A new report by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), Disenfranchisement and Desperation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State: Drivers of a Regional Crisis, details how political exclusion is exacerbating the already intense sense of desperation among Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and driving a regional crisis that ASEAN leaders are ill prepared to confront.
The report is based on findings from two research missions to Myanmar by parliamentarians from Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia as well as APHR researchers, in April and August/September 2015.
Amidst a backdrop of rising anti-Muslim sentiment, dozens of Muslim and Rohingya candidates have been deliberately excluded from Myanmar’s November elections and hundreds of thousands stripped of voting rights, leaving them with little hope of any positive future in Myanmar.
Since May 2015, when Rohingya asylum seekers were stranded in the Andaman Sea, making international headlines, what steps have ASEAN leaders taken to address the root causes of the exodus? Is the region better prepared to respond to another exodus?
APHR will be holding a press conference to present the findings of the report and answer questions, beginning at 10:30 A.M. on 16 October at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Presenting the report will be:
Speaking in her personal capacity will be Rohingya humanitarian worker Htike Htike, from Myanmar.
For more information or to request an embargoed copy of the report, please contact Oren Samet at firstname.lastname@example.org or +66992787334
Date: 15-16 October 2015
Venue: Quezon City, Philippines
The topics of violence against children and increased investment in children are very much related. Violence against children has immense social and individual cost. According to the 2014 study of UNICEF, the estimated economic burden due to child maltreatment in East Asia and the Pacific is $194 billion or 1.36% to 2.52% of the gross domestic product. On the other hand, increased investment in children can prevent and help protect children from violence. Efforts to combat violence on children need social and state investments.
At the regional level, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) will meet on 18-20 October 2015 in Manila, Philippines to discuss the Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children, and the Commission’s five-year work plan. At the international level, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) is drafting General Comment No. 19 on Public Spending and the Rights of Children. The General Comment is being developed by the Committee through a transparent and consultative process, which involves a wide range of state and non-state actors at the national, regional, and international levels.
Local participation for these regional and international initiatives will be highlighted during the Regional Consultation on the Elimination of Violence against Children and Improved Public Investment on Children organized by Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia) and Philippine NGO Coalition on United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, through the support of Save the Children, UNICEF, and Plan International.
The consultation has the following objectives:
The consultation is open to members of civil society organizations and the academe that are actively advocating for children’s rights and social budgeting in Asia-Pacific. Representatives of government agencies focusing on social welfare, children’s rights, and public finance will also attend the consultation. Children will have a separate session, but will also be invited as observers during the consultation.
The first day of the consultation will include presentations on violence against children by ACWC commissioners, and country sharing of experiences on budgeting for children by selected civil society organizations. The second day of the consultation will be composed of workshops facilitated by UN CRC to get inputs on the contents of the draft General Comment No. 19.
For more information, please contact Hazel Bitaña at email@example.com.
Launching of the Annual Performance Report on the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism in 2014
Thailand, 14 October 2015
Organized by FORUM-ASIA and PEF
FORUM-ASIA and SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (TFAHR) have been producing its monitoring and assessment report on the performance of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, particularly the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) annually. Five reports have been produced since 2010. The annual report aim to contribute in strengthening the work of the AICHR and the ACWC through civil society participation. This year, 2015, SAPA TFAHR has produced its fifth report, entitled “Future of Human Rights in ASEAN: Calling for Independence and Protection Mandates”.
In order to share this report to wider civil society, and also to use the report as a platform for dialogue and consultation between CSOs with the AICHR and the ACWC, FORUM-ASIA with People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF), will organize a meeting to present the report to both civil society, and the AICHR & the ACWC representatives in Thailand.
