For over four decades since its establishment, ASEAN as an intergovernmental organization has always endeavored towards improving the lives of the peoples in the region, particularly in the economic, political security and socio-cultural aspects. To further ensure the wellbeing of the ASEAN people, ASEAN decided to have its own regional human rights body, which reflects ASEAN's strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Human rights are an integral part of the ASEAN Community and are reflected in both the ASEAN Charter (Article 1.7, 2.2.i, and 14), and the ASEAN Political-Security Blueprint (Section A. 1.5). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) were established in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The establishment of the AICHR presents to the region and the global community ASEAN's strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The AICHR will set the tone for cooperation in human rights promotion and protection in ASEAN. The AICHR is the overarching body with a cross-cutting mandate that handles matters related to human rights cooperation with other ASEAN Bodies, external partners and stakeholders.
Yet how many people within the ASEAN region know of the AICHR's existence? And how many are aware of how the AICHR came about and what mandate it holds? This booklet is intended to provide quick facts regarding the AICHR and the development of human rights in the ASEAN region.