JAKARTA, Oct 8 (The Jakarta Post) – There were two meetings recently concerning two regional human rights mechanisms, which are important for Indonesia’s foreign policy. The first meeting was the 8th ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) in Brunei Darussalam on Aug. 24-26, 2012. The second was the 2nd Independent and Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Ankara, Turkey on Aug. 27-31, 2012.
In this Sep.26 open letter, human rights activists argue that “serious flaws” in the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, set to be adopted by ASEAN later in the year, must be addressed. If not, they say, the declaration would “not bode well for the reputation and credibility” of the ASEAN human rights mechanism.
It has been five years since ASEAN adopted a declaration to protect and promote migrant workers’ rights, but it still has not managed to hammer out a legally binding instrument to implement this path-breaking declaration. Critics say ASEAN is much more friendly to business than to its own migrant workers, prompting one to call it “schizophrenic”. Vera Files’ Tess Bacalla reports on ASEAN’s uphill climb to come to terms with the migrants in its midst.