Regional Consultation - Asia, August 2016
On the 29 August 2016 OHCHR jointly with Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR),a regional non-profit organization based in Indonesia and Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE) organized a workshop focused on current and pressing human rights issues in the Asia region and steps to improve the existing human rights situation. Four human rights thematic areas were covered in the workshop including: addressing mass human rights violations in contexts of transitions to democracy, gender based violence; transitional justice and stolen children.
The OHCHR panel discussion in the 3rd session reflected on the key human rights challenges in the region, and how civil society and in particular,pro-bono lawyers could cooperate with the UN and Regional Human Rights Mechanisms(RHRMs). Liza Sekaggya delivered OHCHR’s opening statement followed by presentations from special procedure mandate holders, and treaty body members.
Dr. Heisoo Shin a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Mr.Tae-Ung Baik, a member of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, Ms. Nahla Haidar, a Member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Detailed presentations were made on the international human rights system, and how civil society could engage with it.
Participants were actively engaged and underscored the importance of civil society using the UN and RHRM mechanisms to support victims of human rights violations. Lawyers were particularly encouraged to sensitize their clients on the processes. Human rights defenders and NHRIs were encouraged to use the UN and regional mechanisms for the protection and promotion of their rights, including by pursuing strategic litigation, and providing reports and information to the mechanisms.