The Representative of the Philippines to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), H.E. Amb. Rosario G. Manalo, in collaboration with UN Women and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism conducted the “Regional Workshop and Consultation on Business and Human Rights in ASEAN” on 11 – 12 December 2012 at the Bayview Hotel, Singapore.
The Workshop aimed to discuss the human rights and gender implications of business activities in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); as well as to present initial findings on the on-going AICHR thematic study on CSR and human rights. Participants include representatives from AICHR, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN-CSR Network, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), the AICHR “CSR and Human Rights” Study Team and National Focal Points, and civil society organisations (CSOs). Also in attendance were observers from the United Nations and embassies in Singapore.
In her welcome remarks, Amb. Manalo emphasised that for ASEAN to become a region of economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress, there should be a steadfast commitment to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Region. Discussions in the two-day Workshop – which included, among others, assessing the “United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” in the ASEAN context, gender equality in labour practices, business and the environment, consumer rights, and access to remedies – resulted in recommendations for ASEAN and AICHR to consider in their promotion and advocacy of “business and human rights” among the ASEAN Member States.