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Civil Socity Joint Open Letter to AICHR Requesting for the Guidelines for Operation, TOR of the Drafting Team of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and TOR of Thematic Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights

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15 June 2011

H.E. Rafendi Djamin

Chairperson and Representative of Indonesia

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

Jakarta, Indonesia

Dear Sir:

Warm greetings!

We write on behalf of the Solidarity for Asian Peoples Advocacies(SAPA) Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (TFAHR) and the SAPA Task Force on Freedom of Information (TF on ASEAN FOI).

The SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) was established in August 2007 in Kuala Lumpur during the First Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights. One of the objectives of the Task Force is to promote genuine and meaningful dialogue and engagement between NGOs and the AICHR in promoting and protecting human rights. The TF on ASEAN FOI is an initiative to push for the recognition of the public’s right to know and access to information in ASEAN. These two Task Forces work under the SAPA Working Group on ASEAN (SAPA WG ASEAN), a collaboration among various NGOs, peoples’ movements, coalitions and campaign organizations that seek to engage ASEAN issues and processes. It has played an active role in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference, and works on specific advocacies on human rights, migrants’ rights, economic development and social justice, and democratization, among others.

The SAPA TF-AHR and the SAPA TF on ASEAN FOI welcome the progress made by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in institution building. We understand that as a result of the past AICHR meetings, several important documents and decisions have been adopted.

As reflected in Article 1.13 of the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN aspires to become a People-Oriented ASEAN, “in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building”. A fundamental requisite to achieving this is to keep stakeholders promptly and sufficiently informed. AICHR itself commits to keep the public periodically informed of its work and activities through appropriate public information materials (Article 6.7 of TOR of AICHR).

It is in this spirit that we would like to request for a copy of the following documents:

  • The Guidelines on Operation of the AICHR;
  • The Terms of Reference for the drafting team of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration;
  • The Terms of Reference for the thematic study on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Rights; and

We also ask that these documents be made widely available as soon as possible through the website of ASEAN or of AICHR to facilitate genuine and meaningful public participation and consultation on these matters that will have far reaching impact on the fundamental freedoms and human rights of people in ASEAN.

We look forward to your favorable consideration of our request.

Thank you.

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