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AICHR consult stakeholders in strengthening its human rights protection mandate

BANGKOK, 14 September 2021 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held the Day-2 “Regional Dialogue: Self-Assessment of AICHR Progress After 10 Years” via video conference.

The first dialogue took place on 23 July with the participation of former and current AICHR Representatives, members of the AICHR Terms of Reference (ToR) Drafting Committee, and Panel of Experts Members. At the second dialogue, AICHR Representatives and relevant stakeholders continued to exchange views on the implementation of AICHR’s mandate and functions, and discussed AICHR’s areas to be strengthened, to solidify its position as the ASEAN human rights body.

In her opening remarks, Director-General of ASEAN Affairs Department of Thailand Usana Berananda commended AICHR’s initiative to reinforce the agenda of improving the work of the regional human rights mechanism. She reiterated that a lot of work has been done on human rights promotion over the past ten years and it is crucial, more than ever, to gather inputs in order to strengthen AICHR’s protection mandate moving forward.

As a platform for exchange of views on structural and operational challenges during the first ten years since its establishment, the dialogue served to identify issues of regional concerns needing adjustment, taking into consideration the disruptive changes taking place globally, and the changing needs of ASEAN Member States to review AICHR’s ToR.

It also sought to consolidate views from experts from the American, European and African regions on practical lessons with regard to their respective regional human rights mechanisms to be considered in the ASEAN context.

The recommendations exchanged during the dialogue will be deliberated by the AICHR in views of reviewing future mandates and structure of AICHR, and strategies to implement the future activities to promote and protect human rights in ASEAN.

The outcome also aims to support the work of a Panel of Experts to be established by the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting as tasked by the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to discuss a review of the Terms of Reference of AICHR.

Over 80 participants were in attendance, including representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, National Human Rights Institutions, UN agencies, CSOs with consultative status with the AICHR, and international human rights experts.

AICHR Thailand and AICHR Indonesia hosted the dialogue with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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