Dear Friends,
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is pleased to present the August 2014 issue of our E-Newsletter.
The E-Newsletter aims to feature articles, news and announcements highlighting our work within the period, for readers’ update on FORUM-ASIA’s recent and future activities. With our website, bulletin and newsletter, FORUM-ASIA hopes to communicate to the broadest audience nationally, regionally and globally on the human rights situation in Asia and the role of civil society in addressing the situation.
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                                                                                                                                           Evelyn Balais-Serrano
                                                                                                                                             Executive Director

2nd Glo-cal Advocacy Leadership in Asia Academy Held

The 2nd Glocal Advocacy Leadership in Asia Academy (GALAA 2) was held in Bangkok from 2-8 August 2014, co-organized by FORUM-ASIA, Asia Democracy Network (ADN) and Asia Development Alliance (ADA). The seven  days training aimed to enhance the capacity and shared understanding of the next generation of Civil Society Organisation leaders in Asia. This year, GALAA looked at "Mainstreaming Human Rights and Democracy into the Post-2015 Development Agenda". There were 30 participants from 13 countries across Asia, including 14 FORUM-ASIA members. The training was filled with discussions, exercises, field trips and bonding across organisations, borders and issues. 

Testimonial Dinner to honour Adhilur Rahman Khan, Odhikar


On 5 August 2014 FORUM-ASIA organized a testimonial dinner to honour the work of Adhilur Rahman Khan, member of FORUM-ASIA’s Executive Committee and Secretary of Odhikar, FORUM-ASIA member human rights organisation in Bangladesh.
FORUM-ASIA also issued a press statement on the event. 

Read the Press Statement: 
In Solidarity with Adilur Rahman Khan and Odhikar
From left: Louis Bickford (Programme Officer, Ford Foundation); Angkana Neelaipajit (Council Member, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD); Subodh Raj Pyakurel (Adviser Executive Committee of FORUM-ASIA and Chairperson of INSEC); Adhilur Rahman Khan; Henri Tiphagne (Chairperson of FORUM-ASIA and Executive Director of People's Watch India).

Bangladesh: Violent crackdown on factory workers’ strike demonstrate continued backsliding on human rights

(Bangkok, 8 August 2014) The Bangladeshi security force’s violent dispersal of a hunger strike by over a thousand workers at the Tuba group of factories on 6 August 2014 was slammed by FORUM-ASIA as the latest in a long list of recent violations of the rights to freedom of assembly and of association by the Government of Bangladesh.

Read More
ASEAN: Solidarity for Asian People's Advocacy (SAPA) Working Group on ASEAN Mid-Year Stategic Meeting
Members and partners of the SAPA Working Group on ASEAN met on 12-13 August 2014 in Bangkok to talk about the current socio-political situation in select Southeast Asian countries and strategize joint actions for Burma, Malaysia and Laos. The group also discussed plans for the 25th ASEAN Summit and ASEAN +3 Meeting in November 2014.

Maldives: Government must amend laws on freedom of assembly and association to meet Constitutional guarantees and international obligations

FORUM-ASIA co-organized with the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) a workshop on the framework of Freedom of Assembly in Maldives (13-14 August 2014)
Press conference organized by FORUM-ASIA and Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) on Freedom of Assembly and Association in Maldives (17 August 2014)

On 17 August 2014 FORUM-ASIA and the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) called on the government of Maldives to make substantial changes to the laws on assembly and association to meet both the country’s constitutional guarantees of fundamental rights as well as its legal obligations under international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Maldives is party.

