Human rights high on ASEAN’s agenda

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has not only protected human rights but has also contributed to promote peace and development in the region.
Established in 2009, AICHR is tasked to developing strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of people in ASEAN through the education, monitoring, and dissemination of information on human rights standards as prescribed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

After AICHR’s establishment, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration was issued in 2012. The Declaration was followed by the ASEAN Consensus on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in 2016 and the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP). 

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Muslim people prayed during the first night of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on May 5, 2019. Photo: AFP / VNP 

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Practicing Worship of Mother Goddesses, a UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
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AICHR will act as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council during 2020-2022, which will allow it to promote ASEAN’s human rights achievements.

Phillips Vermonte, Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Jakarta said that over the past decade, AICHR has successfully promoted regional instruments, including the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) 2012, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, and the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2018.

At the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok in July, ASEAN foreign ministers met with AICHR representatives. The ministers heard reports on AICHR’s past operations and suggested directions for its future activities, particularly the building of AICHR’s 2020 Priority Program and Work Plan for 2021-2025. These contributed to ASEAN’s common efforts for building a people-oriented and people-centered community.

A people-oriented and people-centered community in the region has been built with such activities as boosting cooperation in tackling climate change, disasters and epidemics; protecting vulnerable groups; allowing visa-free movement among ASEAN countries between 15 and 30 days; mutual recognition arrangement agreements; and consular assistance by ASEAN member states’ missions in third countries to nationals of other ASEAN member states.

- “Socio-economic strategies, programs and projects of Vietnam are all developed in a people-centered, people-oriented and people-served manner.”

- “Vietnam has actively participated in human rights forums of the United Nations, ASEAN and other mechanisms. At these forums, Vietnam has proactively introduced initiatives on human rights, particularly regarding the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and people affected by climate change, which have been well received by the international community.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh

Story: VNP - Photos: VNP & VNA

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