ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

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Posted on: 20 September, 2018

The AICHR is pleased to announce the following two (2) civil society organisations have been granted consultative relationship with the AICHR:

  1. Asylum Access Malaysia (AAM)
  2. Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)

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 in ASEAN

List of CSOs with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR could be accessed through the following link.


Press Release: 8th Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 14-15 September 2018, Bangkok, Thailand

Posted on: 17 September, 2018

8th Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community

The Task Force convened the 8th Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community on 14 to 15 September 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Meeting finalised the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that encompasses all ASEAN Community Pillars and encourages ASEAN Bodies to take action in integrating and including disability perspectives to their work. Reaffirming persons with disabilities as agents of change themselves, the Enabling Masterplan has benefitted from consultation with organisations of persons with disabilities and would continue engagement with civil society organisations in its implementation.

The ASEAN Enabling Masterplan is aimed to be adopted by the ASEAN Leaders in November 2018.

The Task Force finalised the draft ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Thailand Representative to the AICHR and Mr. Richard Tan, Singapore Focal Point to SOMSWD and supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and the Australian Government. The Meeting extended appreciation to the Government of Thailand for its hospitality and arrangement of the meeting.

PRESS RELEASE: AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights 2018, 8-10 September 2018, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Posted on: 15 September, 2018

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights 2018 on 8-10 September 2018, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three-day event fulfilled its objectives in raising awareness of the young people of ASEAN about the AICHR and human rights. It also aimed at fostering public speaking, critical thinking, and leadership skills, as well as promoting solidarity, empathy and camaraderie among the young people of ASEAN. The Youth Debate, which is part of the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities 2018, was organised by the AICHR-Cambodia, in collaboration with the Cambodian Human Rights Committee and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, with financial support from the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF).

The Youth Debate was participated by 30 undergraduate students from the ASEAN Member States. It also witnessed the keenness of ASEAN organs, relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, Entities Associated with ASEAN, United Nations’ Agencies, prominent human rights experts as well as other pertinent stakeholders to take part in furnishing the knowledge of the bright debaters on the intersection of education with human rights; relevant international commitments and instruments on right to education, ways and means to overcome digital disruption, as well as various innovations in education.

Representative of Cambodia to the AICHR

The motions debated revolved around human rights education; children of migrant workers and their right to education; privacy of celebrities; air pollution; and the gravity of rape as to whether it amounts to a capital crime. Throughout the debate motions, the young debaters have shown their research and understanding on these wider issues of human rights, as well as on right to education and its complementarity and inter-sectionality with political stability, economic prosperity, inclusivity and human rights guarantee in ASEAN.

At the closing session, H.E. Keo Remy, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and the President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) shared about the recent developments of human rights situation in Cambodia; Cambodia’s achievements in relation to the promotion and protection of the right to education for youth; and current status related to policies and legal frameworks of youth and the right to education at international and regional level

Meanwhile, H.E. Polyne Hean, the Representative of Cambodia to the AICHR and Vice President of the CHRC, highlighted that the event also provided an opportunity for the participants of the Youth Debate to visit the Tuol Sleng Museum which documented the darkest human history took place in Cambodia, where the heinous crime, the genocide, was committed by the Khmer Rouge. While firmly pronouncing the “Never Again” statement, she expressed her expectation that the visit would continue to remind the future generations that such grave breaches of international law has no place in a dignified society.

Winners of the AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights 2018

Successfully served as a platform for the young people of ASEAN to express their views on human rights and interact with academics and experts on human rights issues within ASEAN, the Youth Debate was concluded with award giving to five best speakers, namely Mr. Maneth Nay from Cambodia, Mr. Muhammad Aditya Padmanaba from Indonesia, Mr. Muqriz bin Mustafffa Kamal from Malaysia, Ms. Colleen Anne Chua and Mr. Neal Amandus de la Rosa Gellaco from the Philippines.


