AICHR TOR Review (Yuyun Wahyuningrum, 2012 - updated)
REVIEW AICHR TOR:
Senior Advisor on ASEAN and Human Rights
HUMAN RIGHTS WORKING GROUP (HRWG)
What we aim with the review?
• It is the time when we can work together to make AICHR
as an INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISM by
changing the selection process of AICHR
• To make AICHR accessible by pushing the body to
finalize a democratic guideline on engaging civil society,
including receiving complaints on human rights and
sharing information to public
• To make AICHR a responsive body by changing its
mandate to be be able to respond the issues by having a
fact-finding mission, investigation
TOR AICHR & Its Timelines
Civil Society Involvement during and after
the drafting of TOR AICHR
in Jakarta, July
in Manila, Sept
of TOR AICHR
What to Review? Suggestion from the
• Objective of the Review: to strengthen the mandate and
functions of the AICHR in order to further develop mechanisms
on both the protection and promotion of human rights.
• Indicator 1: Has AICHR provide an ASEAN’s commitment to pursue
forward-looking strategies to strengthen regional cooperation on
Indicator 2: Has AICHR serve as a vehicle for progressive social
development and justice, the full realization of human dignity and the
attainment of a higher quality of life for ASEAN peoples?
Indicator 3: Has AICHR receive full support and provision of
adequate resources by ASEAN Member States?
Indicator 4: Has AICHR acknowledge contribution of stakeholders
in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN, and
encourage their continuing engagement and dialogue with the AICHR?
Indicator 5: Has ASEAN cooperation on human rights support the
evolution of AICHR as an overarching institution?
What to Review? Purpose of AICHR
• To promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of
To uphold the right of the peoples of ASEAN to live in peace, dignity and prosperity;
To contribute to the realisation of the purposes of ASEAN as set out in the ASEAN
Charter in order to promote stability and harmony in the region, friendship and
cooperation among ASEAN Member States, as well as the wellbeing, livelihood, welfare and participation of ASEAN peoples in the ASEAN
Community building process;
To promote human rights within the regional context, bearing in mind national and
regional particularities and mutual respect for different historical, cultural and religious
backgrounds, and taking into account the balance between rights and responsibilities;
To enhance regional cooperation with a view to complementing national and
international efforts on the promotion and protection of human rights; and
To uphold international human rights standards as prescribed by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and
international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties.
What To Review?: Mandate AICHR
• 4.1 To develop strategies for the promotion and
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms to
complement the building of the ASEAN Community;
• 4.2 To develop an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
with a view to establishing a framework for human rights
cooperation through various ASEAN Conventions and
other instruments dealing with human rights;
• 4.3 To enhance public awareness of human rights
among the peoples of ASEAN through education,
research and dissemination of information;
• 4.4 To promote capacity building for the effective
implementation of international human rights treaty
obligations undertaken by ASEAN Member States;
What To Review?: Mandate AICHR
• 4.5 To encourage ASEAN Member States to consider acceding to and ratifying
international human rights instruments;
4.6 To promote the full implementation of ASEAN instruments related to
4.7 To provide advisory services and technical assistance on human rights
matters to ASEAN Sectoral Bodies upon request;
4.8 To engage in dialogue and consultation with other ASEAN Bodies and
4.9 To consult, as may be appropriate, with other national, regional and
international institutions and entities concerned with the promotion and
protection of human rights;
4.10 To obtain information from ASEAN Member States on the promotion and
protection of human rights;
4.11 To develop common approaches and positions on human rights matters
of interest to ASEAN;
4.12 To prepare studies on thematic issues of human rights in ASEAN;
4.13 To submit an annual report on its activities, or other reports if deemed
necessary, to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting; and
4.14 To perform any other task as maybe assigned to it by the ASEAN Foreign
What to review? AICHR’s 5-Year Work
• See other document (PDF)
What CSO’s opportunity?
• Article 9.6 = AICHR’s Terms of Reference will be reviewed
by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (in 2014).
AICHR shall assess its works and submit
recommendations for the consideration of the Foreign
Indonesia will take a lead on TOR review together with
Singapore and Thailand.
It is likely that AMM will establish a working group to
review the TOR comprising the representative from ten
Civil society can submit their analysis, assessment and
recommendations to this working group as well as to
Strategy: Simultaneous Approaches
Top Down: Creation of
demand in regional level
Bottom Up: Pushing for
need of making ASEAN HR
Mechanism through civil
Individual member countries
CSOs/NGOs (Nat & Regional)
• AICHR should function as human rights monitoring body, which
supplement and complement the national and international systems,
by having the following mandate:
• On-site visits to investigate and report on the human rights situation in member
Effective response to emergency situations;
Appointment of independent special rapporteurs, working groups etc. as may
Consideration and investigation of individual complaints in respect of alleged
human rights violations by member states.
Publication and dissemination of reports and decisions. AICHR, and not
another decision-making body of the regional organisation, should decide
whether and what to publish.
Transparency and accountability should be the norm and to be institutionalised
in a mechanism in AICHR.
Interaction with civil society organisations, national human rights institutions,
and other international mechanisms with a human rights agenda.
Encourage inter-state communication and reporting on human rights.
• The emerging good practices for human rights institutionalisation in
ASEAN, such as the Human Rights Dialogue that was initiated by
Indonesia in 2013, the Retreat to discuss human rights issues during
AICHR regular session that was initiated by Brunei Darussalam, the visit
of prison that was introduced by Thailand and the possible practice to
observe court, need proper and positive follow-up internally in AICHR.
• AICHR members must be composed of independent and impartial
experts. The independence and impartiality of the members must be
guaranteed through the confirmation hearings and election in an open
and transparent manner, for example by a panel, which may consist of
the parliamentary body, representative of civil society, think tank/
university, national human rights institution and the government;
privileges and immunities and proper procedures for the removal of
• AICHR members must be broadly representative of the region in terms of
gender, legal systems, language and geography.
• The retreat was occurred during the 12 th AICHR’s meeting in Jakarta, May 2013. AICHR
allocated two hours retreat to discuss specific issues related to the human rights of Rohingya
in Myanmar and the missing activist, Sombath Somphone of Laos.
• AICHR should take necessary measure to ensure that ASEAN exercise its responsibility to
ensure the continuing effectiveness of the supervisory bodies that they establish, in
consultation with civil society. The regional organisation has to provide the secretariats of the
supervisory bodies with adequate resources. The members should control the appointment
of key staff.
• In long term, AICHR should consider to provide recommendation to ASEAN Foreign
Ministers to establish human rights court to hear cases as referred to it by the relevant
human rights monitoring body, member states or individuals. In a system where a human
rights monitoring body exists, individuals or their representatives should have the power to
refer cases to the court after consideration by the human rights monitoring body. The court
should have contentious as well as advisory jurisdiction.
• AICHR needs to focus its next three years to gain recognition from the rest of ASEAN bodies
and organs as the overarching body in the region deal with human rights with proper
engagement and substantive cooperation. For this purpose, AICHR have to to invite them to
series of meetings and identify human rights gaps, interests and needs for cooperation. More
importantly, AICHR should ensure that alignments and cooperation with ACWC and ACMW
will be materialized.