decades, were held at Thammasat University and Chulalongkorn University which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. The sessions generated a lively discussion between the youth and the resource persons on the evolution of human rights in ASEAN, as well as the challenges faced within the region.

The visit to the Grand Palace

Over the course of the three-day event, the participants visited the Grand Palace to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution where they had the opportunity to learn about Thailand’s application of the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules).This year’s Youth Debate is one of the AICHR’s commemorative activities to celebrate the 50thAnniversary of ASEAN. It was organised by the AICHR  with support from the USAID and the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS).

The AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights 2017 was organised by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, the Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, in collaboration with various agencies in Thailand, including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Faculty of Law, Thammasart University and Chulalongkorn University. The event was supported by ASEAN -U.S. PROGRESS.