AICHR Capacity Building Workshop on Article 14 of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, 14-15 August 2018, Semarang, Indonesia

Posted on: 28 August, 2018

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) commits to promote prevention and fight against torture and any kind of actions that degrade human dignity or violate human rights that is expressed in Article 14 of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The Article states that “no person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This article undoubtedly provides a strong basis for AICHR to organize a capacity building workshop as part of its contribution on education and promotion of human rights principles to officials from ASEAN Member States. AICHR is the human rights body of ASEAN established in 2009. It comprises of 10 Representatives of ASEAN Member States with the mandate to mainstream human rights principles and practices in the three pillars of ASEAN Community.

This two-day workshop in Semarang, Indonesia, 14-15 August 2018, is the first AICHR priority program with such theme. In this training, law enforcement authorities and correction facilities from ASEAN Member States agree on the following:

  • Prevention of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, from the process of identifying suspect, capture, investigation and detention must be avoided at any cause.
  • Definition of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment in ASEAN is not yet uniform but UNCAT (United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment) can be used as a guidance.
  • Local contexts and culture need to be considered to combat torture.
  • Comprehensive approach including the viewpoints of victims/detainee and law enforcement officials must be considered.
  • Training for law enforcement and public education needed to done by ASEAN to combat torture.

In the meeting there were positive responses from the participants after listening to the experiences of ASEAN member states when adjusting their legislation and law enforcement standard operating procedures. The participants were inspired with alternative techniques such as investigative interview, regulation in correction facility when detainee violates rules, monitoring system of performance of prison guards, and others.  The participants visited women correction facility in Semarang to witness the various technique of anti-torture being done in facility where the building is an old one built in 1894 thus cannot be renovated to accommodate various needs, overcapacity with various kinds of criminals. The response of participants were positive. They said they learned about how to measure the decency of correction facility, the management of correction facility officer, and the trainings inside the correction facility.

“The homework for ASEAN to prevent and combat torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment is just revealed because of this meeting. This is the first ASEAN level meeting where human rights during capture, investigation and detention is discussed in depth. The complexity of problem becomes really apparent namely because most law enforcement officials are never taught about doing interviews and collecting information for court during investigation; no standard for treating detainees given diversity of conditions in the correction facilities and their line of commands. The meeting reveals the things needing follow-up by AICHR so that ASEAN can be free of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment,” said Dr. Dinna Wisnu, Indonesian Representative to AICHR, the organizer of this program.

The AICHR is also highlighting the aspect of protecting vulnerable groups whenever they are in conflict with laws, such as women, children, minority groups. The output of this program will include the pointers of ASEAN common understanding of Article 14 of the AHRD and practical recommendations for follow-up by AICHR including further capacity building efforts and education.

This workshop is possible due to the cooperation of AICHR with the Embassy of Switzerland in Indonesia, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, The OHCHR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. The speakers are practitioners from government and non-governmental agencies such as the Balay Rehabilitation Philippines, Human Rights Resource Center Indonesia, Sub-Committee on Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Thailand, Ministry of Law and Human Rights Indonesia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia, Indonesian Police’s Special Crime Unit (Bareskrim) POLRI, Norwegian Police, dan the Association for Prevention of Torture. (*)

For more information, contact:

Anisa Djafar, media-affairs assistant to Indonesian Representative to AICHR ( or +6281299362063)

Assoc. Prof. Dinna Wisnu, Indonesian Representative to AICHR (


Posted on: 28 August, 2018

ASEAN Forum on Women's Economic Empowerment

The ASEAN Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment jointly organised by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) was held from 27 to 28 August 2018 in Singapore.  It was supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.  This is the second joint collaborative project between the AICHR and ACWC, and the first project that promotes and protect the rights of women through economic empowerment.

The Forum comprised five sessions, namely, Empowering Female Employees at the Workplace; Breaking Barriers and Re-inventing Traditional Businesses; Creating New Businesses in Emerging Industries; Shaping Corporate Culture for Women Leadership Development; and Empowering Women in the Silver Economy.  The Forum brought together representatives from the AICHR, ACWC, Senior Economic Officials and the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network, as well as private sector and civil society representatives from ASEAN Member States, to share their experiences and exchange good practices that contribute to the greater economic participation and empowerment of women through all stages of life.

