AICHR

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • AICHR Interregional Dialogue: Sharing Good Practices on Business and Human Rights, 4-6 June 2018, Bangkok, Thailand
  • PRESS RELEASE – 27th Meeting of the AICHR, 13-17 May 2018, ASEAN Secretariat
  • Press Release – 6th Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community 16-17 April 2018, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Press Release – AICHR High Level Dialogue on Managing Freedom of Expression in the Information Age Medan, Indonesia, 11 – 12 April 2018
  • The AICHR Annual Report 2017
  • Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with Consultative Relationship with the AICHR

PRESS RELEASE: 26th Meeting of the AICHR, 24-26 January 2018, Singapore

Posted on: 27 January, 2018

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its first meeting under the Chairmanship of Singapore from 24 to 26 January 2018. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Barry Desker, the Representative of Singapore to the AICHR.

During this three-day meeting, the AICHR was briefed on the implementation of the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities. The Meeting adopted the AICHR Thematic Study on Women in Natural Disasters which was led by AICHR Philippines.

On cross-pillar cross-sectoral cooperation, the Meeting was updated on the progress of the development of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community by 2025. The Meeting also noted the report of the AICHR Cross-Sectoral Consultation on the Human Rights based Instruments related to the Implementation of ACTIP.

On the second day, the delegates visited Enabling Village, an integrated community in an all-accessible space, an initiative by Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development and SG Enable Ltd. The Village comprises individuals and organisations that serve – and are supported by – people with diverse abilities. It showcased, among others, several social businesses that balance commercial success with the social imperative of inclusivity to demonstrate that people with disabilities can make lively, vital contributions to society.

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 in May 2018 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta.

PRESS RELEASE: 4TH Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, 15-16 December 2017, Da Nang, Viet Nam

Posted on: 16 December, 2017

4th Meeting of the Task Force on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community

The joint initiative by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare Development (SOMSWD) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) towards the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities continued with the convening of the 4th Meeting of the Task Force from 15 to 16 December 2017, back to back with the AICHR Workshop on the Enhanced Access to Education for Children with Disabilities held at the same venue from 13 to 14 December 2017.

With the mandate to develop a regional action plan to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN Community, the Task Force emphasised on goals-setting, aspiration and shared efforts by all pillars of ASEAN towards an inclusive community by 2025. Correspondingly, the regional action plan aimed to reinforce the on-going efforts by ASEAN under the framework of Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community and the Mobilisation Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2011-2020).

At the Meeting, the Task Force had an interface with an expert from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) to exchange views on the zero draft of the regional action plan.

After deliberation, the Task Force adopted a structure for the draft regional action plan entitled “ASEAN Enabling Masterplan for an Inclusive Community by 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” to be in line with the ASEAN Vision 2025. The document will put forward goals on disability rights for each Community pillar of ASEAN and will also make reference to ASEAN documents such as the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and the Bali Declaration as well as international instruments such as the 2030 Agenda, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Incheon Strategy: Making the Rights Real. The ASEAN Enabling Masterplan is aimed to be finalised and submitted for adoption within 2018.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Representative of Thailand to the AICHR and Undersecretary Florita Villar, SOMSWD Focal Point of the Philippines and Vice-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 January 2018.

AICHR Regional Workshop on Enhanced Access to Education for Children with Disabilities, 13-14 December 2017, Da Nang, Viet Nam

Posted on: 16 December, 2017

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), in collaboration with UNICEF, convened the AICHR Regional Workshop on Enhanced Access to Education for Children with Disabilities on the 13-14th December 2017 in Da Nang, Viet Nam. The workshop brought together participants and resource persons from relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies (such as AICHR, SOMED, ACWC, SOMSWD, and SOMHD), government officials from ASEAN Member States, representatives from international organizations, non-governmental organizations, disabled people organizations, academics, and parents and children with disabilities.

