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Indonesias NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy

Jiwasraya Building Lobby Floor, Jl. R.P. Soeroso No. 41, Jakarta 10350 Indonesia Telp. : +62-21-70733505, 3143015, Fax: +62-21-3143058, email: hrwg@hrwg.org

Jakarta, 11 February 2014

No Re

: 024/HRWG-ASEAN/II/2014 : Inputs to the draft Guidelines of the AICHRs Relations with Civil Society Organizations

H.E. Kyaw Tint Swe Chairperson ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Dear H.E. Kyaw Tint Swe, Greeting from Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)! On behalf of more than 50 organizations working on human rights in Indonesia, I am very pleased to know that one of the agenda in the 14th Meeting of AICHR in Yangon, Myanmar, this week, is on the Guidelines of the AICHRs Relations with Civil Society Organizations. Along with this letter, Iwould like to convey our suggestions to the draft Guideline to: 1) Begin with stipulating the importance of people participation as one of the ASEANs purposes in building its Community as stated in Article 1.13 of the Charter, To promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building. With this spirit, the Guideline should encourage civil society to engage with AICHR in various ways, and benefit from AICHRs evolutionary process. More over the public participation should be based on the belief that those who are affected by any actions or decisions of AICHR have a right to be involved in decisionmaking process. 2) Include the a) principles that public participation is human rights, b) recognition of the role of civil society in the promotion of human rights, and c) purpose of public participation is for upholding the accountability. This is in line with Article 9 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) which articulates, The process of such realization shall take into account peoples participation, inclusivity and the need for accountability. 3) Provide all related sectors with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way. Consequently, the Guideline should be the tools to: a) encourage actions, which build trust and credibility of AICHR, and b) ensure the fair and equal access to all in the process and opportunity to influence the decisions. 4) Describe the advantages for those who are affiliated with AICHR, such as access to participate in certain sessions, attend and observe some proceedings, make oral intervention, and participate in AICHRs debate. While those who are not affiliated can still engage with AICHR, such as submit written statements, organize parallel events and participate in AICHRs seminars.
Member of the Coalition: AJI, AJMI, AMAN, Arus Pelangi, BWI, DEMOS, ELPAGAR, ELSAM, FOKER LSM Papua, GANDI, GAYA Nusantara, HUMA, IDSPS, IKOHI, ILRC, IMPARSIAL, Institute of ECOSOC Rights, ITP, JATAM, Kalyanamitra, Kapal Perempuan, KBH Bengkulu, Koalisi NGO HAM Aceh, KontraS, KPI, KRHN, LBH ACEH, LBH APIK, LBH JAKARTA, LBH Pers, Mitra Perempuan, Migrant CARE, PBHI, PIAR-NTT, RACA Institute, RPUK Aceh, SAPA-Indonesia, Setara Institute, SKPKCFransiskan Papua, Solidaritas Perempuan, VHR, WALHI, YAPPIKA, Yayasan PULIH, YLBHI, YPHA

5) Secure the space for civil society organization to have their voices in AICHR sessions such as making presentation in the opening of AICHRs regular session in the premise of ASEAN Secretariat. 6) Clarify arenas for participation, such as at the: a) Information level, which usually consists of a one-way provision of information from the AICHR and no-interaction or involvement with CSOs required or expected. b) Consultation level, which AICHR may ask CSOs for their opinion on a specific policy topic or development. The initiative and themes originated from AICHR. c) Dialogue level, which is initiated by either party in either broad or collaborative approach of dialogue. d) Partnership level, which AICHR co-operates closely together while ensuring that CSOs continue to be independent and have the right to campaign and act irrespective of a partnership situation. Partnership can include activities such as provision of services, participatory forums, and the establishment of co-decision-making bodies. 7) As for the information level, AICHR should provide civil society organization with the easy and open information access, research, website for key documents, web casts, research inputs, e-mail alerts, FAQ, procedures, evaluation. While as for consultation level, AICHR could receive petition from civil society organizations, having consultation online with those who live outside of the city, hearing and Q&A panels, conducting expert-seminars, multi-stakeholders committees and advisory bodies, feedback mechanisms. On the dialogue level, AICHR could hold hearings and public forums, conduct expert-seminars, multi-stakeholders committees and advisory bodies, open plenary or committee sessions, capacity building seminars, working groups, and deliberative forums. And for partnership level, AICHR can work with civil society organizations to co-drafting, in working groups, joint-decision making, strategic partnership, part of the committees. I do hope that you would consider the above suggestions. In the meantime, I would be more than happy to clarify or answer some or the questions if any. Please kindly contact us at hrwg.indonesia@gmail.com and Program Manager ASEAN HRWG, Mr. Daniel Awigra at awigra@gmail.com Sincerely yours,

Choirul Anam Deputy Executive Director