Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the human rights situations in Cambodia and Laos.
December 2 marked the 40th anniversary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, where the ruling communist party has maintained a one-party state since a coup in 1975. Next door, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia celebrated his 30th year in power in January of this year.
But these anniversaries offer little to celebrate in regard to human rights. Both nations are in the grip of a land grab crisis, as hundreds of thousands of residents are reported to have been displaced by government, business, and foreign entities that have confiscated land and homes—sometimes forcibly or without fair compensation—to make way for development projects. In both countries, leaders have significantly restricted civil and political rights through laws, threats, and the use of force. Sombath Somphone, a Lao activist who protested the land evictions while promoting community development, remains disappeared since December 2012 when he was taken away in a truck at a police checkpoint. The leader of the opposition party in Cambodia, Sam Rainsy, was ousted from Parliament by the ruling party following defamation charges, and two lawmakers in his party were physically attacked by a mob reported to include members of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit. Such intimidation tactics are seen as part of Hun Sen’s broader campaign to suppress criticism of the government and dictate the terms of the national election in 2018.
Yet the United States’ increased focus on Asia may offer an opening to encourage change. In November, President Obama attended the 2015 Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). His visit to Cambodia in 2012, along with his recently announced visit to Laos for the 2016 ASEAN Summit—both firsts for an incumbent U.S. president— provide opportunities to raise human rights issues as the Administration undertakes a “re-balance” towards Asia.
Please join us to hear from human rights experts and members of the diaspora in the U.S. about the current challenges in Laos and Cambodia, and their recommendations as to what steps the U.S. government, and specifically Congress, may take to advance respect for and protection of the human rights in the two countries.
The briefing will be open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public and the media. For any questions, please contact Dan Aum (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or Daniel.Aum@mail.house.gov, Carson Middleton (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or Carson.Middleton@mail.house.gov, or Ben Kane (for Rep. Alan Lowenthal) at (202) 225-7924 or Ben.Kane@mail.house.gov.
More Information here
Second Coordination Meeting for the Thematic Study on the Right to Peace
Posted on: 21 August, 2015
6 December, 2015 @ 9:00 am – 7 December, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
The course will be spread over four days and will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. The course will be spread into the following thematic areas:
The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures and small group work, participants are expected to do in-depth reading and minor research before the course. Theparticipants will also conduct practical group work over the four days, giving them theopportunity to use the knowledge and skills acquired. The course will be presented by some of the leading experts working on forced migration issues in the region. They include academics, activists, pro-bono lawyers, UNHCR representatives and NGO workers. The course is made possible with the generous funding support of UNHCR and the Planet Wheeler Foundation.
DATES AND VENUE
December 1 – 4, 2015
Bangkok, Thailand (Venue to be confirmed)
About 20 to 25 participants are expected in the short course. The course is intended for individuals already working on forced migration issues in Asia, whether through service provision, advocacy or academic research. It is expected that participants will come from the following sectors: NGO workers, policy makers, lawyers, paralegals, caseworkers, researchers, post-graduate students and refugees themselves. Although the course will give preference to participants from Asia, those situated outside the region are also welcome to apply.
Applicants should have:
Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation from the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University and APRRN.
The deadline for application for admission to the course is September 30, 2015. Early applications (especially for scholarships) are encouraged. To register for the course please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lYMPLdvmllOOleP90UWOXFOMCk9sggVXqeBEM6qy2w/ viewform
Short-listed applicants will be informed on or before October 15 by email.
FEES AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The registration fee for the short course is 100 USD (non-refundable) and needs to be paid in cash by all participants on the first day of the course. Registration fees may be waived on exceptional circumstances.
APRRN will be able to offer a limited number of participants support with costs related to attending the course – this support will only cover flight costs and accommodation (other related costs such as local transport, visa, airport taxes, per diem etc. will need to be covered by the participants themselves). Breakfast (if you are staying at the venue), lunch and two coffee breaks will be offered for all participants.
