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Statement of the Phnom Penh Workshop on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia: Making the Bali Declaration Effective 

2012-10-11 - CLEC


Statement of the Phnom Penh Workshop on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia: Making the Bali Declaration Effective 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 11th October 2012

 

The 31 participants of this workshop drawn from Asian National Human Rights Institutions from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Myanmar and South Korea and supportive civil society organisations, met in Phnom Penh between the 9th and 11th  October 2012, to review national and regional progress with putting into effect the Bali Declaration on Human Rights and Agribusiness, convened by the Indonesian Human Rights Commission Komnas HAM, with the support of Forest Peoples Programme and SawitWatch, and hosted by the Community Legal Education Centre. 

We wish to warmly thank Professor James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Professor Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, for their supportive advice and insightful interpretations on the realisation of human rights that they offered to the workshop;

We also wish to thank Rafendi Djamin, the Indonesian Representative to the ASEAN InterGovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) for his illuminating explanations of the progress being made to establish an ASEAN human rights mechanism; 

We remain, however, deeply concerned that the rapid expansion of agribusiness in the region, in the context of inadequate regulatory controls, the lack of recognition of rights and the absence of responsible business practice, continues to cause very serious and widespread problems for impacted local communities, indigenous peoples, their livelihoods and the environment; 

We welcome the progress being made at the regional level by AICHR to find a solution to such problems notably through its Thematic Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights and through the drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration;

We also note the important complementarity between the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, on the one hand,  which emphasises the obligations of ASEAN member countries to respect human rights consistent with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action , and the Bali Declaration, on the other hand, which emphasises the need for States to respect the collective rights of local communities and  indigenous peoples  to their lands and territories, to food, to self-determination, free, prior and informed consent, to subsistence and to a healthy environment and which reminds agribusinesses, in particular, of their responsibility to respect human rights in their operations in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; 

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