1st AICHR Regional Consultation with ASEAN Sectorial Bodies

May 10, 2012 - May 10, 2012

AICHR met with ASEAN sectorial bodies to receive input on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. AICHR did not share a copy of the draft Declaration prior to or during the consultation. Some sectorial bodies stated that this kind of consultation is a good practice and should continued in the future. However, others thought that their inputs were not meaningful, as they did not have access to the document upon which AICHR was consulting. AICHR never responded to the official letters sent by some sectorial bodies asking AICHR to share the draft. Some sectorial bodies reminded AICHR that the principle of transparency is part of human rights values. There was a request to AICHR not to monopolize human rights issues as it concerns all parties in the governments as well as the stakeholders.

ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) suggested AICHR consider five issues in the Preamble: a) the importance of implementing the principle of transparency as one of the values of human rights, b) implementation is equally important as ratifying or acceding international human rights instruments, c) the participation of all stakeholders, the protection of all human rights defenders, d) the importance of supporting and collaborating efforts with national mechanisms for human rights protection at ASEAN member states, e) support the involvement of stakeholders including civil society organizations. ACWC also highlighted the urgency of the inclusion of CEDAW, violence against women, the principle of equality and non-discrimination, equal protection to all persons especially women.

The Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime suggested that the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration should include protection for victims of people smuggling and trafficking in persons. SOMTC also said that AHRD should be drafted based on universally accepted human rights but at the same time should not in contradict the laws and norms that applied in the ASEAN member states.

The Senior Officials Meeting on Education suggested that AHRD should guarantee: a) free elementary education, and b) equal access to higher education for all.

The ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers stated that the Declaration should deal with labour and migrant workers as these issues are being handled by ACMW. ACMW requested that the word migrant workers not be mentioned in anywhere in Declaration. In response to this request, AICHR clarified that the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration will include all elements of human rights and will not duplicate but rather complement the existing ASEAN Declaration on the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The Senior Officials Meeting on the Environment requested that the Declaration include principles of sustainable environment, MDGs and clean and green .

The Senior Official Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Reduction requested that the human rights based approach to poverty, the universality of human rights and the principles of empowerment, participation and rights related to rural community be considered in AHRD.

The Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development stated that AHRD should ensure the rights of the elderly, persons with disability and children are protected.