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Activists call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Activists call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

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The recommendations listed in this submission have been formulated by groups and activists from the LGBT, women’s rights and human rights sectors, representing regions from across Asia.

We believe that LGBT persons in Asia have the right to be included in the consultation process and have their recommendations scrutinized with non-biased and non-prejudiced eyes, free from discrimination and religious bigotry. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, has noted: “no discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions” .
The recommendations listed in this submission have been formulated by groups and activists from the LGBT, women’s rights and human rights sectors, representing regions from across Asia.

We believe that LGBT persons in Asia have the right to be included in the consultation process and have their recommendations scrutinized with non-biased and non-prejudiced eyes, free from discrimination and religious bigotry. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, has noted: “no discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions” .

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Published by: Joey Oliveros Dimaandal on Jun 22, 2012
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Page 1of 4Page 1 –ASEAN Human Rights Activists Call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, June 21, 2012gcristobal@iglhrc.org
ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTSCALL FOR A SOGI-INCLUSIVE ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION
The ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has worked hard to draft an ASEAN HumanRights Declaration (AHRD) that reflects the true commitment among Member States to upholding human rights,promotes adherence to recognized international human rights standards and meets ASEAN’s main goal:strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rightsand fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the Rights and Responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN
1
.”Under the ASEAN Charter, Member States reaffirm their adherence “to the fundamental principlescontained in the declarations, agreements . . . and other instruments of ASEAN
2
.”Member States undertaketo“[Uphold] the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law, including international humanitarian law,subscribed to by ASEAN Member States
3
.”In addition, MemberStates must comply with those rights, which nowform part of customary international lawand which are universally applicable.The ASEAN Charter commits Member States to upholdingthe Charter of the United Nations, of which allASEAN countries are members. Under the UN Charter, Member States pledge to maintain international peace andsecurity, reaffirm their faith in the “dignity and worth of the human person,” and promote respect for humanrights for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion
4
.”The ASEAN Charter and ASEAN humanrights bodies and declarations reinforce these principles.Being one of ASEANs human rights bodies, AICHR must be guided byrespect for international humanrights principles, including universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rightsand fundamental freedoms, as well as impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity, non-discrimination, and avoidanceof double standards and politicization
5
.”The recommendations listed in this submission have been formulatedby groups and activistsfrom theLGBT, women’s rights and human rights sectors, representing regions from across Asia. They have participated inlocal and regional workshops and consultations concerning the AHRD, including The Women’s Caucus, the ASEANCivil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forumand PhilWomen on ASEAN Workshop.We believe that LGBT persons in Asia have the right to be included in the consultation process and havetheir recommendationsscrutinized with non-biased and non-prejudiced eyes, free from discrimination andreligious bigotry. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, has noted:
no discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions 
6
.Seeing the value of the AHRD as a legal human rights document, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender(LGBT) individuals across Southeast Asia aspire that the final document will recognize ASEAN’s obligations underthe UN Charter and protect the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) Webelieve that this will only be achieved with the cooperation of AICHR, and its willingness to include the humanrights of LGBT individuals.
1
Charter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN Charter), art. 1(7) (2007)
2
ASEAN Charter, art. 2(1)
3
ASEAN Charter, art. 2(2)(j).
4
UN Charter, art. 1(3).
5
AICHR TOR, art.2(2).
6
Civil society must play bigger role in human rights in South-East Asia –UN official,http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40546
 
