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Rights and Culture in ASEAN (Yuyun Wahyuningrum)
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Rights and Culture in ASEAN (Yuyun Wahyuningrum)

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  • 1. Culture and Rights in ASEAN Yuyun Wahyuningrum, Senior Advisor on ASEAN and Human Rights, based in Jakarta E-mail: wahyuningrum@gmail.com
  • 2. About ASEAN Founding Members • Thailand • Malaysia • Indonesia • Philippines • Singapore Population 575 million Area 4.5 million square km. Main religions Islam Buddhism Catholicism Combined GDP USD $ 737 Billion Trade USD $ 720 Billion Home to great ethnic, cultural and religious diversity Additional Members • Brunei Darussalam 1984 • Viet Nam 1995 • Lao PDR 1997 • Myanmar 1997 • Cambodia 1999
  • 3. Culture in the three Communities PoliticalSecurity • Support the inclusion of cuture of peace, which include, inter alia, respect for diversity, promoti on of tolerance and understanding of faiths, religions and cultures in the university (Para A.1.9) Economic • No mention about culture but diversity as it puts :turning the diversity that characterizes the region into oppotunities for business complementation making ASEAN a more dynamic and stronger segment of the global suply chain” Para 3 SocioCultural • The community shall nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN scholars, writers, arti sts and media practitioners to help preserve an dptomote ASEAN‟s diverse, culture heritage while fostering regional identity as well as cultivating people‟s awareness of ASEAN” Para 5 AHRD • Every person has the right, individually or in association with others, to freely take part in cultural life, to enjoy the arts and the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or appropriate artistic production of which one is the author. Article 32
  • 4. RIGHTS & CULTURE in the 2000 ASEAN Declaration On Cultural Heritage Para 3 - FOUNDATION FOR A REGIONAL ORDER A Regional order is based on equal access to cultural opportunities, equal participation in cultural creativity and decision-making, and deep respect for the diversity of cultures and identities in ASEAN, without distinction as to nationality, race, ethnicity, sex, language or religion; Para 4 – REGIONAL VISIBILITY Cultural creativity and diversity guarantee the ultimate viability of ASEAN societies; Para 5 – HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Cultural rights and freedom are inherent in the human person who is the main agent and consequently should be the principal beneficiary of, and participate actively in the realization of these heritage, expressions and rights; Para 6 – FORMATION OF REGIONAL IDENTITY Cultural traditions are an effective means of bringing together ASEAN peoples to recognize their regional identity; Para 7 – TOOLS TO UNITE PEOPLE AROUND SOUTHEAST ASIA Cultural rights draws sustained inspiration from the deep historical, linguistic, and cultural unity and linkages among Southeast Asian peoples
  • 5. How ASEAN define Culture & Cultural Rights? ASEAN Declaration On Cultural Heritage, 2000 “Culture” means the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, intellectual, emoti onal and material features that characterize a society or social group. It includes the arts and letters as well as human modes of life, value systems, creativity, knowle dge systems, traditions and beliefs. AHRD, 2012 Five human rights are generally understood as cultural rights (article 32): 1. The right to education; 2. The right to participate in cultural life; 3. The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications; 4. The right to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which the person is the author, and 5. The freedom for scientific
  • 6. How Culture has been used to frame rights in ASEAN? As a limit to the realization of rights: “…The exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, and to meet the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality, as well as the general welfare of the peoples in a democratic society” (Para 8 AHRD) To signify the formation of regional identity/ challenge universality “…At the same time, the realisation of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context bearing in mind different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds.” (Para 7 AHRD) “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” (Article 1.4 TOR AICHR)
  • 7. How Culture has been used to frame rights in ASEAN? Inherent part of the human rights “Every person has the right, individually or in association with others, to freely take part in cultural life, to enjoy the arts and the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or appropriate artistic production of which one is the author”. Article 32 to decide who can come in/out – indigenous people/ ethnic minorities, refugees, Rohingya To lightened the debate into the least common denominator
  • 8. Case Studies: Indonesia Gender Equality Draft Law – challenging Sharia Aceh and other parts of Indonesia Sharia, punkrock, banning women straddle on motorbikes, no trousers for women, female circumcision, divorce, etc Legal pluralism Which groups got marginalized? Women LGBTIQ Indigenous people Religious minority Ethnic minority
  • 9. Cultural rights remain the most acceptable topic across different ideologies, political systems, interests in ASEAN, but at the same time it offers some threats especially when it comes to take different path from the mainstreamed one. The inclusion of cultural rights in AHRD should give a concrete legal and policy framework as well as mechanisms of monitoring and of possible international cooperation and assistance in the area of respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the right to culture. Nevertheless, ASEAN rather use „culture‟ for political purposes. How culture link with two important institutions: the power and the house of truth. How universal it is the right to culture?

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