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SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights meet High Level Panel in Manila

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The Solidarity for Asian People's Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (Task Force) attended a consultation meeting with the High Level Panel in Manila, The Philippines on 11 September 2008, to discuss the establishment of the ASEAN human rights body (AHRB).

The consultation is part of the Third Meeting of the High-Level Panel (HLP) on the Drafting of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ASEAN Human Rights Body on 10 – 12 September, which was hosted by the Philippines government.

The HLP was appointed during the 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2008 and held its first meeting on 21 July 2008 in Singapore and second meeting from 14-16 August 2008 in Thailand.

The meeting in Manila is the first interface meeting between the HLP and the Task Force which is represented by 26 national and regional human rights organisations. These NGOs have been monitoring the development of the AHRB with an aim to advocate for a credible human rights mechanism.

At the 2nd Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights organised by the Task Force in Jakarta recently, proposed roles and mandates of the HLP was discussed by the participants who were represented by more than 60 civil society representatives in the ASEAN region.

These discussions will be brought to the HLP to ensure that voices of CSOs are incorporated in the drafting of the TOR. Other than the Task Force, the HLP will also be meeting with the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism and four ASEAN National Human Rights Institutions.

For more information regarding the meeting in Manila, please read the PRESS RELEASE by the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs who organised the Third Meeting.