Philippines: Development of an Asean Human Rights Mechanism Underway

May. 04, 2007

MANILA — Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, and Commission on Human Rights Chair Purificacion Quisumbing signed a memorandum of agreement on 4 May 2007 to launch a new EC-funded human rights project. The project, which will be implemented by the Philippine Commission on Human Rights together with its sister institutions in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand is intended to help pave the way for the development of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism.

Ambassador MacDonald said This important project, implemented by the Commission on Human Rights in Manila, marks an important step in strengthening human rights efforts in the ASEAN region. Its success will help strengthen ASEANs efforts to build the caring, sharing community foreshadowed at the Cebu Summit.

With a grant of 900,000 (PHP 58 million) from the European Community, the project is expected to contribute towards the improvement of human rights standards in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia focusing on human rights issues of common concern to the ASEAN region.

The project is also intended to contribute to raising awareness among ASEAN governments and civil society regarding the importance of establishing an ASEAN human rights mechanism. Drawing on the experience of the existing national human rights institutions the project will help establish best practices and build towards the establishment of such an ASEAN human rights mechanism.

The project will be implemented over a period of 36 months, and will include the following activities: institutionalising collaborative mechanisms of the national human rights institutions; organising national and regional conferences/workshops; exchanging information and best practices between stakeholders in the 4 participating countries and other countries from the region; capacity-building for the national human rights institutions; and the design and implementation of joint projects on areas of common concern in the region.

Asia is currently the only region in the world without a human rights mechanism at the regional level, and the development of an ASEAN human rights mechanism was identified by the Eminent Persons Group in December 2006 as one of the founding principles and objectives that should be incorporated in the future ASEAN Charter .

****** INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to Davao Today reserves the right to edit or refuse material for publication. *****

comments powered by Disqus