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ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL FOR A SOGI-INCLUSIVE ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION

The ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has worked hard to draft an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) that reflects the true commitment among Member States to upholding human rights, promotes adherence to recognized international human rights standards and meets ASEANs main goal: strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the Rights and Responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN1. Under the ASEAN Charter, Member States reaffirm their adherence to the fundamental principles contained in the declarations, agreements . . . and other instruments of ASEAN2. Member States undertake to[Uphold] the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law, including international humanitarian law, subscribed to by ASEAN Member States3. In addition, Member States must comply with those rights, which now form part of customary international law and which are universally applicable. The ASEAN Charter commits Member States to upholding the Charter of the United Nations, of which all ASEAN countries are members. Under the UN Charter, Member States pledge to maintain international peace and security, reaffirm their faith in the dignity and worth of the human person, and promote respect for human rights for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion4. The ASEAN Charter and ASEAN human rights bodies and declarations reinforce these principles. Being one of ASEANs human rights bodies, AICHR must be guided by respect for international human rights principles, including universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity, non-discrimination, and avoidance of double standards and politicization5. The recommendations listed in this submission have been formulated by groups and activists from the LGBT, womens rights and human rights sectors, representing regions from across Asia. They have participated in local and regional workshops and consultations concerning the AHRD, including The Womens Caucus, the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples Forum and PhilWomen on ASEAN Workshop. 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 institutions6. 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 ASEANs obligations under the UN Charter and protect the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) We believe that this will only be achieved with the cooperation of AICHR, and its willingness to include the human rights of LGBT individuals.

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Charter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN Charter), art. 1(7) (2007) ASEAN Charter, art. 2(1) 3 ASEAN Charter, art. 2(2)(j). 4 UN Charter, art. 1(3). 5 AICHR TOR, art. 2(2).
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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

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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 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). They are therefore bound by the terms of each of these treaties. During the 32nd Session of CRC (March 2003), the Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted sexual orientation in its General Comments No. 37, which focuses on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the child. Similarly, during the 33rd Session of the CRC (July 2003), the Committee on the Rights of the Child made explicit reference to sexual orientation in its General Comment No. 4, which focuses on the Adolescent health and development in the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child8. The CRC is universally ratified within ASEAN and no ASEAN Member-State made any reservations on the non-discrimination provision of the CRC, which specifically mentioned sexual orientation as one of the protected categories under the CRCs non-discrimination principle. During the 47th Session of CEDAW (October 2010), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the CEDAW Committee) adopted sexual orientation and gender identity in its General recommendation No. 279, which focuses on older women and the protection of their human rights. Similarly, in General Recommendation No. 28 on the Core Obligations of States Parties under Article 2 of CEDAW10, the CEDAW Committee made explicit reference to SOGI. The CEDAW Committee practice in the past has strongly urged states parties through its Concluding Observations for decriminalization where sexual orientation and related behavior is criminalized in the law. 11 Both General Recommendations clearly identify that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is inextricably linked with discrimination against women on the basis of sex or gender and that it must be prohibited and addressed under States CEDAW 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 of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status. No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority or any third parties on any grounds. The State shall take action 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 other vulnerable groups regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, are inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights.

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CRC/GC/2003/3 page 3 CRC/GC/2003/4 page 2 9 CEDAW/C/2010/47/GC.1 10 CEDAW/C/2010/47/GC.2 11 Concluding Observations to Kyrgyzstan CEDAW A/54/38 page 4 para 127-128 Page 2 of 4 Page 1 ASEAN Human Rights Activists Call for a SOGI-Inclusive ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, June 21, 2012 gcristobal@iglhrc.org

STATE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ASEAN MEMBER STATES We propose this provision be included in the AHRD: ASEAN Member States shall undertake to prohibit and to eliminate all forms of discrimination of any kind, 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 gender identity has a responsibility to treat all people in a humane way. 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 where he or she may face persecution on grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, social status, sexual orientation and gender identity. The promotion and protection of religious freedom, indigenous culture shall not prejudice nor be used to discriminate and/or violate the inherent human rights of person or people not in conformity with the religion and culture such as but not limited to those with diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Every person has a right to form a family. The family is the basic unit of society (in lieu of "natural and fundamental unit of the society). ASEAN Member States shall recognize and protect the rights of all forms of families, without distinction on nationality or citizenship, sexual orientation and gender identity. This includes the right of migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families to social services, co-own properties, and be recognized as rightful beneficiaries of the partners, with custody of their children. All ASEAN Member States shall ensure that no religious beliefs or teachings should influence laws, and State policies nor it be imposed to all citizens in any ASEAN member state. RIGHTS OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE GROUPS 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 of universal human rights. Migrant workers and members of their families within the territory or subject to the jurisdiction of any ASEAN member State shall enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction of any kind such as to sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, colour, language, religion or conviction, 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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STATEMENT ENDORSED BY:


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. Anjaree Lesbian Organization Thailand Arnel Rostom Deiparines Arus Pelangi Indonesia B-Change Foundation, Philippines B-Change Technology Pte. Ltd, Singapore Burma Partnership Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex (COLORS) Cebu Philippines Colour Rainbow Burma Deaf Rainbow Philippines Developed Asia Network for Sexual Diversity & HIV Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era Dr. Dd Oetomo (shortlisted candidate, Indonesian National Human Rights Commission) Eva Callueng Philippines For Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Rights Project (For-SOGI) Thailand Forum Komunikasi Waria se-Indonesia Forum LGBTIQ Indonesia Foundation For Women (Thailand) Foundation For Women Thailand Galaya Club (Thailand) GAYa NUSANTARA Indonesia Housing Rights Task Force Cambodia Human Rights Education Institute of Burma Human Rights Working Group-Indonesia (HRWG) Indonesia for Humans Institut Perempuan (Women's Institute) Indonesia International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific) Islands of Southeast Asia Network for Male & Transgender Sexual Health Joy Cruz Philippines Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS) Malaysia Lesbian Activism Project (LeAP!), Inc. Philippines LovePattaya (Thailand) Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. Philippines Ms. Valentina Sagala Indonesia Nex Beas representing AKEI Philippines People Like Us Singapore Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) PhilWomen on ASEAN Philippines Poedjiati Tan Representative Female, ILGA ASIA PT Foundation Malaysia Queer Pagan Network Philippines Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights) Philippines Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT) Sayoni Singapore South East Asian Committee for Advocacy Teeranat Kanjanauksorn Foundation (TKF) - Thailand Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation (TCR) Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS Thai Transgender Alliance The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) The Islands of Southeast Asian Network on Male and Transgender Sexual Health (ISEAN) Viena Tanjung representing Pegerakan Indonesia - Youth Movement Women Health Advocacy Foundation Thailand Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) Philippines YULI Rustinawati Indonesia

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