The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened its 19th Meeting from 27 to 29 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the Chair of the AICHR and the Representative of Malaysia to the AICHR.
During the course of three days meeting, the Representatives of AICHR discussed several concept papers which will be implemented in 2016. The Meeting also agreed on a new thematic study it will undertake, namely the AICHR Thematic Study on Women Affected by Natural Disasters.
The Meeting was briefed on the outcome of recent AICHR Programmes and Activities, including the AICHR Programme on Human Rights Training of the Trainers for Journalists in ASEAN Member States, the AICHR Workshop on the Development of ASEAN Legal Instruments on Human Rights, the AICHR Regional Workshop on the Role of Youth in Promoting Human Rights in ASEAN: Making Rights a Reality and the AICHR – Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Joint Workshop on Human Rights-based Approach to Combat Trafficking in ASEAN.
In line with the recent adoption of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially for Women and Children (ACTIP) and the accompanying Regional Plan of Action, the AICHR looks forward for further collaboration with the SOMTC and other ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in the ASEAN in its efforts to mainstream human rights-based approach in the protection of victims of human trafficking.
The Meeting also discussed the applications by Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) seeking for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR. The list of successful applications will be announced in due course.
This Meeting marked the end of Malaysia’s Chairmanship of the AICHR, as well as the significant change of the AICHR membership in which majority of the AICHR Representatives will end their terms. The Meeting concluded with the handover of the AICHR’s chairmanship from the Representative of Malaysia to the Representative of Lao PDR, H.E. Phoukhong Sisoulath. The Representatives expressed their high appreciation to H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his hard work and excellent leadership over the past year.
The Meeting also thanked the government of Malaysia for the hospitality and excellent arrangements of the Meeting. The first AICHR Meeting in 2016 will be held in February in Lao PDR.