Read More
Maldives and Mongolia: National Consultation on the Second Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review 
FORUM-ASIA together with Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) organized a Civil Society Consultation on the Second Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the Maldives in Malé on 16-17 August 2014. 
The consultation brought together broad civil society stakeholders involved in the UPR process in the Maldives, in order to map and consolidate the information available on the implementation of the first cycle and develop long-term UPR follow-up strategies.
FORUM-ASIA co-organized with its members Global International (GI) and Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) a National Consultation on the Second Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Mongolia in Ulan Bator on 20-22 August 2014. The consultation included civil society organisations and community groups to identify challenges and lessons learnt of the first cycle and formulate advocacy strategies and tools for the second cycle of Mongolia's UPR.
Sri Lanka: Joint Letter on Reprisals Against Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders
On 25 August 2014 FORUM-ASIA co-signed with other five relevant international human rights NGOs a joint-letter to express concern for the ongoing attacks against human rights defenders and other individuals from Sri Lanka who seek to engage with the United Nations human rights system. 

Read the Joint Letter:
Joint Letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and to Ambassador Pandukabhaya Aryasinha of Sri Lanka on Reprisals Against Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders
India: National Consultation on Building Consensus for a South Asian Human Rights Mechanism
From Left: Teesta Setalvad (Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace), Father Cedric Prakash (Director, Prashant), Rajinder Sai (Chhattisgarh Labour Institute), Debabrata Roy Laifungbam (President, Centre for Organisation Research & Education) and Babloo Loitongbam (Human Rights Alert)
On 26-27 August 2014 over 100 participants from 20 States across India gathered in New Delhi to discuss the need for and agreed on the establishment of an independent and effective inter-state South Asian regional human rights mechanism. The participants drafted and adopted a Delhi Declaration calling on all states in the region to establish such a mechanism and expressing their resolution to work towards this goal by creating a people's human rights council as a credible model for a prospective inter-state mechanism
The National Consultation was jointly organised by FORUM-ASIA and the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR). 

Read the Press Release:
"India: it is time for the establishment of a South Asian Human Rights Mechanism"

The Regional Initiative for South Asian Human Rights Mechanism is a civil society forum that was created subsequent to the sub-regional consultations held in Kathmandu in 2010 and 2011. This forum is a collaborative platform of civil society and individuals from the region committed to the cause of furthering human rights and peace. The mission of the forum is to advocate for, and help create an environment conducive for the establishment of a South Asia Human Rights Mechanism.

With the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights organisation as its secretariat, the Regional Initiative has been striving for greater cooperation and support for the establishment of a South Asia Human Rights Mechanism.

"A South Asia Human Rights Mechanism: Towards Protection for All"

Click on the cover to download!

Click here for more information about the Regional Initiative for a South Asian Human Rights Mechanism
Upcoming Events
1-3 September, Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) Parallel Meeting to the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) Meeting/ New Delhi, India

3-5 September, Asia Pacific Forum (APF) Meeting/ New Delhi, India

8-10 September, Inisiatif Kemitraan Asia Tenggara - United States (IKAT-U.S) Asia Regional Civil Society Experience Summit (CSES)/ Jakarta, Indonesia

8-26 September, 27th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council/ Geneva, Switzerland 

11-12 September, Asia Democracy Network (ADN) Steering Committee Meeting, Taipei, Taiwan
17-18 September, Academic Visit to India by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai/ New Delhi, India 

19-20 September, Regional Consultation on Freedom of Assembly and Association/ Kathmandu, Nepal
21-22 September, Academic Visit to Bangladesh by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai/ Dhaka, Bangladesh

24-25 September, First Preparatory Meeting of ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC)/ ASEAN People's Forum (APF) 2015/ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

30 September - 2 October, First 2014 Peoples' Forum on Human Rights and Business/ Bogota, Colombia
For more information please contact
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) was founded in 1991 in Manila, Philippines, and moved to Bangkok, Thailand in 1994.

FORUM-ASIA is a membership-based organisation, with 47 member organisations in 16 countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.
Our mission is to promote and protect all human rights, including the right to development, through collaboration and cooperation among human rights organisations and defenders in Asia.

Our objective is to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy in Asia and beyond by consolidating Asian human rights movements through effective collaboration with members and partners on international solidarity action as well as engagement with states and other stakeholders at national, regional and international levels.
Copyright © 2014 Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, All rights reserved.

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