Jakarta, 17 October 2013 — After hosting events on rule of law and ASEAN integration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, HRRC brings the discussions to Jakarta, Indonesia. These activities collectively aim to highlight the significance of rule of law as ASEAN transitions into an integrated region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.
With the theme “The Rule of Law in ASEAN: Prospects and Challenges for the Business Community in Indonesia for 2015 and Beyond,” HRRC, with the support of USAID, will host a conference this morning. H. E. Mr. Ngurah Swajaya, Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives, will be giving the Keynote Address. Other prominent figures in the rule of law landscape in Indonesia, including H. E. Rafendi Djamin (Indonesia’s Representative to the AICHR), Mr. Danny Lee (Director for Community Affairs Development, ASEAN Secretariat), and Ms. Gadis Arivia (Executive Director, International Center for Ethics) are also anticipated to speak on the pressing topic.
The conference will be followed in the evening by the screening of the short film, “Indonesia: Business and Rule of Law, Towards ASEAN 2015.” Stakeholders, such as Mr. Anggono W. Roosdiono of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Mr. Eddy Prasetyono of the ASEAN Studies Center in the University of Indonesia, and Ms. Rahima Abdulrahim of the Habibie Center, will be invited to give their commentaries on the business and rule of law outlook in Indonesia as we near the establishment of the ASEAN Community.
The 30-minute video that will be shown poses the question of how prepared Indonesia’s institutions and businesses are to embrace the ASEAN Community. Among the prominent figures who were interviewed are Prof. Dr. Bagir Manan, SH, MCL, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court; Mr. Mas Achmad Santosa, Legal Deputy for President’s Working Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight; Mr. Sofjan Wanandi, Chairman, APINDO (Indonesian Employer’s Association); and H. E. Ngurah Swajaya, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN.
These activities build on the Baseline Study on Rule of Law in ASEAN, completed by HRRC in 2011. The Baseline Study stressed the importance of comprehending the concept of rule of law as ASEAN political-security, socio-cultural, and economic integration nears.
Phnom Penh, 8 October 2013 – On the 8th and the 9th of October 2013, the Human Rights Resource Centre (for ASEAN) will be hosting twin events on the theme “The Rule of Law in ASEAN: Prospects and Challenges for the Business Community in Cambodia for 2015 and Beyond.”
A conference, to be held in the morning of the 8th of October, will be attended by government and NGO officials, as well as representatives of business associations. H.E. Dato Param Cumaraswamy, Advocate and Former Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, is anticipated to give the Keynote Address. A screening of the short film, "Cambodia: Business and Rule of Law," will be held in the afternoon of the 9th of October. This particular event, while open to government officials and representatives of corporations, is expected to mostly attract NGOs and other members of civil society. Both events will be held at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh.
In summary, the AEC aims to shape ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital. However, there has been too few public discussion about rule of law and the business actors in ASEAN, which subsequently makes the ASEAN integration reverberate only in passing.
These events, made possible by the generous support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aim to foster greater awareness of the preparatory steps Cambodia is taking to develop a strong environment for business as ASEAN moves towards economic and political integration.
The video-documentary that will be shown is a follow-on project to the Baseline Study on Rule of Law in ASEAN, completed by HRRC in 2011. The study showed that comprehension of the rule of law framework is crucial as ASEAN political-security, socio-cultural, and economic integration nears.
The video compiles footages and opinions to visualise the rule of law landscape in Cambodia as ASEAN moves towards integration. It mainly comprises of a series of interviews with Government spokesperson, H.E. Phay Siphan, and independent researcher, Mr. Kem Ley. Interviews are also conducted with a number of legal experts, including Mr. Sok Sam Oeun (Executive Director, Cambodia Defender’s Project) and Mr. Lao Mong Hay, independent researcher.
Similar events, focusing on business and rule of law in Indonesia within the context of the approaching establishment of the ASEAN Community, will also be held in Jakarta later this month.