The objective of the launching and the discussion of the report are:
1. To share the latest development of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism which were monitored and assessed in the report to CSOs in Thailand
2. To provide venue for dialogue and consultation between Thai CSOs with the AICHR and the ACWC
3. To strengthen CSOs advocacy on human rights in ASEAN
Date and Venue
The meeting will be conducted on:
For RSVP and any query, please contact Mr. Daywin Prayogo ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or MS. Chutamas Wangklon (email@example.com)
The Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in cooperation with the Representatives of Indonesia to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
invite you to a Public Debate and Discussion on
Strengthening the Protection Mandate of ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms in Preventing and Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls in ASEAN
The overall objective is to achieve increasing awareness about violence against women and girls in ASEAN and to generate input from different stakeholders for the formulation of a Road Map to strengthen AICHR’s protection mandate for women and girls
Monday, 5 October 2015
Caraka Loka, Jakarta, Jalan Sisingamangaraja No. 73, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
09.00 – 09.30 Registration
09.30 – 10.00 Opening Remarks
Mr. Rob Swartbol, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia
Ms. Lily Purba/Bapak Taufan Damanik, Representative of Indonesia to ACWC
H.E I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, Chief Executive of the Indonesia National Secretariat of ASEAN
10.00 – 12.30 Panel Discussion followed by Discussion and Debate
Ms Danty Anwar, Expert staff to the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection/Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN Committee on Women
(ACW)/Head of Secretariat for Task Force on Crime Prevention and Handling of Trafficking in Persons
Ms Azriana, Head of Commission on Violence against Women (KOMNAS Perempuan)
Ms. Nurshyahbani Katjasungkana, National Coordinator to the Association LBH-APIK, Indonesia
Ms. Rita Kalibonso, Representative of Indonesia to ACWC (2009-2013)
Facilitator: Ms. Lily Purba, Representative of Indonesia to ACWC
12:30 – 12.45 Wrap-up and Closing
Facilitator: Mr. Rafendi Djamin, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR
12.45 –13.30 Lunch
For queries and RSVP, latest 2 October, contact: Ms. Wike Devi Erianti (firstname.lastname@example.org, +62 812-9816-3375) and Mr. Rif’at S. Fachir (email@example.com)
7:30pm, Thursday 1 October, 2015
This is not an FCCT-sponsored event. It is a paid function and responsibility for program content is solely that of the event organizer
Across Southeast Asia, recent examples have shown how the right to freedom of religion or belief is increasingly denied and under threat. In some instances, it is the regressive and discriminatory legislation that aims to protect particular groups or to tightly control religion. While in other cases, it is the extreme interpretation of religion or belief, and the targeting of minority populations and religious sects. The denial of this basic right has reportedly taken severe forms that result in death, disappearance, long prison sentences, or in the flight of thousands across borders by land and sea.
In these cases, it is the religious minorities that have disproportionately been affected and should such problematic legislation, policies or extreme interpretations continue to be used, it is believed that this could further perpetuate the climate of religious intolerance in the region. The issue of freedom of religion in Southeast Asia is of critical importance yet it is far too rarely discussed.
Join the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, for an informative overview on the current status of freedom of religion or belief in Southeast Asia and how we could work towards the fuller realization of this right in the region.
Media contacts in Bangkok:
• Leong Tsu Quin, Associate International Legal Adviser of International Commission of Jurists, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. no.: +6681 134 0481
• Ian Stuart, Operations and Partnership Coordinator of BPSOS, email: email@example.com or tel no.: +66 2 116 0405
• Betty Yolanda, Country Programme Manager of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. no.: +66 2 637 9126 ext. 303
When: Back to Calendar 26 September, 2015 @ 9:00 am – 27 September, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Where: Mandalay, Myanmar
“Regional Consultation on the Vision of a People-Centred ASEAN Community”
Co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand
and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, have the pleasure to cordially invite you to the “Regional Consultation on the Vision of a People-Centred ASEAN Community” on 24 September 2015 at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, Bangkok.
The Regional Consultation will be attended by representatives from civil society and academics as well as representatives from ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN is in the process of drafting the ASEAN Community Vision for the next ten years. One of the key elements of this Vision is to ensure that ASEAN becomes a truly people-centred Community. The aim of this Regional Consultation is to provide various stakeholders, especially representatives from civil society, with a forum to exchange views on the future of ASEAN for the next decade, ways to realise a people-centred ASEAN Community and the role of civil society in this endeavour.
The tentative programme, together with the administrative arrangements, registration form and hotel reservation form are attached herewith for your information.
We look forward to welcoming you in Bangkok.
Director-General Department of ASEAN Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand
Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree
Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
All participants are kindly requested to fill in the Registration Form and submit it by 20 September 2015 to:
Khun Maythawee Kruawan (Organizer)
Tel: +66 29501200 – 1
Fax: +66 28827294
E-mail: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cc email@example.com
When: Back to Calendar 16 September, 2015 @ 9:00 am – 17 September, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Where: Manila, Metro Manila
Do Asian LGBTs really need to come out when mothers have excellent LGBT radar? How was your coming out experience?
Join BE peer support web-app in a #BEChat on Coming Out with LGBT groups and advocates in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore on September 15, 2015 at 6.30 BKK/JKT and 7.30 KL/MLA/SG. We are joined by TLZsexperts and TEA Group from Thailand, GWL INA Indonesia, Pink Dot Singapore, Task Force Pride in Manila, and other advocates from the region.
Follow #BEChat and @Beingme_bcf on Twitter to engage in the Twitter convo, and dont forget to check out our discussants on Twitter: @tearongnamcha, @shine1968, @brondongmaniss, @denarachman, @hendriyulius, @MMPride_, and @PinkDotSG.
