ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: A “toothless tiger” or a prospect for a regional human rights regime in Southeast Asia?
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In 2007, after 15 years of deliberations on human rights within ASEAN, it espoused the creation of a human rights body in its landmark ASEAN Charter. It came into being in 2009 as the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). The odds that AICHR will become a cornerstone of a human rights regime for ASEAN, or perhaps wider East Asia, are elaborated on in this paper. The divergence of opinions on the matter is significant. According to Surin Pitswuan, ASEAN’s current secretary general, it is expected to ‘pave the way for the growth of democracy and human rights in the region’ (ASEAN, 2009a).Thus, he sees the advisory and promotional competences of AICHR in an evolutionary perspective. Critics address its lack of independent enforcement and controlling or monitoring powers, deeming it a “toothless tiger” with little momentum to develop. It is too soon to tell anything definite, but I hypothesise that AICHR can be viably considered as the first piece of an evolving system of human rights protection. A Chinese adage points out that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This being already done, the following paper focuses on the next ones.
- Książki/Rozdziały 
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