The Women’s Network for Advancement and Peace organized a public forum on 21 November 2011 to consolidate the expectation of Thai women from the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). It was attended by Thailand’s representative at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree and Dr. Seree Nonthasuth, the country’s representative in the AHRD drafting team.
The recommendations are divided into three parts. The first part consists of general expectations that the AHRD will bean instrument for State Parties to express political will in protecting, promoting and responding to the human rights of people of all groups in ASEAN, especially the vulnerable and marginalized groups as defined in international conventions and mechanisms. For the participants, the AHRD will serve as source in the development of mechanisms for the protection and the promotion of human rights, including the establishment of the ASEAN Human Rights Court. The AHRD will also lead to the implementation of due diligence across the region.
The second part features WNAP’s proposed rights in a way that strengthen and build on those that were clearly written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. These include the following:
- Fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of ASEAN without any form of discrimination and regardless of legal status with special measures in order to achieve equality in both law and practice.
- The right to self-determination of everyone, including the right to education for young teenagers with pregnancy.
- The right to live without any form of violence in both private and public areas, including the practices that violate basic human rights
- The right to social protection of mothers and children
- The right to access justice regardless of legal status, and to receive compensation for impairment without delay. The aforementioned includes special measures that allow vulnerable and marginalized groups to access justice.
The Women’s Network also recommended that the process towards the AHRD be a learning process. It must allow civil societies to comment on the drafting of the Declaration before being submitted for approval by ASEAN leaders.
Dr. Sriprapha provided updates on the drafting process behind the AHRD which is supposed to be finalized by December 2012. However, it appears that the drafting team has been struggling to produce a draft on time. Meanwhile AICHR is set to meet on the draft for most of 2012 and submit a draft for approval by ASEAN leaders by October 2012.
Dr. Sriprapha was asked several questions, which led to a lively discussion between her and women’s groups based in the North, the Northeast and the South as well the Informal Labor’s Network, Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand, the Association of Thai Deaf Children and Women’s Network Federation and the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand.