ASEAN Four Signs
Declaration of Cooperation
The meeting of the “ASEAN Four” in Bali,
Indonesia on 28 June 2007 saw the signing of a Declaration
of Cooperation. The ASEAN Four is composed of the national
human rights commission of Indonesia (KOMNAS HAM), Human
Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Commission on
Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) and the National
Human Rights Commission of Thailand (Khamakarn Sit).
In the Declaration, the ASEAN Four formally pledged to
have a regional strategy in enforcing the promotion and
protection of human rights. This includes how to advise
their respective governments on the steps that can be
taken in establishing an ASEAN human rights mechanism.
The Declaration also recognized the efforts being made
by groups, particularly the ASEAN and the Working Group
for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, in support of this.
The ASEAN Four further agreed to carry out programs and
activities on five human rights issues of common concern.
These are: (1) suppression of terrorism while respecting
human rights; (2) human rights aspects of trafficking
in persons, (3) protection of the human rights of migrants
and migrant workers, (4) implementation of economic, social
and cultural rights and right to development, and (5)
enhancement of human rights education.
Chairperson Purificacion Valera-Quisumbing of the CHRP
said that the signing of the Declaration of Cooperation
is a historic event. The ASEAN Four decided to work together
during the Fourth Workshop on the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
in Jakarta, Indonesia in June 2004.
They later on identified five human rights issues of common
concerns during their First Consultative meeting in 2005
in Thailand, where they also agreed to individually prepare
research papers on the five issues, namely: terrorism
(Indonesia), migration and migrant workers (Malaysia),
human trafficking (Philippines), right to development
(Thailand), and human rights education (Philippines and
The research papers were presented and discussed during
the Second Consultative meeting held in Malaysia in March
2006 and at the First Regional Workshop of Human Rights
Cooperation held in Manila in April 2006.
The Declaration formalized ASEAN Four’s cooperation.
They are now in the process of drafting their framework
of action based on the research papers on the five human
rights issues of common concern.
Chairperson Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara (Indonesia),
Chairperson Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman (Malaysia), Chairperson
Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing (Philippines), and Commissioner
Khunying Ambhorn Meesook (Thailand) signed the Declaration.
a copy of the ASEAN Four’s Declaration of Cooperation.