Page 2of 4Page 1 –ASEAN Human Rights Activists Call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, June 21, 2012gcristobal@iglhrc.org
RATIONALE FOR THE INCLUSION OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY IN THE AHRD 
Every ASEAN Member State is a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and theConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW). They aretherefore boundby the terms of each of these treaties.During the 32
nd
Session of CRC (March 2003), the Committee on the Rights of the Childadoptedsexualorientation in itsGeneral Comments No. 3
7
, which focuses on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the child. Similarly,during the 33
rd
Session of the CRC (July 2003),theCommittee on the Rights of the Childmade explicit reference tosexual orientationin its General Comment No. 4, which focuses on the Adolescent health and development in thecontext of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
8
.The CRC is universally ratified within ASEAN and no ASEAN Member-State made any reservations on thenon-discrimination provision of the CRC, which specifically mentioned sexual orientation as one of the protectedcategories under the CRC’s non-discrimination principle.During the 47
th
Session of CEDAW (October2010), the Committee on the Elimination of DiscriminationAgainst Women (the CEDAW Committee”) adoptedsexual orientation and gender identity in itsGeneralrecommendation No. 27
9
, which focuses on older women and the protection of their human rights. Similarly, inGeneral Recommendation No. 28 on the Core Obligations of States Parties under Article 2 of CEDAW
10
, theCEDAW Committee made explicit reference to SOGI. The CEDAW Committee practice in the past has stronglyurged states parties through its Concluding Observations for decriminalization where sexual orientation andrelated behavior is criminalized in the law.
11
Both General Recommendations clearly identify that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation andgender identity is inextricably linked with discrimination against women on the basis of sex or gender and that itmust be prohibited and addressed under StatesCEDAW obligations.Therefore, we propose that sexual orientation and gender identity be included in the AHRD:
GENERAL PRINCIPLE 
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction ofany kind, such as race, colour,
sex, sexual orientation, gender identity
, language, religion, political orother opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status. No one shall bediscriminated against by any public authority or any third parties on any grounds.
The State shall takeaction to eliminate both discrimination de jure (in law) and de facto (in fact).
The human rights of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, migrants,victims of natural calamities, internally displaced persons, ethnic groups, indigenous peoples, and othervulnerable groups
regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,
are inalienable, integral andindivisible part of universal human rights. 
7
CRC/GC/2003/3 page 3
8
CRC/GC/2003/4page2
9
CEDAW/C/2010/47/GC.1
10
CEDAW/C/2010/47/GC.2
11
Concluding Observations to Kyrgyzstan CEDAW A/54/38page 4 para 127-128
 
Page 3of 4Page 1 –ASEAN Human Rights Activists Call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, June 21, 2012gcristobal@iglhrc.org
STATE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ASEAN MEMBER STATE
We propose this provision be included in the AHRD:
ASEAN Member States shall undertake to prohibit and to eliminate all forms of discrimination of anykind, including race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity,age, social and legal status.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 
We propose this provision be included in the AHRD:Everyone regardless of gender, ethnic origin, social status, political opinion, language, age, nationality,or religion,
sexual orientation and genderidentity
has a responsibility to treat all people in a humaneway.
CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS 
We propose this provision be included in the AHRD:Within the ambit of the law, no one shall be forcibly returned or transferred extradited to a place wherehe or she may face persecution on grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, social status,
sexualorientation and gender identity.
The promotion and protection of religious freedom, indigenous culture shall not prejudice nor be used todiscriminate and/or violate the inherent human rights of person or people not in conformity with thereligion and culturesuch as but not limited to those with diverse
sexual orientation and/or genderidentity
.Every person has a right to form a family. The family is the basic unit of society (in lieu of "natural andfundamental unit of the society). ASEAN Member States shall recognize and protect the rights of all formsof families, without distinction on nationality or citizenship,
sexual orientation and gender identity
. Thisincludes the right of migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families to social services, co-ownproperties, and be recognized as rightful beneficiaries of the partners, with custody of their children.All ASEAN Member Statesshall ensure that no religious beliefs or teachings should influence laws, andState policies nor it be imposed to all citizens in any ASEAN member state.
RIGHTS OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLEGROUPS 
We propose this provision be included in the AHRD:The human rights of vulnerable groups including women, children, persons with disabilities and elderly
regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity
are inalienable, integral, and indivisible part ofuniversal human rights.Migrant workers and members of their families within the territory or subject to the jurisdiction of anyASEAN member State shall enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction of anykind such as to sex, gender,
sexual orientation, gender identity,
race, colour, language, religion orconviction, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, nationality, age, economic position,property, material status, disability, birth or other status.]

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