AICHR Draft Ignores LGBT Rights, Groups Say
A number of nongovernmental groups in the region expressed their disappointment in the latest draft of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s human rights declaration.
The declaration, prepared by the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, still prevents certain groups from obtaining their civil rights, activists said.
Among such groups who are denied consideration in the draft, is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community, known collectively as LGBT, said King Oey, an activist from Indonesia-based LGBT rights group Arus Pelangi.
King said the draft declaration’s failure to recognize the LGBT community was mainly due to the failure of Asean countries to reach a consensus.
“Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand can accept [LGBT rights in the declaration]. But Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei oppose it, so no consensus was reached and thus the rights of the LGBT [community] are not included in the draft declaration,” King said.
Atnike Nova Sigiro, of Jakarta-based rights group the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (Kontras), said the AICHR had earlier promised NGOs across the region that the proposed declaration would be in line with international standards and law.
“The draft … contains a number of major flaws which could inhibit the protection of human rights for Asean society,” Atnike said.
The AICHR, she said, has put each country’s political considerations above people’s basic human rights. “The term ‘public morality,’ ” Atnike added, “can easily be used to criminalize and stigmatize minority groups and to discriminate against the marginalized under the argument that the way they live is against public morality.”