We were incorporated in the human rights community in Indonesia welcomed the opening of the first session of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). This is one of the major milestone in the promotion and protection of human rights in this area. However, we also urged the agency's commissioners to immediately open communication and opportunities to interact with the NGO community and the victims of human rights violations. AICHR should center on the interests of the people, especially the victim community in the region. Is indisputable in the ASEAN region is important issues of human rights still can not be solved by national governments respectively. Violence, suppression of civil rights-political, impunities, did not fulfill the basic rights of economic, social, and cultural, as well as problems of migration and migrant workers continue to be a fact that is difficult to refuse.
We have a big expectation to AICHR can be as an internal self-criticism of these problems. We assess AICHR would be more productive as an internal correction mechanism in the ASEAN region when the commissioner open up to the active involvement of civil society in this region, including the victim community. To build civil society engagement with ASEAN, the commissioner must be bold and creative to build an initiative breakthroughs despite nearly the ToR of AICHR did not mention at all.
However, we also realized that this would AICHR formation can be used by some authoritarian countries in the region as a shield to ward off criticism from the international community. Refusal to communicate and interact with civil society, especially during the trial AICHR will give a bad impression not only for the public in this region, but also the international communities that constantly monitor this body. We want this AICHR mechanism could evolve progressively to approach the standards of a regional human rights mechanism such as those in other areas.
We never pessimistic and will not ignore the existence of this AICHR. On the contrary we will continue to monitor the performance of these agencies so that in future not too distant future, AICHR mandate will be extended until the victim can be an instrument for the protection and fulfillment of their rights. We hope the countries that claim to be promoters of democracy to further accelerate an initiative evolution of AICHR more sensitive and responsive to the interests of victims of human rights violations.
Jakarta, 29 Maret 2010
HRWG, KontraS, KPI, Imparsial, SBMI, Migrant Care, CWGI, Peduli Buruh Migran, LBH Pers, ISAI, Elsam