The Workshop is the first ASEAN cross-sectoral initiative focusing on the right to education for children with disabilities. Speaking at the Opening session, H.E. Ambassador Nguyen Thi Nha, the Representative of Viet Nam to AICHR, emphasized the importance of providing learning opportunities for one of the most vulnerable yet occasionally excluded group of children in realizing a people-centered, people-oriented, and inclusive ASEAN Community. H.E. Nguyen Thi Nghia, Vice Minister of Ministry of Education and Training confirmed the commitment of Viet Nam Government to enhancing access to education for children with disabilities and called for further cooperation from other ASEAN Member States in that area. Ms. Yoshimi Nishino, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam highlighted the significance of inclusive education as the goal of educating children with disabilities and UNICEF’s commitment to work with the government to ensure that “no one is left behind”.

During the two-day Workshop, participants reviewed current situation and education needs for children with disabilities in the region and discussed how to promote regional cooperation to move forward the agenda. They also exchanged legislations and practices on specialized and inclusive education models in each ASEAN Member States and had an opportunity to visit an inclusive education resource center in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

 It was noted that children with disabilities can put their potential to use when given opportunities to engage and participate in schools and communities and that various efforts have been made to promote the right of education for children with disabilities. However, the issue has not been fully addressed and still requires a crosscutting approach and a concerted effort by not only ASEAN sectoral bodies and government officials but also relevant regional and international stakeholders, and every individual of the society. They are, therefore, encouraged to actively participate in the policy consultation and implementation process. Many also reiterated international conventions and regional agreements such as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as basis for further cooperation on the issue.

The Workshop was organized by AICHR Viet Nam, the Viet Nam ASEAN National Secretariat – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of UNICEF Viet Nam, the Ministry of Education and Training, and the People’s Committee of Da Nang City.

Press Release: AICHR Study Visit to Australia, 4-7 December 2017

Posted on: 12 December, 2017

The AICHR meets the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, MP.

On 4-7 December 2017, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) went on a Study Visit in Sydney and Canberra, Australia organized by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The AICHR delegation, which had representatives from all ASEAN Member States, was led by H.E. Leo M. Herrera-Lim of the Philippines.

During the Visit, AICHR interfaced with the AHRC Commissioners and senior executives, led by its President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher.   AICHR also met with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the different Australian governmental departments that deal directly with gender equality in the workplace, people smuggling and human trafficking.

One of the key highlights of AICHR’s Visit was a call on Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, MP.

AICHR also received briefings on the Australian High Court and the priorities of Australia in the Human Rights Council when it starts its term next year.  AICHR also had met with the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), Disabled Peoples Organizations Australia (DPOA), civil society groups and lawyers’ groups.

On the last day of the Study Visit, AICHR went to the Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education Training Centre.

The Study Visit fostered closer relations between AHRC and AICHR and built upon the engaging interface AICHR had with Australian Ambassador to ASEAN Jane Duke and AHRC Commissioner Ed Santow in May 2017 and focused on many key priority areas of AICHR’s programme for 2017.

Press Release: 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights 29 November 2017, Bohol, the Philippines

Posted on: 30 November, 2017

On the 29th of November 2017, the European Union (EU) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held the 2nd ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights, in Bohol in the Philippines. The meeting was hosted by AICHR and followed the 1st EU-ASEAN dialogue held in October 2015 in Brussels.

The dialogue was co-chaired on the ASEAN side by H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim, Chair of AICHR, and on the EU side by Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

Also participating in the dialogue were the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) and the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC).

The second Policy Dialogue on Human Rights was held in an open and constructive atmosphere. The two sides expressed their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties as well as the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and other human rights related regional instruments, and exchanged views about recent developments in human rights in ASEAN and in the EU.

Topics addressed during the Policy Dialogue included trafficking in persons, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, rights of the child, rights of migrant workers, business and human rights / corporate social responsibility, as well as rights of persons with disabilities.

