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2201 Jul 2014

The Second Regional Consultation on Contribution to the Review of The AICHR’s Terms of Reference

The Commission of The Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) attended the second Regional Consultation on Contribution to the Review of The AICHR’s Terms of Reference (TOR) on 27 & 28 June 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand held by the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights. As mandated by the paragraph 9.6 of the AICHR TOR, this TOR shall be initially reviewed five years after its entry into force for further enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights within ASEAN.

This regional consultation was focused on the regional roundtable discussion, with the other experts from different region, the UN human rights experts and the Civil Society Organizations from ASEAN member countries to hear and note the inputs for the recommendation to ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on next August 2014.

KontraS has highlighted the point of ideal relation between AICHR and CSO’s, the excessive interpretation of the principle of non-interference which still be the obstacle for the AICHR to committed their mandate for the protection of human rights since there is no attempt to define clearly the definition of non-interference itself within the ASEAN member states, and the needs to strengthening the protection mandates with;

a) the provision that authorize the AICHR to receive individual and group complaint, anlyse, investigate and produce recommendation on the alleged human rights violations committed by state and non-state actors;
b) To spread the voluntary basis of human rights peer review of the member states;
c) to enable the AICHR to conduct country/on-site visits; and to receive, investigate and address complaints on human rights issues and violations;
 d) To enable AICHR to appoint independent experts (Special Procedures, including Special Rapporteurs) –to effectively implement actual human rights protection work;
e) To enable the AICHR to grant a Precautionary Measures mechanism to protect human rights defenders from serious threats.

On this event, several experts of human rights come and give meaningful inputs, such as Prof. Christina M Cerna from UN, Prof Vivit Muntharbhorn from Chulalongkorn University, Prof. Amara Pongsapich from National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Dr. Sriprapha from Mahidol University, Ms. Snjezana Bokulic from Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Ms. Roberta Clarke from UN Women, and Prof Harkistuti Harkisnowo from University of Indonesia.
All of the experts on human rights has precisely and sharply give many inputs for the upcoming review of the TOR, and analyse the obstacle of the AICHR to committed their mandates, such as;

  1. The needs to actualize human rights and implemented on the workplan
  2. AICHR to explain the terms of reference in the General Comment
  3. To strengthening its protection mandates by developing the early warning system, to make recommendation, immadiet action, and to appoint independent expert to study key issues
  4. The mechanism to receive complaint could not explicitly stated in the TOR. It shall be implicitly written in the TOR
  5. AICHR to produce report on the situation of human rights in the region
  6. AICHR to consider open information to CSO’s
  7. AICHR to give more contribution on the substantive matter.

While, the consultation between AICHR and CSO’s has not been in a good way because of some problems, such as;

  1. Some of AICHR Representatives are not comfort with CSO’s, and some other are suspicious
  2. Lack of trust and understanding between CSO’s and AICHR
  3. No clear modalities on how AICHR could engage with AICHR
  4. Lack of information release about AICHR