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Jakarta Post

One decade on, ASEAN rights body struggles to find relevance

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 23 2019   /  02:22 am

In Hua Hin, a seaside resort town on the Gulf of Thailand, a landmark regional human rights body for ASEAN was born on Oct. 23, 2009, amid concerns that its birth was a result of countless compromises in a region with diverse political systems.Since then, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has been harshly criticized for its ineffective working methods and its lack of response to grave human rights violations in the region, even with the tools it has at its disposal.The devil truly lurks in the details when it comes to explaining why the agency has stayed largely silent over concerns the region is backsliding on the protection of human rights. A mandate that has limited the AICHR’s ability to function in accordance with the principles of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration is often cited as one of the biggest reasons.Former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda, w...