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

SAPA Second Regional Consultation on UN Human Rights Council

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Solidarity for Asian People's Advocacy held a second regional consultation on UN Human Rights Council identifying the key Bangkok Action Points: capacity building, coordination between regional and national NGOs, enhancing linkage of NGOs with UN and regional/sub-regional processes and follow-up to the Durban review conference and the Asia-Pacific regional workshops; with special focus on the UN's Universal Period Review mechanism.
The second Regional Consultation on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) was organised by FORUM-ASIA, a convener of the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy (SAPA) Working Group on UN Human Rights (SAPA WG on HR), in Bangkok from 29-30 July 2007. A total of 54 participants from various countries including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand and the USA participated in the consultation. National and thematic focal points were mainly addressed among members of SAPA WG on HR while reviewing and assessing the HRC outcome on institution-building issues from an Asian NGO perspective. Together they developed common strategies and work plans with a focus on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Consultation was also a follow-up to the first Regional Consultation on HRC held in Bangkok on 2-3 February 2007.

The consultation focused mainly on the preparation for the stakeholders’ report for the UPR that is scheduled to take place in 2008, particularly for the 10 Asian member countries of the HRC. The countries that are going to be reviewed are Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka from South Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines from Southeast Asia; and China, Japan and South Korea from Northeast Asia.

Participants expressed concern on the need of awareness raising activities such as training and capacity-building, including developing manuals, modules, and leaflets on human rights mechanisms and the UPR. They also identified the need for translation of the core documents and other materials into local languages by national NGOs. The consultation realised the need for coalition-building for effective NGO intervention.

Below are the actions points adopted by the regional consultation:

Training and Capacity Building

The Consultation came to a consensus on the need for capacity building activities for member and partner organisations, including identification of resource persons/experts on the UN human rights mechanisms. For the HRC UPR, enhanced knowledge and updated developments for the member organisations are needed.

The meeting also discussed a national training program focusing on the UPR which will tentatively take place in September or November as part of their preparation for Peoples’/NGOs’ UPR report by national NGOs, in particular from India, Indonesia and Philippines, whose UPR is scheduled for February 2008.

Coordination and Cooperation

The regional Consultation also identified the need for more effective coordination among regional and national NGOs to maximise the impact of Special Rapporteurs’ visits as well as members of UN Human Rights treaty bodies. The possibility of organising a regional consultation simultaneously with their national visits to discuss national and international strategies regarding the implementation of their recommendations, assessing the outcome of their previous visits and plan jointly for their next visit to Asian countries.

Setting up joint liaisons or a common office space for Asian NGOs in Geneva was identified as an important goal in the first consultation. This latest meeting further stressed the need to establish an advocacy office for Asian NGOs to strengthen joint lobby activities at the UN human rights bodies, especially the HRC, UPR and the treaty bodies.

Durban Review Conference

The participants stressed the need to utilise the Durban Review Conference process as an opportunity to critically review the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme Action (DDPA) by Asian governments. They also explored the possibility of initiating an Asia-wide, anti-discrimination campaign as a way to raise new issues in the post-Durban process since 2001. Key issues to be highlighted include migrant workers and their families especially those with HIV/AIDS, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, gender-based violence and discrimination including LGBT, discrimination based on work and descent (“Dalits”), religion and human rights (freedom of religion, religious minority, religious intolerance, religious defamation, etc.), non-citizen (stateless persons, refugee, etc.)

The participants were also made aware of the regional training on the Durban Review Conference which will be organised by FORUM-ASIA in January 2008 in Bangkok as part of the preparation for the visit of Gay McDougal, UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues.

Follow-up to 14th Annual Workshop of the Framework on Regional Cooperation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region (Bali, Indonesia, 10-12 July 2007)

The consultation realised that the Annual Workshop for Regional Framework for Regional Cooperation is a value-added strategic venue for civil society engagement with governments and national human rights institutions as well as the OHCHR, especially the UNHCHR in Asia, and it needs to be fully utilised as part of a common agenda for Asian NGOs. Therefore, the consultation agreed to regular follow-ups on the Asia-Pacific meetings for better coordination in utilising these workshops. Lobbying activities could be initiated in advance for the next workshop, possibly in 2008, which will be organised as a special event to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the process and 10th anniversary of Teheran Framework (1998).

SAPA and Follow-up

The regional consultation identified the need to enhance links between the work of NGOs at the UN HRC and regional/sub-regional processes, such as ASEAN and SAARC, through more effective coordination and cooperation among SAPA working groups (on UN Human Rights, ASEAN, Migrant and Labour, etc.)

The meeting also agreed to hold a regional consultation on UN HRC by SAPA WG on UN HR more regularly, twice a year in February and July or August. The third Regional Consultation has been scheduled to take place in February 2008 after the first UPR Working Group, which will take place earlier in the same month

The consultation also agreed to develop a specialised website for the SAPA WG on UN HR in order to assist NGOs to participate in HRC, especially the UPR in connection with a newly developed website for NGOs’ participation in HRC.