Inquiries about the course, local accommodation and logistics should be directed to theAPPRN Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
AICHR Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community
Posted on: 21 August, 2015
1 December, 2015 @ 9:00 am – 3 December, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Special Meeting of the AICHR
27 November, 2015 @ 9:00 am – 29 November, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Regional Steering Committee
ASEAN PEOPLES' FORUM 2015
Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
This event follows on from our event in Yangon in January 2015, where we invited leading companies operating in Myanmar to discuss ways to invest in returning refugees and migrant workers.
With the upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), trade and investment in Myanmar and Thailand will only grow. As both economies face labor shortages in key sectors, it is crucial that businesses tap into the potential of refugees and migrants in Thailand – a huge proportion of the Myanmar Diaspora – for dynamic and sustainable growth. There are around 110,000 Myanmar refugees and between 2-3 million Myanmar migrants currently living in Thailand, many of whom are skilled and motivated, but who have not had the opportunity to be formally trained or employed. At the same time, with ongoing political reforms and economic developments in Myanmar, businesses operating in Myanmar and across the border also need to be ready and open to receive an influx of the returning Myanmar Diaspora over the coming years, in order to fill rising capacity gaps and ensure the future progress of the country. Working effectively with refugees and migrants in both Thailand and Myanmar can only serve to strengthen economic ties between the two countries as the Myanmar peace process moves forward. Through the International Rescue Committee’s Invest to Excel project, businesses can engage with the refugee and migrant population impactfully, responsibly, and sustainably.
At the half-day event, our speakers will share their knowledge and expertise:
This event is organized by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and CSR Asia and is free of charge.
Registration: Please write to Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After almost two months of election campaigning by Burma’s political parties, what do we know about their human rights agenda? FIDH investigated and the results are out. Find out what political parties plan to do with regard to religious discrimination, media freedom, accountability for past crimes, domestic and international law, the death penalty, the role of the military, and much more.
WHAT: Press conference to launch “Half Empty: Burma’s political parties and their human rights commitments,” a report by FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights). Translation will be provided at the event.
WHEN: 10:30 am, Tuesday, 3 November 2015
WHERE: Parkroyal Hotel, 33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar
WHO: Mr. Andrea Giorgetta - FIDH Director of Asia Desk - Southeast Asia
Ms. Debbie Stothard - FIDH Secretary-General and ALTSEAN-Burma Coordinator
CONTACT: Mr. Arthur Manet: email@example.com or +33143552518
Ms. Audrey Couprie: firstname.lastname@example.org or +33143552518
The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French acronym FIDH, is an international human rights NGO representing 178 organizations from close to 120 countries. Since 1922, FIDH has been defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as set out in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights.
ASEAN Responsible Business Forum: Promoting Responsible Business practise in ASEAN Economic Community (27 - 29 October 2015)
Royale Chulan Damansara Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Join us at The ASEAN Responsible Business Forum, a high-level regional platform that brings together government officials, civil society and businesses in a multi-stakeholder platform to discuss the burning issues of the day and share best practices of responsible business or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The theme of the conference is “Promoting responsible business practice in the ASEAN Economic Community”
Areas of discussion include:
What to expect?
Who should attend?
For more information, please contact email@example.com or visit our website at asean-csr-network.org.
The Ateneo Human Rights Center and the Ateneo School of Law, in partnership with the ASEAN Corporate Social Responsibility network would like to invite you to participate in a Foundational Course on Business and Human Rights that we are organizing on 19-23 October 2015 at the Ateneo Professional Schools, Rockwell Drive, Makati City.
The course aims to capacitate participants with basic knowledge, and a gender perspective of Business and Human Rights principles using a multi-sectoral approach to mainstream human rights, gender equality, sustainable development and environmental protection in their line of work. It also aims to contextualize the discussions, both in the national and regional setting, especially in light of the ASEAN integration. It will use a multi-sectoral approach, engaging participants from different sectors, namely: the government, private sector, civil society, and the academe.
The application form for the course is available at: http://goo.gl/forms/7EvQIbYM6X . Limited scholarships are available. Deadline for submission of applications is on October 12, 2015.
Should you have any questions regarding the course, you may contact Atty. Veronica Mae C. Yan or Ms. Claire Laison through phone at (632) 899 3633 or (632) 899 7691 loc. 2109/2117; fax at (632) 899 4342; or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.