Posts Tagged ‘Forum Asia’

New NGO launched: International Human Rights Council – Hong Kong (IHRC-HK) but lacks detail

May 8, 2018

On 8 May 2018 a new NGO was launched: the “International Human Rights Council – Hong Kong” (IHRC-HK) based in Hong Kong . The geographical gambit is not totally clear but the press release speaks of the “active participation of the dedicated human rights defenders from the various countries in Asia, specifically from the region of South Asia”, while a footnote states that the IHRC-HK is a “regional human rights” organisation.

Mr. Baseer Naveed, the executive director, while announcing the formation of the IHRC-HK, stated, that it is to “Articulate the voice of the victims, place it in their proper human and legal context, examine the justice delivery system with a view to its reform and the enforcement of the rule of law both for punitive and preventive action”. The IHRC-HK says it will focus on cases of individuals that are subjected to violations by the State and their functionaries exposing also the institutions of justice which have become the tools of injustice and repression. These can be followed by Urgent Responses, Statements, and Reports for sessions of the UN Human Rights Commission and different stakeholders. The purpose of Urgent Response is: To expose the authorities that have turned a blind eye to abuses, press for immediate legal action against perpetrators, redress to the victims and to mobilize civil society response by way of signatures.

The new NGO claims a very broad mission: “the strengthening of democracy and human rights, Constitutional Rights, Legal Empowerment, particularly among Women, Minorities and persons with Special Needs by campaigning for the establishment of the Rule of Law and the strengthening of the institutions of justice…..The IHRC-HK will work for justice, peace by promoting human dignity and equality within the community and in the State institutions. Wherever possible seek ways to promote Sustainable Development thereby guaranteeing the socio-economic rights of the people.

There is preciously little information on the new organisation’s effective capacity, from where it gets its funding and how it distinguishes itself from existing NGOs, such as the Asian Human Rights Commission or Forum-Asia. Time will tell.

http://ihrchk.org/2018/05/08/world-the-international-human-rights-council-hong-kong-ihrc-hk-launched/

International Commission of Jurists joins criticism of Singapore for harassment of human rights defender Jolovan Wham

January 5, 2018

International Commission of Jurists urges Singapore to stop harassment of human rights defender Jolovan Wham

 

https://www.icj.org/singapore-stop-harassment-of-human-rights-defender-jolovan-wham/

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/12/13/international-commission-of-jurists-urges-singapore-to-stop-harassment-of-human-rights-defender-jolovan-wham/

https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/12/singapore-human-rights-watch-repression/#CZ3VvbvQq6iQymK5.97

https://www.forum-asia.org/?p=25288

Documenting human rights: standards and practice – side event

September 27, 2017

This side event is announced too late, but still good to know and find out more from the organizing NGOs:

 

Vacancy for intern at FORUM-ASIA’s Human Rights Defenders Programme

August 20, 2017

FORUM-ASIA is hiring an Intern for its Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Programme. The ideal candidate should have at least a Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in international human rights law, political/social sciences, Asia studies or relevant field; some practical knowledge about international human rights standards, mechanisms and practices; experience in online communications, website management as well as graphic design would be an asset. Click here to download a complete job description.

Interested applicants are requested to fill in the Internship Application Form and return it by email together with a resume and cover letter (both in .pdf files) explaining why you are interested in the position to internship@forum-asia.org before 25 August 2017, midnight Bangkok Time (UTC+7), with subject: HRD Programme Internship Application_NAME (i.e. HRD Programme Internship Application_Your Full Name).

Source: [Vacancy] Human Rights Defenders Programme Internship « FORUM-ASIA

Backsliding on civic space in democracies – important side event on 3 March in Geneva

March 2, 2017

One of the side events in Geneva during the UN Human Rights Council that is of special importance for human rights defenders is held tomorrow, 3 March 2017, from 13:00 – 14:00, in Room XXI, Palais Des Nations, Geneva.

Across the world, well-established principles and standards fundamental to maintaining a safe and enabling environment for civil society are being questioned and threatened in mature and consolidated democracies. In both the global North and global South, governments with vibrant civil societies and constitutional and historical commitments based on their struggles for democracy and freedom are adopting increasingly hostile and corrosive policies and practices to suppress independent civil society voices. The event will provide an opportunity for the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and civil society leaders to reflect on the global climate for civil society operating in mature democracies and articulate key measures these states must take to ensure an enabling environment for civil society and human rights defenders both at home and at the UN Human Rights Council. In advance of their examination under the Universal Periodic Review in May 2017, the event will also bring together civil society leaders from India, Brazil, Poland, and South Africa to examine state backsliding on civic space norms.[see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/02/24/2017-10-need-to-reset-for-h…]

Panelists:

  • Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
  • Camila Asano, Conectas – Brazil
  • Henri Tiphagne, Human Rights Defenders Association – India
  • Maciej Kozłowski, Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) – Poland
  • Corlett Letlojane, HURISA- South Africa

Moderator: Mandeep Tiwana, Head of Policy and Research, CIVICUS

The event is co-sponsored by key international NGOs: –Amnesty InternationalCIVICUS, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Human Rights Defenders Alert India (HRDA), The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OBS)

https://www.forum-asia.org/?p=23168

FORUM-ASIA 25th Anniversary Event in Geneva on 16 November 2016

November 7, 2016

 

flyer-web-geneva

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), together with the Martin Ennals Award and the Right Livelihood Award, will host a panel discussion on the 25th Anniversary of its founding and 10th Anniversary of its presence in Geneva, entitled 50 Years of the International Bill of Human Rights and 10 Years of the UN Human Rights Council – What does this mean for Asia?’,  on 16 November 2016 at 18:30 at the Ivan Pictet Auditorium, Maison de la Paix, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The panelists are:

– Jose Ramos-Horta (Laureate, Nobel Peace Prize)

– Ruth Manorama (Laureate, Right Livelihood Award) [http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/laureates/ruth-manorama/]

– Adilur Rahman Khan (Finalist, Martin Ennals Award) [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/bangladesh-human-rights-defender-adilur-accorded-more-awards/]

The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

If you’re interested in attending, please register on l.forum-asia.org/GenevaRegistration

Source: FORUM-ASIA 25th Anniversary Event in Geneva, Switzerland (16 November 2016) « FORUM-ASIA

Human Rights Defenders in the Philippine embrace info-tech for human rights

January 27, 2015

Human rights defenders in the Philippines have been using information technology to advance their advocacy work.  Launched in 2011, the human rights website http://www.hronlineph.com started by Egay Cabalitan and Jerbert Briola is used by human rights defenders for updates on most recent social issues in the country. The website has produced a video featuring testimonies from various advocacy groups – medical, anti-mining, human rights defenders, and international support NGOs – on the usefulness of the website.

Recently HRonlinePH launched two videos about human rights and internet rights now shared on social media outlets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu_E0C2bPDQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPslUqomztU

Human rights defenders fully realize the potential of video to bring about change, And this video, a groundbreaking information tool for the HRonlinePH, is a supportive infrastructure how we can harness the power of technology and to help realize our shared interests in promoting and defending human rights, offline and online,” Human Rights Online Philippines said.

Featured in one of the videos are human rights defenders from Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA), Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Asia-Pacific (CATW-AP), Medical Action Group (MAG), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Group takes a ride on info-tech for human rights advocacy | SciTech | GMA News Online.

NGOs urge Sri Lanka to stop intimidating human rights defenders

August 27, 2014

Sri Lankan flag

(Sri Lankan flag)

A joint letter by 6 international NGOs (International committee of Jurists, Amnesty International, Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development, CIVICUS, the International Movement Against Discrimination and All Forms of Racism, and the International Service for Human Rights) to the UN Human Rights Council and the Sri Lankan government cites a number of recent incidents in which human rights defenders in the country were intimidated. Sri Lanka has vowed not to cooperate with the UN probe saying it infringed on the country’s sovereignty. Sri Lanka has rejected a UNHRC resolution in March that called for an international investigation into allegations that 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the civil war that ended in 2009.

The government spokesman and media minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, has reportedly threatened all those who intend to provide information to the UN investigation and promised to “take appropriate action based on the evidence the detractors give“. “We stress that threats, harassment, intimidation and reprisals against persons who engage with the UN are prohibited by international human rights law,” the letter said. “While we affirm the importance of exercising the right to free expression by journalists and others, we stress that the exercise of speech that serves to significantly risk inciting violence, hostility or discrimination against persons is unacceptable“.

via Rights groups ask Sri Lanka to stop intimidating them.

see my earlier: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/sri-lanka-champion-retaliator-against-human-rights-defenders/

Media can help uphold human rights, says meeting in Dhaka

December 22, 2013

Lawyers, former diplomats and rights activists at a dialogue on 16 November 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stressed that media should use national and international mechanisms in reporting on human rights issues. They also pointed out that pressuring the government by international mechanism and pressure groups, such as diplomats and international media, could help improve the human rights situation in the country. Former ambassador Harun Ur Rashid, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia, Tahmina Rahman of Article 19, lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, Nur Khan of Ain o Salish Kendra were the panelists at this dialogue entitled “Journalists as human rights defenders working together for the promotion and protection of human rights” organised by the human rights group Ain O Salish Kendra. Ambassador Harun ur Rashid said the media played an important role in creating awareness as well as acting as a pressure group to uphold human rights.“Individuals are now recognised not only in the national law but also in the international laws, so when his/her rights are violated, both state and the UN can intervene to protect the individual,” Harun ur Rashid added. Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said the government had a tendency to act unresponsively on human rights violations until the issue was being picked up by international media or watchdogs. “Still, the media is playing a great role here. Ultimately the international watchdogs and media mostly gather information from news published in local media,” he said, adding that media persons also have the duty to respect victim’s privacy and rights. Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia observed that accountability was much more needed than creating awareness on human rights among the government institutions and law enforcement agencies such as Rapid Action Battalion, police and armed forces to ensure human rights. Echoing Sayeed, Tahmina of Article 19 said if such groups always enjoy exemption from the laws in the country, a culture of impunity is hard to eliminate.

via Media can help uphold human rights: Dialogue | Dhaka Tribune.

Side event on environmental rights defenders on 3 December in Geneva with live webcast

November 30, 2013

Human rights defenders play a critical role in exposing and ensuring accountability for business-related human rights violations. Despite this, around the world, there is an increase in attacks, judicial harassment, restrictions, surveillance, intimidation and reprisals against defenders who work on land and environment issues associated with business activities. A side event on 3 December in Geneva (Palais des Nations Room XX  from 13h00 to 15h00) will pay special attention to challenges engendered by the increasing criminalisation or repression of those peacefully denouncing adverse human rights impacts of corporate projects, discussing the role of both States and companies. Read the rest of this entry »