Women’s Labor Exploitation Under Neo Liberalism the current Economic model:
Neo-liberalism, the economic growth development model with policies of deregulation, privatisation and trade liberalisation via free trade agreements has been rigorously pursued globally by states (backed up by large corporations) including those in the Asia-Pacific. Under the pretext of attracting investments, providing jobs, generating revenues and creating development, neo-liberal globalisation has opened up our countries to international capital and international corporations whose main agenda is to increase their profits regardless the costs to human and natural resources. Labour exploitation has intensified. Gains made by workers, including women, through decades of worker organising and struggles have been eroded. These include the contraction or elimination of key elements of decent work such as job security, right to living wage, decent working conditions, health and safety measures, and the crucial rights to organize, to bargain and to strike. On top of this, gender inequality in the workplace remains strong including a gender pay gap in favor of men,in Asia Pacific, withAsia having the highest gender pay gap.
Women continue to disproportionately face a range of multiple challenges relating to access to employment,working conditions, employment security, wage parity, discrimination, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual abuse in the workplace, and balancing the competing burdens of work and family responsibilities. Thus, exploitation of women workers is deepened by the intersections of socio-cultural norms backed by patriarchy and policies and institutional frameworks based on neo-liberal economic models.
Privatisation of basic social services such as health, education and housing, which are features of neo-liberal globalisation, has made these services inaccessible to the poor and has added to the burdens of women as mothers, wives and as social service workers.
Need for more women to unionise and to organise
Under the neo-liberal globalisation attack on decent work and worker’s and women’s rights, the need to organise and to unionise becomes more urgent.
Trade Unions, especially for women labour, are critical space to promote and protect women workers’ rights, not just at the workplace but also in the community and at the national, regional and international levels.Despite the crucial role unions play in asserting worker’s rights to decent work and its potential in advancing women’s rights, women remain under-represented as members, organisers and leaders in the trade union movement. Although there has been increase in women’s membership in Trade unions, only a small number of women hold leadership positions. This could be due to deeply embedded patriarchal values that ‘attempt at dissuasion against taking on trade union responsibilities’, lack of leadership skills or lack of confidence in their own abilities, or even lack of knowledge of how trade unions can help them or largely due to burden of family responsibilities.Recognising the multiple challenges women union leaders face and the importance of trade unions to advance women’s human rights, APWLD organised its first trade union leadership training in 2014 that trained 23 women organizers and leaders.
With the success of its first training, APWLD will hold its 2nd ‘Women Leading, Women Organizing’ training in Manila, Philippines from 14th to 18thNov. It is important to note that the Ministerial Meeting of theAsia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)will be held on18th-19thNov, thus providing the trade union training participants the opportunity to take part in the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) solidarity events during17th to 19thNovember, to register our rejection of the further expansion and strengthening of free-trade area deals and oppose the neo-liberal globalisation in the Asia Pacific region.
Training Methods& Content:
This participatory workshop/training will draw from the experiences and existing knowledge of the participants. It will focus on Trade Unionism in the context of Globalisation, Fundamentalism, Militarism and Feminist Development Justice. The sessions will seek to develop leadership skills; capacities in organising methods; feminist analysis of work; collective bargaining, and in the Decent Work agenda; Development Justice, among others.
Selection will be based on the following considerations:
Expectations and obligations of participants:
Pre-training (guidelines and materials will be provided by APWLD):
Maintain regular contact with APWLD and colleagues in the training to exchange lessons, experiences, practices and impacts that result from the training.
Cost of the Training and Sponsorship:
APWLD will cover the costs of discounted economy airfare; boarding and lodging during the training and the subsequent one-two days to participate in solidarity events (approx. 5/6days in total), applicable visa fees and airport/travel taxes. Other additional travel related expenses must be informed by the participant to APWLD beforehand for approval.
All applicants MUST submit:
The recommending trade union/organisation should certify that the applicant has worked in or aspire to involve in leadership roles and decision making positions within the organisation and is committed to applying the core learning points of the training in her future work.
DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM and please email these 3 documents to the attention of: Sunee at firstname.lastname@example.org; and Nadia at email@example.com with Subject line as “Application for Women Leading, Women Organising Training”
Application must be lodged no later than 15 September 2015, Tuesday.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS (with either of incomplete/missing Application form, CV or Endorsement letter) WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED!!!
Please note that only Selected Applicants will be contacted (within October first week).
Please visit our website in this link for article on previous Trade Union training.
For instance, In Asia alone, the majority of female labour force of 734 million are employed in ‘vulnerable employment’ that are of informal nature, low pay and poorly unionized with highest risks of exploitation and least protections.
ILO, 2001, ‘Promoting Gender Equality: A Resource Kit for Trade Unions’ available in http://www.workinfo.com/free/links/gender/cha_1.htm
ITUC 2014 Report
Women in Trade Union: Making the difference in ttps://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/genre_an_080403.pdf
APEC is geared to set up greater regional community to facilitate economic liberalization for free trade and investments in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.
The CSO solidarity events that participants are expected to involve in are: International Festival for People’s Rights and Struggles/IFPRIS on Nov 17; People’s Campaign against Imperialist Globalization/PCAIG on Nov 18; and People’s Caravan on Nov 19 (TBC)