6th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development

25 September 2011

The 6th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum held in Bangkok, Thailand on the 20th of September had nine participating ASEAN member countries discussing about establishing the Social Protection Floor within ASEAN. There was a two day intensive preparatory workshop organised by the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) with guest speakers from United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).The recommendations resulting from this meeting were meaningful and conclusive towards progressively attaining the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPFI) within each member state’s policy making arena.

The SPFI is an initiative aimed towards ensuring services and transfers to promote social protection as a tool for development and poverty eradication. States present acknowledged that everyone, as a member of the society, is entitled to equal access to social protection such as healthcare services among many others. It was further agreed upon that social protection is necessary to reduce the vulnerabilities of the disadvantaged groups in our societies.

In conclusion, there was consensus on the need to set up or strengthen existing social safety nets to protect people from falling through the nets via establishing a social protection floor. Some implementation procedures recommended included working towards ratifying the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); setting up consultative councils within each member state and ASEAN and working towards an ASEAN level declaration on establishing the SPFI within ASEAN.

The International Council on Social Welfare, a longstanding partner of the ASEAN GO NGO Forum, together with the ASEAN Secretariat and host country (Thailand), received feedback on a successful meeting and witnessed encouraging efforts by all parties towards establishing the SPFI.

MARUAH is a member of ICSW and MARUAH’s President, Braema Mathiaparanam, is the ICSW Regional President of Southeast Asia and Pacific.

MARUAH calls for Singapore to focus on civil and political rights at UN human rights meeting

23 September 2011

MARUAH Singapore has made an oral statement at the United Nations, as the report on Singapore’s human rights was adopted under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council.

Ms Braema Mathi, President of MARUAH, made the first Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) oral statement under the banner of ARTICLE 19, an international NGO focusing on freedom of expression and information.

In the oral statement, MARUAH highlighted that the 2 recent elections in Singapore have shown that the people want to be engaged; the government too has said that. Hence, it is disheartening that they have not supported the core recommendations on civil and political rights.

MARUAH urged the Singapore government to focus on civil and political rights as a priority over the next 4-year cycle of the UPR process. Read the rest of this entry »

MARUAH to speak on human rights in Singapore at UN meeting

21 September 2011

MARUAH (Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Singapore) is participating in the 18th session of the Human Rights Council, as part of its advocacy work under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

Singapore, like all other UN members, is having its human rights record being scrutinised through the UPR process. The UPR reports of Latvia, Sierra Leone, and Singapore will be considered on 22 Sep 2011 at 10am-1pm Geneva time (4-7pm Singapore time).

MARUAH President, Ms Braema Mathi will make a short verbal presentation at the Human Rights Council to provide MARUAH’s views on the human rights situation in Singapore.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Article 19, for enabling MARUAH’s views to be heard at the Human Rights Council.

The Working Group’s report on Singapore can be found at the link here together with an addendum.

The live webcast will be shown at the link here.