Jakarta, 28 August 2013 — The Human Rights Resource Centre today issued its Synthesis Report from Summer Institute 2013, which focused on Migration and Human Rights. The week-long event, held from 12-16 August in Bali, included a 4-day intensive workshop with a total of 27 participants from 9 out of 10 ASEAN countries, predominantly including delegates or their representatives from the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), the ASEAN Committee on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), as well as the ASEAN Secretariat itself.
The participant group considered the current challenges faced by ASEAN in ensuring that regional-level policy responses address the realities faced by migrants on the ground. Participants and faculty highlighted the key importance of ensuring greater coordination and collaboration amongst border agencies and between Ministries, as well as creating avenues through which the voices of migrants could inform policy-level discussions. At the regional level, greater coordination and collaboration among the AICHR, ACWC and ACMW on cross-cutting migrant issues was seen as the way forward. The creation of “Regional Guidelines for Safe Migration and Practical Actions” was suggested as a potential policy response to harness further cooperation among key actors. Findings from the 1-day event held at Udayana University following the workshop are also included in this report.
This event was proudly held in collaboration with Udayana University and the Asian International Justice Initiative (itself a collaboration between the University of California Berkeley’s War Crimes Studies Center and the East-West Center), in partnership with the University of Zurich’s Competence Center for Human Rights, and the International Institute for Child Rights and Development.
Read the Synthesis Report.
Bali, 20 August 2013 — On 16 August, the Human Rights Resource Centre and its partners hosted the "Stadium General on Migration and Human Rights," a forum for discussion on migration & human rights at the Udayana University. Deputy Rector of Udayana University, Dr. I Nyoman Suyatna, officially commenced the event with a welcome address. Professor Harkristuti Harkrisnowo, Director General for Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Indonesia, and senior Law Faculty member at the University of Indonesia, gave a keynote speech on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and its significance for Indonesia.
Mr. Christoph Sperfeldt and Ms. Tirtawening Parikesit thereafter gave an overview of some of the current concerns on migration, statelessness, and refugee rights within ASEAN. Mr. Sperfeldt has co-authored a report on the legal status of ethnic Vietnamese minority populations in Cambodia entitled "A Boat Without Anchors," while Ms. Parikesit is one of the authors of "Access to Justice for Indonesian Women Migrant Domestic Workers in the United Arab Emirates."
Participants included students from the Law Faculty and Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University, as well as stakeholders relevant to migration issues, such as the police, prosecutors, immigration office and human rights centers.
The forum at the Udayana University was an optional event for attendees of the 6th Annual Summer Institute in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, a workshop held from the 12th to the 15th of August. The Summer Institute focused on the theme “Migration and Human Rights” and was organized by the Human Rights Resource Centre, Udayana University, East-West Center, University of Zurich, International Institute for Child Rights and Development, and the War Crimes Studies Center.
Bali, 15 August 2013 — Today, the Human Rights Resource Centre and its partners held the closing ceremonies of the 6th Annual Summer Institute in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Bali, Indonesia. Over the last 4 days, in keeping with this year’s theme, “Migration and Human Rights,” representatives from key ASEAN bodies discussed ways for ASEAN to move forward in regards protecting migrant rights in the region.
Initiating discussions during the sessions were presentations from international and regional experts and practitioners. Setting the tone on the first day were Mr. Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch; Indonesia’s Representative to the AICHR, H. E. Rafendi Djamin; and former Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Professor Yanghee Lee.
Presenters in the following days included Ms. Tati Krisnawaty (founder of Solidaritas Perempuan), Ms. Tirtawening Parikesit (researcher on women in migration issues at the University of Indonesia), Mr. Tom Temprosa (lecturer and former UNHCR-Philippines staff member), Ms. Therese Caouette of Partners Asia, Mr. Wahyu Susilo of Migrant Care, and Professor Pasek Diantha from the Udayana University. Discussion sessions on concrete steps onward were also held with H.E. Ong Keng Yong, Mr. Marzuki Darusman, Professor David Cohen, and Professor Harkristuti Harkrisnowo.
HRRC and its partners intend to hold a “Stadium General on Migration and Human Rights,” an optional event for attendees of the Summer Institute, at the Udayana University on 16 August.