Non-Aligned Movement is committed to the protection of human rights. The Movement has highlighted the importance of adopting measures aimed at promoting and protecting the human rights of all. In this context, NAM has supported the continued efforts by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) -comprising of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam – for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In line with Article 14 of the ASEAN Charter which states that “In conformity with the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter relating to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, ASEAN shall establish an ASEAN human rights body”, ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was inaugurated in October 2009 at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand. In the Cha-Am Hua Hin Declaration on the Inauguration of the AICHR, the ASEAN Leaders stated that the AICHR is part of the intergovernmental cooperation among ten ASEAN Member States to develop regional cooperation on human rights. The establishment of the AICHR demonstrates ASEAN’s commitment to pursue forward-looking strategies to strengthen regional cooperation on human rights.”
Since its establishment, AICHR has completed their Five-Year Work Plan 2010 – 2015. Currently, the AICHR is implementing the Five-Year Work Plan 2016-2020 which is aimed at developing strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms to complement the building of the ASEAN Community, to enhance public awareness of human rights among the people of ASEAN through education, research and dissemination of information, to promote capacity building for the effective implementation of international human rights treaty obligations undertaken by ASEAN Member States, to encourage ASEAN Member States to consider acceding to and ratifying international human rights instruments and to develop common approaches and positions on human rights matters of interest to ASEAN. NAM has noted with satisfaction the successful implementation of AICHR’s Five Year Work Plan 2010-2015 and has welcomed the progress in the implementation of the AICHR’s second Five-Year Work Plan (2016-2020).
NAM has welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). AHRD was adopted on 18 November 2012 in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). AHRD reaffirmed the commitment of ASEAN towards the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance. AHRD includes 40 paragraphs under six headings – General Principles, Civil and Political Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Right to Development, Right to Peace and Cooperation in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. At the 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of NAM held at Baku in April 2018, NAM commended ASEAN on completion of five successful years of the AHRD.
NAM has also welcomed the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Elimination of Violence against Women (RPA-EVAW) and the Regional Plan of Action on Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA-EVAC) of 2015 that reflected the zero tolerance of ASEAN on all forms of violence against women and children. These plans recognize the importance of intensifying efforts of ASEAN Member States to promote the rights of women and children, as well as to prevent and protect them from and respond to all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation of women and children particularly for those who are in vulnerable situations, including domestic violence, women and children who are sexually exploited, women and children with disabilities, women and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, women and children in conflict with laws, cyber pornography and cyber prostitution, trafficking in women and children, women and children in disasters, women and children in armed conflict, women and children in refugee camps, women and children on the move, stateless women and children, migrant women and children, women and children belonging to ethnic and/or indigenous groups, children in early marriage, physical abuse of children, bullying, discrimination.
NAM thus values the efforts by the ASEAN to promote the mainstreaming of human rights across the ASEAN community.