Jakarta, 18 November 2021 (TDI): The Association of Southeast Asian Nations commonly known as ASEAN; is celebrating the Human Rights Declaration Day, today. The day commemorates the adoption of the Human Rights Declaration.

AICHR; ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was established in 2009. It is a regional human rights mechanism and its purpose is to promote and ensure human rights in the member states. The member states are Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Later, the commission drafted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012. All member states collectively adopted the declaration. In the declaration, the states reaffirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration, and Programme of Action along with other international human rights instruments.

They also emphasized the significance of the efforts adopted to promote human rights. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region are some of the efforts incorporated by the regional organization.

Human Rights in the Region

The Southeast Asian region faces frequent human rights violations and abuses. In recent years, the crimes against the Rohingya and other religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar are one such example. Aside from that, the region also encounters enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, adjournment of the legal opposition, attacks on independent media, and the shrinking of civic space and freedom of expression.

Despite such challenges, ASEAN and AICHR, are resolutely and persistently working to create viable human rights mechanisms to ensure the safety of individuals. The organization promotes the embracing of rights, dignity & diversity and shuns discrimination. The Human Rights Declaration can ensure the acquisition of these objectives.