ASEAN Civil Society Groups call for greater corporate accountability for human rights

On November 15, 2012 civil society groups in Southeast Asia released a statement  "Demanding Accountability in ASEAN: A Workshop on Rights Protection and Accountability Standards in Sovereign, Multilateral and Corporate Investment in ASEAN".

Recent years have seen increasing integration of ASEAN countries into the global marketplace. ASEAN comprises ten countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. As ASEAN continues to improve its competitive strength in the business arena and integrates itself into the world economy, there is a need to ensure that standards in corporate governance and accountability, transparency and legitimacy are maintained. Businesses based and/or operating in the ASEAN region increasingly face expectations to demonstrate that they operate in a responsible manner. The statement  "Demanding Accountability in ASEAN: A Workshop on Rights Protection and Accountability Standards in Sovereign, Multilateral and Corporate Investment in ASEAN".is the outcome of a two-day workshop, attended by more than 80 civil society organizations held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 12-13 November 2012. This workshop was organized by Solidarity for Asian Peoples Advocacy (SAPA) under the aegis of the ASEAN Grassroots Peoples Assembly (AGPA). With the overarching theme of "Making human rights and democracy in ASEAN real", the AGPA is aimed at bringing issues and campaign for change to the attention of Cambodian and ASEAN leaders, coinciding with the ASEAN Summit that will take place in Cambodia on 18-20 November 2012.

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was launched on 23 October 2009 at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand. AICHR is the ‘overarching human rights institution in ASEAN with overall responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN'. AICHR’s current ‘Five-Year Work Plan 2010-2015’ includes a regional baseline study on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Read the full document here.

Photo by Stéphane M. Grueso from Madrid, Spain (Shipwreck-7) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons