Workshop on CSR and Human Rights in ASEAN: Outcomes of the AICHR Thematic Study

Singapore, 13-14 June 2014

The first-ever thematic study completed by the AICHR was the subject of discussion at the “Workshop on CSR and Human Rights in ASEAN: Outcomes of the AICHR Thematic Study” hosted by Singapore on 13-14 June 2014. The AICHR Representatives welcomed the completion of the Baseline Study for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Rights in ASEAN, a path-breaking study embarked on by the AICHR in December 2011.

The Workshop was attended by about 80 participants comprising of CSR and human rights practitioners, and other regional stakeholders from government, business and civil society and the AICHR representatives. The keynote speaker was former Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and current Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Dr Noeleen Heyzer.

The Workshop was a valuable opportunity for participants to discuss the key findings and learn from each another’s experiences. The Workshop included discussions on current challenges – such as the constraints faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in engaging in CSR activities – and also touched on the opportunities for future development of CSR and human rights activities within the ASEAN region.

Looking ahead, the Workshop participants agreed that governance was a key enabling factor for CSR to flourish, and called on AMS to continue to promote the implementation and enforcement of the existing rules and regulations on CSR. It was also agreed that CSR was useful in helping businesses and consumers become more discerning about the impact of their actions and habits on the environment.

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