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Outcome Document of Session 5:AICHR Regional Workshop on the Role of Youth in Promoting Human Rights in ASEAN

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Outcome Document of Session 5

AICHR Regional Workshop on the Role of Youth in Promoting Human Rights in ASEAN: Making Rights A Reality

30 & 31 October 2015

Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), University of Malaya


Submission by Youth Participants

31 October 2015, Kuala Lumpur

WE, the youth participants of the "AICHR Regional Workshop on the Role of Youth in Promoting Human Rights in ASEAN: Making Rights a Reality" held on 30-31 October 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, who come from ASEAN countries,


Commend AICHR, under the chairmanship of YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the Malaysian Representative to AICHR, for the initiative in organising this Regional Workshop;


Express our appreciation and gratitude to the AICHR and the co-organisers of the Regional Workshop, for the opportunity to participate in this event;


Find the Regional Workshop and its sessions very informative and useful in enhancing our knowledge about ASEAN, AICHR and other ASEAN bodies and programmes, as well as in strengthening our awareness and understanding on, among other things, human rights in general, various human rights thematic issues especially in the context of ASEAN, the role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs), and regional mechanisms established to promote and protect human rights in our region such as the South East Asia NHRIs Forum (SEANF) and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism;


Feel empowered and encouraged, by the presentations of the esteemed speakers and the discussions that took place during the Regional Workshop, to play a more active and meaningful role in promoting greater respect for, and fulfillment of human rights in ASEAN countries;


Wish to respectfully submit the following recommendations to the AICHR, for its consideration: 


1.ASEAN Community and Human Rights  


That AICHR promote the mainstreaming of human rights in all ASEAN programmes and initiativies including those focusing on the youth;

That AICHR call upon ASEAN Member States to introduce a dedicated human rights subject in their respective national education systems;

That individual AICHR representatives engage with national stakeholders to promote the incorporation of human rights in national outreach programmes;

That AICHR develop a ‘one-stop online portal’ that will serve as a reference point for information on various human rights issues in ASEAN;

That AICHR organise thematic human rights campaigns across ASEAN;

That AICHR call for the review of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States;



2.Human Rights Mechanisms 


That AICHR call upon ASEAN Member States to become parties to the core international human rights treaties and other relevant international instruments relating to human rights;

That AICHR encourage ASEAN Member States to establish NHRIs, where they do not exist, and to strengthen existing ones, in line with the 1993 Paris Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (Paris Principles);

That AICHR establish a mechanism for formal and regular engagement and consultation with all relevant stakeholders such as NHRIs and civil society organisations including youth groups;

That AICHR strengthen its protection mandate by including, among other things, a grievance mechanism to look into complaints of alleged human rights violations, particularly those involving more than one ASEAN Member States;



3.Trafficking in Persons


That AICHR play a key role in promoting greater coordination among all the relevant ASEAN bodies to combat and address trafficking in persons;

That AICHR call for the effective implementation of the soon-to-be adopted ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;

That, cognizant of the close link between trafficking in persons and the plight of refugees, AICHR call upon all ASEAN Member States to become party to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951 and the Palermo Protocol;



4.Business and Human Rights 


That AICHR develop an ASEAN action plan on business and human rights to chart the way for the development of national action plans on business and human rights in all ASEAN Member States within a reasonable timeframe;

That AICHR encourage ASEAN to appoint an ASEAN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, who would report annually at the ASEAN Summit, on the progress of the promotion of business and human rights in the respective ASEAN countries;

That AICHR carry out campaigns to raise awareness on the responsibility of business entities to observe human rights principles and standards in the course of their business operations;

That AICHR call for the establishment of a centralised Corporate Human Rights Oversight Centre (CHOC) within ASEAN with powers to receive and investigate into complaints on human rights abuses by businesses;



5.Reproductive Health and Human Rights


That AICHR strengthen its engagement with various stakeholders including NHRIs and civil society organisations as well as religious groups and youth groups on the issue of reproductive health;

That AICHR develop guidelines on the implementation of national curriculum on reproductive rights;

That AICHR conduct a study to assess the effectiveness of ASEAN Member States’ policies on reproductive health;

That AICHR promote awareness on reproductive health among grassroots communities through, among others, formal and informal education, social media and awareness-raising campaigns.


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