AICHR, SEANF consult stakeholders on human rights protection in post-pandemic ASEAN
JAKARTA, 26 December 2022 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), and the Southeast Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF) together with Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted the regional Consultation to Address Human Rights Protection Challenges in ASEAN for Better Recovery on 16 December.
The consultation provided a platform to exchange views and identify ways forward in addressing the challenges in the protection of human rights in post-pandemic ASEAN. This consultation is part of the implementation of the AICHR Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
Keo Remy, Chair and Representative of Cambodia to AICHR, emphasised AICHR’s commitment to usher ASEAN towards the resilient and sustainable recovery in advancing poverty eradication, safeguarding fundamental freedoms, and reducing inequalities.
Richard Palpal-latoc, Chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines and the outgoing Chair of the SEANF, noted that AICHR and SEANF could further strengthen collaboration in advancing human rights in the region.
Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, highlighted key human rights issues to be addressed in the post-pandemic context, which include the right to privacy and the right to liberty and security, freedom of expression and protection from hate speech, freedom of movement, the right to internet access and protection from online harassment.
More than 75 participants representing the ASEAN sectoral bodies, relevant ministries of the ASEAN Member States, national human rights institutions, academia, youth, and civil society organisations attended the consultation. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Clement N. Voule, was also present.
During the consultation, participants and panellists discussed on how to make full use of existing human rights frameworks in addressing the challenges that prevent the full enjoyment of human rights at the national and regional levels, how to ensure human rights protection and equality for all, and underscored the need to rethinking of strategies for human rights protection in the digitalised ASEAN community in the post-pandemic era.
The consultation noted recommendations from participants which included necessary measures to restore public trust and relations through constructive dialogue between the state and the public; ensure access to justice and revision of the legal restrictions imposed during the pandemic; enhance the collaboration between AICHR and SEANF to provide technical assistance and advice to address human rights challenges in the post-pandemic; improve conditions in prisons and detention centres; and encourage a reliable and credible media and ensure media freedom and independence.
SEANF was established in Bali, Indonesia on 28 June 2007 and consists of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (KOMNAS HAM), Suruhanjaya Human Rights of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC), the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), and Provedoria dos Direitos Humanos e Justica (PDHJ) of Timor Leste.