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PWG Prepares for Nationwide University Road Show on ASEAN and Human Rights

The Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (PWG), in cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) invites you and/or your network to cover or perhaps write an article about its nationwide university road show entitled “Human Rights: Asan na yan sa ASEAN?

ASEAN has recently adopted a Terms of Reference that establishes an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). There is therefore a need to raise the public’s awareness, especially those from the academe, NGOs, government offices and media, of ASEAN and its role in promoting and protecting the human rights of the peoples in the region including its impact in the Philippine context.

As such, the PWG and the CHRP is organizing this nationwide road show which will run from September to December 2009 in partnership with major universities around the country. Attached is a copy of the draft programme, and a schedule of the road show for the month of September.

This nationwide university road show is made possible through the funding support of the European Commission project entitled “Enhancing the Role of National Human Rights Institutions in the Development of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism,” the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Southeast Asia Regional Cooperation in Human Development (SEARCH).

For further information on this, please visit www.aseanhrmech.org or contact Ms. Kris Merginio through phone at (632) 897 2142 or (632) 899 7691 loc. 2109/2117; fax at (632) 899 4342; or email at mkmerginio@aseanhrmech.org.

 


HUMAN RIGHTS: ASAN NA YAN SA ASEAN?
Awareness Raising Campaign

SHORT BACKGROUND

Last December marked not only the 60 th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the coming into effect of the ASEAN Charter which endowed it with legal personality after 40 years of loose association. Signed by the ASEAN leaders during the 13 th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2007 and ratified by all ten member-states by November 2008, the Charter came into legal effect in December 2008.

ASEAN, committed to intensifying community building through enhanced regional cooperation and integration, has taken unto itself a legal and institutional framework. In the preamble of its Charter, ASEAN expresses adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Also of deep significance, especially to the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, is the fact that Article 14 of the Charter expressly provides for “the establishment of an ASEAN human rights body for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

The High Level Panel (HLP) which ASEAN appointed in July 2008 to draft the terms of reference of the AHRB submitted the final draft of the Terms of Reference (ToR) on 19 July 2009 to the foreign ministers of ASEAN. As the official press release noted, the gist of the Joint Communiqué is as follows:

The establishment of the ASEAN Human Rights Body and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers formally adopted the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Human Rights Body, which will be called “the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights”. They also recommended to the ASEAN Leaders that the Commission be launched during the 15th ASEAN Summit to be held in October this year. The adoption of the TOR is the beginning of an evolving process. The TOR provides ASEAN with a platform for furthering ASEAN's efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights. Hence, as part of the review process of the TOR in 5-years' time after it enters into force. After this, each ASEAN country will proceed to appoint its representative to the Commission so that we can convene the inaugural Commission meeting during the 15th ASEAN Summit [in October 2009]….

Mindful of the foregoing developments, the Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism appreciates the need to raise the public’s awareness of ASEAN and its role in promoting and protecting the human rights of the peoples in the region.

The PWG, in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines as well as with major universities around the country, is therefore undertaking a nationwide road show precisely to popularize ASEAN and its impact on human rights in the region, as well as in the Philippines in particular. To expound, the primary objective of this nationwide road show is to raise awareness regarding ASEAN; the developments pertaining to human rights in ASEAN, especially the developments regarding the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR); what impact such developments have given the Philippine context; and what all this would mean in terms of addressing human rights issues which are not properly addressed at the local level.

The forum will have the university as venue but will be the subject of an open invitation to academe, NGOs, government offices, etc. In short, all interested parties within the locality may attend subject to space limitations. As envisioned, the venue should be capable of holding 100-150 people. The program, which will take approximately 3 hours, will proceed as follows:

I. Opening Ceremony (20 minutes)

 

A. National anthem

partner university
(or we can provide the canned music)

B. Welcome remarks

partner university

C. Introduction of the activity

Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN
Human RightsMechanism/
Commission on Human Rights

II. Program proper (2 hours)

 

A. ASEAN

Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN
Human RightsMechanism/
Commission on Human Rights

B. Human Rights and the AICHR

Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN
Human RightsMechanism/
Commission on Human Rights

C. Philippine Contextualization

Philippine Working Group for an ASEAN
Human RightsMechanism/
Commission on Human Rights

III. Intermission (10 minutes)

partner university (optional)

IV. Open forum (30 minutes)

 

V. Closing (10 minutes)

partner university

 

September Schedule

Date

School

Location

Sept 11 (F)

UP Cebu

(AM)

Cebu City

Sept 12 (S)

Cebu Institute of Technology (AM)

Cebu City

Sept 15 (T)

University of Northern Philippines

(AM)

Vigan City

Ateneo de Davao University

 

Davao City

Sept 16 (W)

UP Tacloban

(AM)

Tacloban City

Leyte Normal University

(PM)

Tacloban City

Sept 17 (Th)

Silliman University

 

Dumaguete City

 

 

Sept 18 (F)

Ateneo de Zamboanga University

(PM)

Zamboanga City

St. Louis College

(PM)

San Fernando, La Union

Sept 22 (T)

Bulacan State University

(PM)

Malolos

Sept 23 (W)

University of Batangas

(AM)

Batangas City

University of San Carlos

(AM)

Cebu City

Sept 24 (Th)

Ateneo de Naga University

(PM)

Naga City

Sept 25 (F)

Ateneo de Manila University

Quezon City

Sept 29 (T)

Nueva Vizcaya State University

(AM)

Bayombong,

Nueva Vizcaya

Sept 30 (W)

St. Ferdinand College

 

Ilagan, Isabela

Lyceum-Northwestern

(PM)

Dagupan City

Xavier University

Cagayan de Oro City

Oct 1 (Th)

Angeles University Foundation

 

Angeles City, Pampanga

Aquinas University

(AM)

Legaspi City