Students participants at the ASEAN Forum on Women's Economic Empowerment

In her Opening Remarks for the Forum, President of the Republic of Singapore Madam Halimah Yacob noted that in order to tap into ASEAN’s full economic potential, ASEAN needed to do more to harness the potential of all, including women who make up half of the region’s population.  President also said that in order for women to progress and contribute at work and in society, there is a need to have a shift in mindset on how women in various stages of life are treated in employment, as well as perceptions of caregiving responsibilities at home.

Speakers and participants spoke about the importance for the public, people, and private sectors to take a “life-cycle approach” in policy planning, and work together to create an inclusive ecosystem that will enable and empower women to join the work force, excel at work, and take up leadership positions.  They also agreed on the need to encourage women to tap on new technologies and embrace lifelong learning, so that they are equipped and ready to ride on new trends in the marketplace including the fourth industrial revolution.

In view of the rapidly ageing population in the region, and the vulnerability of older women in society, speakers and participants also touched on the importance of equipping and empowering older women with the right tools that will enable them to gain access or return to the marketplace, so that they can be self-reliant, remain active, and are able to live meaningfully in their sunset years.

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AICHR Annual Report 2018

Posted on: 10 August, 2018

This Annual Report covers the period between July 2017 and June 2018.

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened four AICHR Meetings, and organised a series of activities in line with its annual Priority Programmes/Activities 2017/2018 for the period under review.

On cross-pillar and cross-sectoral cooperation, the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community initiated by the AICHR and held in collaboration with the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) has continued its deliberation for an ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 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 (ACTIP) was organised as a follow-up to the AICHR-SOMTC consultation held in November 2015 on similar theme.

The fourth youth debate on human rights and a roundtable on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration were organised in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN.

Some notable progress in the work of the AICHR include the completion of the second AICHR Thematic Study, namely on Women Affected by Natural Disasters, and conferment of twelve CSOs with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR.

On the external relations front, the AICHR hosted the 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights together with the ACWC, the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW), and the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) in November 2017. In December 2017, the AICHR conducted a study visit to Australia at the invitation of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The full report is available for download:

  AICHR Annual Report 2018 (664.5 KiB, 1,140 hits)

Press Release: Special Meeting (1/2018) of the AICHR, 31 July – 3 August 2018, Singapore

Posted on: 4 August, 2018

Special Meeting (1/2018) of the AICHR in SingaporeThe ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its first Special Meeting in 2018 from 31 July to 3 August in Singapore.  The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Barry Desker, Representative of Singapore to the AICHR.

The Meeting discussed the progress of the implementation of the Priority Programmes/Activities of the AICHR 2018, which covers areas including right to health, children’s rights, and rights of persons with disabilities, ICT and gender equality towards the sustainable development goals.

The AICHR also discussed the upcoming Workshop on Article 14 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, ASEAN Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and the 5th AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights. The Meeting was also briefed on several ongoing AICHR thematic studies, including on the right to education, right to peace, access to justice, and migration and human rights.

AICHR Representatives at the AMM Interface with AICHR during 51st AMM and Related Meetings

On August 1 2018, the AICHR held its annual interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) during the 51st AMM and Related Meetings. The Interface saw candid exchanges between the Ministers and the AICHR on human rights in the region, taking into account the diversity among ASEAN Member States. Recognising the important role of the AICHR and its significant contribution to ASEAN Community-building, the AMM reaffirmed its support to AICHR’s endeavours in the promotion and protection of human rights. The AICHR also delivered its Statement and submitted its Annual Report 2018 to the AMM at the Interface. The AICHR Annual Report 2018 will be uploaded on the AICHR website.

The Meeting was also briefed on the ongoing work of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) with Myanmar to deliver humanitarian assistance and aid to all displaced persons.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Singapore for the gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements of the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place from 26 to 29 November in Singapore.