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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights urges ASEAN to create an independent human rights body

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On 2 July 2009, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomed the progress toward
establishing the ASEAN human rights body.

(Source: IACHR)

Washington, D.C.,
July 2, 2009 – In the year of its 50th anniversary, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
welcomes the progress toward
establishing a regional human rights body by the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In its 42nd Ministerial Meeting, to be
held in Thailand this month, the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN
countries plan to adopt the terms of reference for the creation of a
regional human rights body. The decision to create this body was
established in the ASEAN Charter that has been in effect since December

During the five
decades of its existence, the IACHR has contributed to the strengthening
of human rights throughout the Americas, and recently has taken steps to
enhance inter-regional cooperation with the institutions of the European
and the African regional human rights systems.  The IACHR would welcome
the presence of another strong regional human rights body in Southeast
Asia in order to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights
throughout the world.

The IACHR urges
the ASEAN representatives to take into account the long and fruitful
experience of the existing regional systems, and to ensure that the new
ASEAN body has the autonomy and material support necessary for it to
become an independent and effective mechanism for the protection of
human rights and a valuable contributor to interregional human rights

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States
(OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the
American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has
the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts
as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is
composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity,
without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the
OAS General Assembly.