Regional Consultation: The Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

 On 19-20 September 2014, FORUM-ASIA  together with its member,  Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), organized and hosted a Regional Consultation on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Consultation provided a platform for discussing key emerging issues and challenges, as well as to share best practices in relation to the exercise of these rights in Asia. Participants were able to interact with Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and of association. Approximately 50 human rights defenders from 13 countries across the region (including 14 from FORUM-ASIA members organizations) took part in this event.
From left: John Liu (FORUM-ASIA, South and East Asia Country Manager); Sultana Kamal (Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Executive Director);  Maina Kiai (UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association)
Henri Tiphagne, Chairperson of FORUM-ASIA and Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association.

Bangladesh: Academic Visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

On 21-22 September 2014, FORUM-ASIA organized an academic visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, to Dhaka. After giving a public lecture hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, the UN Special Rapporteur met with human rights defenders with a view to informing his work on key issues of concern.  On 22 September FORUM-ASIA member, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) organized a discussion forum with the UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai on the challenges and way forwards for the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. 

ANNI Regional Conference: The Role of NHRIs in the National Human Rights Protection System

On 1-3 September 2014, the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) held its regional conference in New Delhi. The conference addressed whether National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) occupied a safe or precarious space while operating in the realm between State and civil society. A series of panels aimed to identify challenges and threats that unduly affect the work and ​functioning of NHRIs in the region in the fulfillment of their mandate; and to foster dialogue and partnership as well as synergies between NHRIs and other national institutions and partners. On the second day of the conference, the ANNI Report on the Performance and Establishment of National Human Rights Institutions in Asia (2014) was officially launched and presented to the media.
The ANNI conference was also held in parallel to the 19th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF19). The meeting further deepened engagement between ANNI and the APF, including through an ANNI-APF roundtable dialogue, held for the 2nd-year running. APF19 also provided an opportunity for ANNI to provide input on the APF's draft Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.

Read the Associated Press Release

National Human Rights Institutions in Asia: Increasingly Under Threat and In Crisis
Burma/Myanmar: National launch of ANNI Report 2014
On 26 September 2014, Burma Partnership, Equality Myanmar and the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) held a press conference in Yangon (Myanmar) for the launch of the national chapter on the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission as part of the annual ANNI Report on the Performance and Establishment of National Human Rights Institutions in Asia (2014).
A press-release was issued after the press conference.
Cambodia: Human Rights Defenders Decry Human Rights Abuses at the UN Human Rights Council 
On 24 September 2014, FORUM-ASIA together with its members, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), appealed to the UN Human Rights Council not to lose sight of the human rights situation in Cambodia and urged the Cambodian government to show serious commitment to implement recommendations put forward by an independent UN expert over the past 6 years. 
Read More
Hong Kong: ADN Condemns the Violent Crackdown of Pro-Democracy Protesters 
The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) condemned in a statement the violent crackdown on peacefu protests by pro-democracy supporters. ADN, a FORUM-ASIA partner, condemned the suppression of freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong and called on the protection of the basic rights of free speech, assembly, religion and free press guaranteed by the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s local constitution.
Sri Lanka: Expression of Concern at Exclusion of Sri Lankan Activists at International Conference

Two Sri Lankan civil society organisations were dis-invited from the international conference "Enhancing Human Rights and Security in the Asia Pacific" held in Bangkok on 15-17 September 2014, hosted by the University of Sydney. 
Following this exclusion, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director Evelyn Balais-Serrano, wrote an open letter to Mahinda Rajapaksa, Pr
esident of Sri Lanka, and Associate Professor Danielle Celermajer, University of Sidney, questioning the decision to dis-invite the participants.
International Day of Peace: The Right to Human Security is the Right to Peace
In occasion of the International Day of Peace (21 September), the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict- Southeast Asia released a statement calling all governments and multilateral institutions to put an end to the sufferings of peoples affected by conflicts and put human security first. FORUM-ASIA is a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-Southeast Asia.
UN Human Rights Council - 27th Session: Click here to read FORUM-ASIA interventions and statements and for more information about NGO side events at the Session 
NEW FORUM-ASIA Working Paper launched at 27th Session:
Understanding the Role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Human Rights 

The FORUM-ASIA Working Paper series seeks to build Asian perspectives on international human rights landscapes and open new vistas for discussion, debate, research and advocacy on a range of cross-cutting topics that touch on Asia, human rights and international political architectures. We welcome feedback from readers and ideas for further research or new research topics at
Upcoming Events
10-11 October Bali Democracy Forum / Bali, Indonesia
16-17 October, National Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights / Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
13-31 OctoberUN Committee on Civil and political Rights (CCPR) - 112th Session (Sri Lanka) / Geneva, Switzerland 
3-7 November, Asia Memory Initiatives Exchange Forum/ Bangkok, Thailand
27 October - 7 November, UPR Working Group - 20th Session / Geneva, Switzerland

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