At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

NGOs’ Participation in the 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum of NHRIs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Institutions was held in September 2007 in Sydney. The Meeting brought together human rights organisation and national human rights institutions to discuss ways in which to protect and promote human rights and the rights of human rights defenders.

The 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) of National
Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) was held in Sydney, Australia, from
24 to 27 September 2007 and hosted by the Australian Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). This year, the APF focused on
issues regarding disability and the environment. The main goal of the
meeting was to enhance human rights cooperation in the Asia Pacific
through promoting and strengthening NHRIs. Representatives from the
NHRIs of Afghanistan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia,
Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
Timor-Leste, Jordan, Maldives, Palestine, and Qatar attended the

An International Human Rights Defenders Seminar was held parallel to
the meeting, it was organised by the International Service for Human
Rights (ISHR) in collaboration with Asia Pacific Women, Law and
Development (APWLD), FORUM-ASIA, International Women’s Rights Action
Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW) and South Asia Human Rights Documentation
Center (SAHRDC). The seminar aimed to promote practical knowledge about
international, regional and national mechanisms for the protection of
human rights defenders in the Asia-Pacific region and to explore the
role of NHRIs as protection mechanisms for human rights defenders.
Additionally, the seminar encouraged regional discussion regarding
human rights defenders and promoted collaboration between NHRIs and
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify areas of cooperation
and specific steps to improve the protection of defenders in the region.

This year’s format included the chance for NGO representatives to
present their statements, a sharp contrast from the previous years’
meetings where NGO involvement was much more limited.

Representatives from FORUM-ASIA, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and
Indonesian Working Group for Human Rights were also invited to meet the
Senior Executive Officers (SEO) Network of NHRIs from the Asia Pacific.
NGO representatives discussed their proposals for the establishment of
a desk or focal point specifically for human rights defenders’ cases,
joint trainings for NGOs and staff of NHRIs, enhanced cooperation
between NGOs and NHRIs and next year’s celebration of the 60th
Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Members of
the Network responded positively to the proposals of the NGOs,
requesting them to draft a concept paper on the establishment of HRD
desks or focal points for concrete implementation.

Ms. Jennifer Lynch, Chairperson of the International Coordinating
Committee (ICC) of National Institutions for the Promotion and
Protection of Human Rights, also held a dialogue with NGOs, stressing
three key points for next year: (1) strengthening the ICC as an
institution; (2) increasing the presence of the ICC at the UN Human
Rights Council; and (3) advancing the capacity of NHRIs in promoting
and protecting human rights. On the third point, FORUM-ASIA proposed to
include a closer working relationship between NGOs and ICC in the ICC
guidelines. Another proposal FORUM-ASIA made is to create a space in
the accreditation review process of NHRIs, so that reports from NGOs on
the performance of NHRIs will be considered within their countries.

Another highlight in the APF meeting was the joint statement delivered
by NHRIs from countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) on the current situation in Burma. Their statement was
supported by the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice from Timor Leste
and several NGOs present in the meeting. The ASEAN NHRIs agreed to
request their national governments to negotiate with to bring an end to
human rights abuses.

APF decided that the next reference for 2008 to its ACJ would be on
corporate accountability and government responsibility for the
activities of transnational corporations which affect human rights. The
secretariat of APF was requested to develop draft terms of reference
concerning the obligation to respect and protect the legitimate
activities of human rights defenders, for the consideration and
approval of APF councillors, through the strong engagement of the NGOs.

Below are the conclusions accepted by the 12th Annual Meeting of the APF of NHRIs :

  • The National Human Rights Institution of Maldives was admitted to the
    APF as an associated member, Jordan and Timor Leste admitted as full
  • The Secretariat will examine and the make recommendations to
    enhance the effectiveness of the role of NHRIs in the UN and concerning
    the relationship between International Coordinating Committee
    accreditation for the consideration of Forum Councillors;
  • The APF requests the ICC and OHCHR to increase information on the
    activities of the Human Rights Council, other UN human rights bodies to
    the secretariat for the dissemination to the its member;
  • The establishment of a governing structure for the Senior
    Executive Officers (SEO) network in line with the governing structure
    of the APF;
  • APF shall consider practical mechanisms to enhance NHRIs
    protection of HRDs and the role of NHRIs to cooperate with NGOs in the
    UPR mechanism, the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and
    in the implementation of the Convention Against Torture and its
    Optional Protocol
  • The APF Councillors resolved to establish disability focal points in each institution to liaise and coordinate regionally.