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ASEAN human rights commission: Appoint independent experts and ensure protection!

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FORUM-ASIA calls on all ASEAN foreign ministers to "adopt a
TOR (Terms of Reference) of ASEAN human rights body that is up to international human rights


The coming 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) on 16-17 July 2009 in
Thailand will be the momentum for the new human rights regime in ASEAN.
On those dates, the High Level Panel (HLP) Members – consist of
representatives from 10 member states – will submit the final draft of
the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the establishment of the ASEAN human
rights body to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to be adopted as the first
regional human rights protection mechanism in Southeast Asia.

The very essence of the human rights protection mechanism is missing in
the TOR: the protection mandate and the independence of the body. Civil
society envisions that the body will be independent from State with
independent human rights experts appointed and working effectively to
ensure that all member states in the ASEAN act upon its obligation to
promote, protect and fulfill all human rights in line with
international human rights norms and standards.

We just have one month to make sure ASEAN Foreign Ministers adopt a
TOR that is up to international standards for independent and effective
regional human rights mechanism. The petition will be presented on the
first week of July 2009. Please sign the petition below and forward

To ASEAN Foreign Ministers: We urge you to adopt a TOR of ASEAN
human rights body that will ensure the independence of the body by
appointing independent human rights experts to sit in the body. The TOR
should also ensure that protection mandate should be included,
including the mandate to receive complaints of human rights violations
and to conduct investigation. The ASEAN human rights body will be
ineffective when it can only promote but not protect the rights.

We, undersigned, call upon ALL ASEAN Foreign Ministers to adopt a
TOR of ASEAN human rights body that is up to international human rights
standards and at par with other regional human rights mechanism in
regional human rights mechanism in the Europe, Inter-American and
African system, which will promote and protect human rights
effectively. A mere window dressing body will only further confirm the
lack of political will of ASEAN as a regional bloc to protect the
rights of the peoples in the region.


[please click here to sign petition]



or contact Yuyun Wahyuningrum, East Asia Program Manager, at FORUM-ASIA Regional Office .