ASEAN member states reaffirm their commitment to human rights dialogue
Siem Reap, 19 November 2022, in-person and video-conference
After having successfully organised the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue in 2013, 2014 and 2021, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), hosted another dialogue on 19 November 2022 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia.
The holding of this year’s ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue coincided with the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.
The Dialogue was attended by ten ASEAN Member States (AMS) and some National Human Rights Institutions in ASEAN region aiming to provide a regional platform to exchange views among AMS and share best practices and experiences in promoting and protecting human rights in their respective countries.
In his keynote speech, H.E. Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro, Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and the SOM Leader emphasised that human rights and fundamental freedoms are becoming more important than before when dealing with current challenges that the region is facing such as economic hardship as a result of pandemic, food and energy crises, and changing domestic and regional political landscape.
Emphasising on the importance of cooperation and genuine dialogue, the Alternate Representative of Cambodia and Chair to AICHR, Mr. Chin Malin said that AICHR can build mutual trust and share experiences in the journey of advancing the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN.
Among the areas of human rights discussed at the dialogue are freedom of religion and belief, freedom of press and expression, rights of migrant workers, the rights of women including political participation of women and the treatment of women prisoners, labour protection, the rights of children, trafficking in persons, the rights of persons with disabilities, SDGs, business and human rights, measures in addressing COVID-19, poverty eradication, death penalty, human rights education, administration of justice, and climate change.
The delegates also discussed the progress of their countries’ ratification of international human rights conventions, cooperation with the United Nations and strategies in implementing the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations.
The AICHR Representatives reaffirmed the respective countries’ commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and the fundamental freedoms. They noted the proposal to continue the Dialogue in the future.
The ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue 2022 was co-chaired by the AICHR Indonesia and Cambodia and conducted in hybrid format.