The consultation-workshop on the ASEAN Charter will discuss the role of civil society in economic, social and cultural development using the human rights framework. The participants will elaborate their vision for a people-centred ASEAN. A vision of what ASEAN should be:Universal Declaration of Human Rights
29 August 2007, the consultation-workshop on the soon-to-be-concluded ASEAN Charter attempted to explore the public role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in economic, social and cultural development in the new scheme of things come November 2007.
The October 6th, consultation-workshop on the ASEAN Charter will discuss the role of civil society in economic, social and cultural development using the human rights framework. The participants will elaborate their vision for a people-centre ASEAN. A vision of what ASEAN should be:Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The participants will refer to key human rights principles and good practices in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and political rights, and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. International Bill of Human Rights
To be truly people-centred, ASEAN will need a social model with basic decent levels of social standards, practice non-discrimination, promote respect and protect the human rights of all including labour and migrant workers rights. There is a need for some form of regional human rights mechanism. Such a system can lead to a deeper understanding and more sensitive treatment of human rights issues among governments and peoples in the region. It can provide greater access to remedies for human rights violations.
Everyone is born with equal human rights regardless of the persons background, poor, rich, disabled, race, language, culture, colour, descent etc. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols.
Human Rights will not be an obstacle for economic progress. In fact, it will equip Singaporean's to face-up to the impact of globalization and negotiate a fair deal. Singaporeans need to know and appreciate, and also question the limitations, in terms, of their rights to housing, education, employment, food, water, health, personal security, safety nets, civil rights, political rights, social rights, cultural rights etc.
While respecting the government's contribution towards fulfilling this rights, the citizens need to know this are their rights and participate in implementing their rights. They should monitor the situation to see how this is being implemented and contribute their suggestions for improvement. They must be free to express their opinion as individuals or groups and peaceful assemble [with due respect to the law and policies of the land] to make their views heard.
Human rights education is essential for a democracy like Singapore. But schools do not include human rights education in their curriculum. How can citizens including children be trained and educated on human rights to prepare them for life?
ASEAN acknowledges the principle of comprehensive security and commits to address broad political, economic, social and cultural aspects of building an ASEAN "caring and sharing" Community. What is the role of ASEAN Civil Society in building a "caring and sharing" community?
PUBLIC CONSULTATION WORKSHOP ON THE ASEAN CHARTER
Theme: People-centred ASEAN for a "caring and sharing community"
Venue: Auditorium, 8th Floor,
Date: October 6th
Time: 2.30 - 5.30pm
The assembly on Sat 29 Sept agreed that for the next meeting, participants
will be divided into groups, depending on their interests and inclinations.
And these groups are:
For example, the Civil Political rights group can include in their discussions issues pertaining to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly amongst others.
The Social rights group may want to cover women's rights, children's rights, the rights of disabled, labour rights, migrant workers rights, etc
The Cultural rights group may wish to look into censorship issues etc...
The output of the discussion will be presented at the Asean Civil Society Conference 3(ACSC-3) on 2 - 4 November in Singapore.
For history of ACSC (i.e.ACSC 1 & 2), go to:
For further information:
Chair of the Interim Singapore Working Group
Singapore Focal Point for the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
Sources and Relevant Links:
Singapore Working Group for ASEAN Civil society kicks off ASEAN Charter involvement
Singapore Working Group for ASEAN ASEAN Civil Society Conference
ASEAN Secretariat THE ASEAN CHARTER: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Singapore Working Group for ASEAN The Draft ASEAN Charter: Is it people-centred? 26 August 2007
Singapore Working Group for ASEAN Draft ASEAN Charter must be distributed to the people 25 August 2007
Forum Asia 40th Anniversary Highlights the Need to Set ASEAN on a New Path 09 August 2007
Forum Asia ASEAN: Need for Greater Civil Society Involvement 09 August 2007