In commemorating Human Rights Day, 10 December 2014
We, the network of human rights lawyers and activists across Southeast Asia or SEALawyers, call to account the ASEAN governments to have the ASEAN Human Rights Based Community in 2015. Bearing in mind the process towards ASEAN Economic Community 2015 (AEC), we are stating our opinion and concerns in the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. We are also criticizing the lack of human rights perspectives and approach in the process of realization the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 by the ASEAN governments.
In the existence of AICHR and ACWC , and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, progress are still far from what ASEAN people are expecting for the promotion and protection of human rights. Grass-root people are still has not benefited from the establishment of human rights body in ASEAN. Even the words ASEAN, AICHR, ACWC are still aliens for the people.
In all ASEAN countries, many human rights issues are still prevalence. Migrants and migrant workers’ rights; right to adequate housing; right to food; right to land; freedom of religion and beliefs; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly and association; past human rights abuses; repression and persecution towards human rights defenders are some among other rights being violated that are need to be addressed and ended by ASEAN.
It is also why we, as human rights lawyers and activists and also as part of ASEAN people, are raising our concerns. Observing the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on Realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015, and Joint Communiqué of the 47th ASEAN Foreign Minister Meeting, we deeply concern on the non-inclusion of international human rights standards in the Communiqué, as well as unspecific human rights commitment set out in the Declaration towards ASEAN Community 2015.
We appeal the Government of ASEAN to specify the steps taken towards the realization of ASEAN Economic Community 2015, urging that it will be based on human rights perspective and approach, and transparency. We also urge that the process of specifying steps are includes consultancy with the civil society, based on people-oriented, people centered ASEAN that repeatedly expressed by ASEAN Leaders.
We are also calling all lawyers and legal practitioners in Southeast Asia, to give attention and to involve more in the advocacy of human rights in ASEAN. We believe that being a lawyer is a responsibility, and that a way of giving back to the community is through our contribution in the advocacy of human rights.
For further information:
Febi Yonesta (LBH Jakarta –Indonesia Focal Point); +62-878-7063-6308
Asep Komarudin (Legal Aid Center For the Pres); +62-813-1072-8770
Roni Saputra (LBH Pers Padang); +62-812-6670-8882
Sor.Rattanamanee Polkla [Community Resource Centre (CRC)]; +66-8177-2584-3
 ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights
 ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children