ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights Terms of Reference

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Adopted on the occasion of the 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand[1], in application of the Article 14 of the ASEAN Charter on the establishment of an ASEAN human rights body and ASEAN’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms[2].

Relevant Provisons of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) - Terms of Reference

1. Purposes of the AICHR

1.1 To promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of ASEAN.

1.4 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.

1.5 To enhance regional cooperation with a view to complementing national and international efforts on the promotion and protection of human rights; and

1.6 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.

2. Principles of the AICHR

The AICHR shall be guided by the following principles:

2.1.d) adherence to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of democracy and constitutional government;

2.1.e) respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice;

2.1.f) upholding the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including international humanitarian law, subscribed to by ASEAN Member States

2.2 Respect for international human rights principles, including universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as wee as impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity, non-discrimination, and avoidance of double standards and politicization;

2.3 Recognition that the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms rests with each Member State;

2.4 Pursuance of a constructive and non-confrontational approach and cooperation to enhance promotion and protection of human rights; and

2.5 Adoption of an evolutionary approach that would contribute to the development of human rights norms and standards in ASEAN.

3. Consultative inter-gouvernmental body

The AICHR is an inter-governmental body and an integral part of the ASEAN organization structure. It is a consultative body.

4. Mandate and Functions

1.1 To Develop strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms to complement the building of the ASEAN Community;

1.2 To develop an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration with a view to establishuing a framework for human rights cooperation through various ASEAN conventions and other instruments dealing with human rights.

1.3 To enhance public awareness of human rights among the peoples of ASEAN through education, research and dissemination of information;

1.4 To promote capacity building for the effective implementation of international human rights treaty obligations undertaken by ASEAN Member States;

1.5 To encourage ASEAN Member States to consider acceding to and ratifying international human rights instruments;

1.6 To promote the full implementation of ASEAN instruments related to human rights;

1.7 To provide advisory services and technical assistance on human rights matters to ASEAN sectoral bodies upon request;

1.8 To engage in dialogue and consultation with other ASEAN bodies and entities associated with ASEAN, including civil society organisations and other stakeholders, as provided for in Chapter V of the ASEAN Charter;

1.9 To engage in dialogue and consultation with other ASEAN bodies and entities associated with ASEAN, including civil society organisations and other stakeholders, as provided for in Chapter V of the ASEAN Charter;

1.10 To engage in dialogue and consultation with other ASEAN bodies and entities associated with ASEAN, including civil society organisations and other stakeholders, as provided for in Chapter V of the ASEAN Charter;

1.11 To develop common approaches and positions on human rights matters of interest to ASEAN;

1.12 To prepare studies on thematic issues of human rights in ASEAN;

1.13 To submit an annual report on its activities, or other reports if deemed necessary, to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting; and

1.14 To perform any other tasks as may be assigned to it by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.

Note:

The First Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was held from 08 to 09 January 2012. The AICHR has reasserted its commitment to adopt the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012[3].



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