September 11, 2009
Nationwide Road Show on ASEAN and Human
Atty. Maita Chan-Gonzaga, PWG program officer, leads the discusssion
In order to publicize the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) and its impact on human rights in the region and in the
Philippines, the Philippine Working Group (PWG), the local arm of
the Working Group for an ASEAN
Human Rights Mechanism
, organized a nationwide university road
show entitled “Human Rights: Asan na yan sa ASEAN
In partnership with the Commission
on Human Rights of the Philippines
(CHRP) and the Friedrich
Naumann Foundation for Liberty, it especially looks at the developments
regarding the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights
(AICHR). The road show started on 11 September 2009 and is projected
to run until March 2010.
The set up is as follows: a team of human rights experts (one representative
from the CHR, one from civil society and one from the PWG) visit
the schools. One speaker discusses the human rights situation in
the Philippines and issues relevant to the locality. The other two
focus on ASEAN and the different international human rights systems,
particularly the AICHR.
Out of the 60 schools targeted, 19 have already been reached. Of
these around 2,800 individuals coming from the academe, government
agencies and civil society have attended the forums. The PWG will
visit 26 more schools before the end of this year.
With the launch of the AICHR last October 2009, the road
shows have even more significance
. The PWG understands
that these interactive discussions allow participants to understand
how this human rights body will affect them.
it will allow the PWG to gather their views and opinions
on how to strengthen the functions of the AICHR
. The Working
Group could then use these in its future engagements with ASEAN
on how to improve the AICHR.