November 17, 2014 - November 18, 2014
The AICHR Workshop on Regional Mechanisms will be held with a view to creating a platform of exchanging and sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learned among representatives from regional human rights mechanisms around the globe and other relevant stakeholders, including representatives from government agencies, National Human Rights Institutions, UN agencies and CSOs.
- Adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) represents a key document on human rights standard and is fully recognised by states, international organisations and regional mechanisms, including ASEAN. The VDPA reaffirms universality, indivisibility, independence and interrelatedness of human rights and diversities of historical, cultural and religious backgrounds among nations and acknowledges that regional arrangements play a fundamental role in promoting and protecting human rights by reinforcing universal human rights standards, as contained in international human rights instruments. This has led to the need for the creation of effective regional human rights mechanisms with a view to ensuring that international human rights norms are implemented and fulfilled nationally and regionally; according to paragraph 37 of the VDPA, “[t]he World Conference on Human Rights endorses efforts under way to strengthen these arrangements and to increase their effectiveness, while at the same time stressing the importance of cooperation with the United Nations human rights activities”
- Many regional human rights bodies were already established prior to the adoption of the VDPA, such as the European Court of Human Rights (1953), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (1959) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1987). Following the VDPA in 1993, additional mechanisms were set up, including the Arab Human Rights Committee (2009) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (2009). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) is the latest regional mechanism on human rights and also the first sub-regional commission on human rights in the Asian region. Since its inception in 2009, the AICHR has played an important role in advancing human rights in the region, especially in the area of human rights promotion. The AICHR has conducted a number of activities pertaining to this mandate. Notable examples include negotiation and adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, organization of workshops, trainings and seminars on human rights, conducting thematic issues of human rights and interacting with dialogue partners on human rights cooperation. However, the AICHR is still facing challenges, which has rendered the discharge of its protection mandate not as successful as its promotion activities.
- The AICHR Workshop on Regional Mechanisms will be held with a view to creating a platform of exchanging and sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learned among representatives from regional human rights mechanisms around the globe and other relevant stakeholders, including representatives from government agencies, National Human Rights Institutions, UN agencies and CSOs. The workshop will include substantive matters on the development and implementation of regional human rights standards with the focus on the example of the rights of women, which is a human rights commonality of all ASEAN Member States due to their ratification of Convention of Elimination of Discrimination against Women. In addition, participants to the workshop will discuss on ways in which cooperation among the AICHR and other regional mechanisms as well as other stakeholders can be enhanced and regularised.
- To identify and share good practices, programs, frameworks as well as challenges of regional mechanisms that will contribute to the work of the AICHR in the promotion and protection of human rights.
- To share experiences, best practices and lessons learned in the development and implementation of international human rights norms, standards and instruments by different regional mechanisms on human rights.
- To create cooperation and joint efforts in advancing implementation, promotion and protection of human rights among the AICHR, other regional mechanisms and stakeholders
Duration and venue
The AICHR Workshop on Regional Mechanisms is designed for 17-18 November 2014 at the Eastin Grand Sathorn hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. Participants of the workshop who are not Bangkok residents are expected to arrive Bangkok on 16 November and depart on 19 November 2014.
Targeted participants of the workshop on Regional Mechanisms are:
- AICHR Representatives and their assistants;
- Representatives from Regional Mechanisms (eg, the Council of Europe, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Organisation of the Islamic States)
- Regional experts on human rights, international experts on human rights and/or international law;
- Representatives/Members of National Human Rights Institutions/bodies;
- Representatives from government agencies of AMS; (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Social Welfare/Social Development and Human Security);
- Representatives from UN agencies and Treaty bodies;
- Representatives from ASEAN Sectoral Bodies;
Representatives from Civil Society Organisations in ASEAN Member States, nominated by respective AICHR representatives