The EU and ASEAN agreed to continue their cooperation and identified specific areas where the EU and ASEAN would work more closely together, including trafficking in persons, business and human rights as well as women’s and children’s rights, and the rights of migrant workers. They agreed to explore holding their next dialogue in 2018.

AICHR Reviews ASEAN’s Implementation of the AHRD with Partners, SOMs and CSOs

Posted on: 30 November, 2017

The great strides ASEAN has made in the field of human rights towards ensuring a more equal, just and peaceful ASEAN Community was celebrated on 28 November 2017. As part of its commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, and on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration 2012 (AHRD), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) on 28 November 2017 in Bohol, the Philippines. The RTD was a  platform to discuss the AHRD with representatives of ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Consultative Relationship with the AICHR.

The AHRD is the foundation of the AICHR’s work in the region. The AHRD affirms all the civil and political rights, and all the economic, social and cultural rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, and includes newly-recognised collective rights to a sustainable environment, to development, and to peace. It provides a framework for human rights co-operation and consultation between ASEAN Member States in advancing ASEAN’s aspiration to be a rules-based, people-oriented and people-centred Community. It was adopted through the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the AHRD on 18 November 2012 where the ASEAN Leaders affirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the AHRD to advance the promotion and protection of human rights in the region.

The RTD highlighted the importance of the AHRD, and allowed the delegates to take stock of the current ASEAN rights landscape; gaps and challenges faced by the region; and opportunities to enhance the AICHR’s efforts in mainstreaming human rights values to all three ASEAN Pillars.

The first session gathered the participation of ASEAN officials working on the issues of labour; migrant workers; women and children; health development; education; and information and media. The session noted attending bodies’ commitment to support each other’s upcoming activities and develop new formats of collaboration to enhance the implementation of ASEAN’s commitment on human rights.

Pursuant to the AICHR’s on-going efforts to broaden and deepen partnerships with CSOs, the AICHR has now accredited 22 CSOs, and more applications are pending. The second session of the RTD saw a robust and constructive dialogue between the AICHR and CSOs in Consultative Relationship with the AICHR. Delegates highlighted the complementarity between the AHRD and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and explored means for more effective engagement with the AICHR using the AHRD as the region’s reference point.

The RTD was jointly organised by AICHR Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia with the support of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument Human Rights Facility (READI-HRF).

Press Release: 25th Meeting of the AICHR, 26-27 November 2017, Bohol, Philippines

Posted on: 28 November, 2017

The AICHR held its 25th Meeting of the AICHR on 26 to 27 November 2017 in Bohol, the Philippines. The Meeting was chaired by the Representative of the Philippines to the AICHR, H.E. Mr. Leo Herrera-Lim.

The two-day meeting discussed the implementation of AICHR priority programmes/activities and took note of the reports of the AICHR-ACWC Training Workshop on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 2nd Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Human Rights Instrument, and the Executive Summary of the Record of Proceedings of the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law. The Meeting was briefed on the upcoming AICHR workshops relating to education for children with disabilities and the right to health, and the convening of the Roundtable Discussion on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) to commemorate 50th anniversary of ASEAN and 5th anniversary of the AHRD.

The Meeting was also updated on the progress of several thematic studies currently undertaken by the AICHR, including on the right to education and the right to peace.

The AICHR also held an award ceremony for the winners of the ASEAN Youth Video Competition: “ASEAN Against Trafficking: Humans are not for Sale” on the sidelines of the Meeting. The award ceremony showcased the winning videos from Cambodia (Regional Winner) and Malaysia (People’s Choice Award Winner).

Concluding the Meeting with AICHR chairmanship handover ceremony, the Meeting expressed their high appreciation to H.E. Mr. Leo Herrera-Lim and the Philippines for the excellent chairmanship, and welcomed Singapore for their chairmanship in 2018.

The 26th Meeting of the AICHR will be held in Singapore in January 2018.