The Singapore Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (MARUAH) attended the 8th Workshop on the ASEAN Regional Mechanism on Human Rights in Bangkok, Thailand, 14-15 July 2009.
See Day 1 proceedings here.
In Day 2 of the workshop, speakers and participants discussed the following issues
- Government ministries should provide logistical support to the country representatives in the proposed ASEAN Human Rights Body (AHRB)
- Selection process for the country representatives to the AHRB should be transparent (Paris Principles)
- Existing National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can provide training & capacity building
- Civil society will continue to adopt a watchdog role to monitor the performance of the AHRB
- Civil society will be the link between governments and the public
- Human rights issues should not merely be regarded as internal affairs, as there may be spillover effects on regional peace & security
- Regional standards should not be used to lower standards
- Role for AHRB beyond the regional – other regional bodies address national issues too, especially if national bodies are insufficient, or local remedies exhausted