Press Release of Special Meeting 1/2023 of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the Special Meeting 1/2023 of AICHR from 8 to 12 July 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, and was attended by Representatives/Alternate Representatives of AICHR, and the ASEAN Secretariat. Timor-Leste attended the Meeting as Observer.

The Meeting was updated on recent developments on human rights in the region, including new laws and regulations at the national level related to human rights, and human rights initiatives by ASEAN Member States as presented by the AICHR Representatives of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

The Meeting discussed the implementation of AICHR’s Priority Programmes/Activities in 2023 with a focus on business and human rights, the environment and climate change, rights of persons with disabilities, children’s and women’s rights, human rights and poverty eradication in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), disinformation, hate speech and human rights, victim-oriented protection to counter radicalisation and violent extremism, and prevention of torture, among others.

On 9 July, AICHR met with the ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group (AER-WG) to discuss the progress and provide guidance for the AER-WG on the development of a regional framework on environmental rights in ASEAN. AICHR also met with the Child Rights Coalition (CRC Asia) with the participation of children, which deliberated possible measures to raise awareness and advocacy on children’s rights, as well as engagement of children in AICHR’s activities.

On 10 July, AICHR held its interface meetings with the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW), the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC), and the Representative of the Chair of ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) respectively, which discussed priorities and possible initiatives for alignment of work and integration of human rights across three Community pillars of ASEAN.

On 11 July, the AICHR Representatives had their annual interface meeting with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers during the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings. The Interface saw candid exchanges between the Ministers and the AICHR Representatives on human rights in the region. Recognising the important role of AICHR and its significant contribution to ASEAN Community-building, the AMM reaffirmed support to AICHR’s endeavours in the promotion and protection of human rights. The AICHR also delivered its Statement and submitted its Annual Report 2023 to the 56th AMM at the Interface.

Preparations for the 1st AICHR-UN Dialogue on Human Rights, the AICHR Official Visit to Switzerland, and the 5th ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights to take place in September-October 2023 were deliberated.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to AICHR Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat for the excellent arrangements of the meeting.

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