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Background Papers

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Human Rights in Southeast Asia: A Scorecard


Carolina G. Hernandez Dennis Quilala

The development of a human rights scorecard for Southeast Asia is one of the ongoing activities of the ASEAN Peoples Assembly (APA). Cognizant of the persisting sensitivities about human rights promotion and protection among governments in the region, APA seeks to generate a scorecard based on the international human rights instruments and agreements each of the ten ASEAN countries has signed and ratified. Signature and ratification of these international instruments are clear indications of the willingness or consent of the government concerned to be bound by the obligations contained in these instruments. As such, it is not unreasonable for citizens of the concerned government to expect it to deliver on its international commitments. This approach is seen as more reasonable than the preferred approach of others to assess the performance of ASEAN governments on human rights obligations to which they have not consented. At the same time, the APA approach would make it more difficult for ASEAN governments to object to being assessed by their own citizens as the governments themselves voluntarily assumed these human rights commitments. After taking note of the international human rights ratified by each ASEAN member state, the scorecard looks into the national legislation, their implementing rules and regulations, national policies, and other relevant enactments that had been adopted in order to implement the international commitments they have assumed under the ratified international conventions and agreements on human rights. This will require simply a list of these pieces of legislation, rules, and regulations. However, the third component of the scorecard is the more difficult as it seeks to assess the performance record of the state in question in implementing its own set of national legislation, implementing rules and regulations, national policies, etc. Here, the APA working group developing the scorecard will have to generate assessment indicators that can be pre- tested and improved before they are used as an assessment tool by peoples organizations in their own countries. The indicators will have to be pre-tested, revised, and improved before it can be used with any degree of confidence. Training interested peoples organizations to use the developed scorecard would be necessary if the scorecard were to serve the purpose of getting the people involved in monitoring and assessing human rights performance of their own governments. To illustrate the component elements and how the data for the scorecard is intended to be generated, the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, Inc.

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(ISDS) documented the international conventions and covenants the Philippine Government has signed and ratified, the national legislation, implementing rules and regulations, and related laws enacted by the Philippine Congress and other authorities to implement its commitments to the international conventions and covenants it has ratified. The work of ISDS has also attempted to look at some indicators that are quantifiable to determine whether and to what extent the country is able to fulfill these human rights commitments. The table below is illustrative, rather than exhaustive; exploratory rather than authoritative. ISDS welcomes APA participants to examine the proposed scorecard, help in its further development, data gathering for individual ASEAN member state, and monitoring the performance of the ASEAN member states using the APA human rights scorecard as a user-friendly and confidence-building yardstick. The APA human rights scorecard when fully developed and applied could make an important contribution in realizing the ASEAN Vision 2020 and other related goals that ASEAN might adopt in the future.

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ASEAN Peoples Assembly Human Rights Scorecard: The Philippines as an Illustrative Example International Conventions/Covenants Civil and Political Rights 1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 2) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 3) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 4) Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Philippine Laws Possible Indicators

1)

R.A. 7438 - An Act defining certain rights of person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation as well as the duties of the arresting, detaining, and investigating officers, and providing penalties for violations thereof.

Violations 1) Number of individuals subjected to illegal arrests and detention 2) Number of individuals subjected to political harassment 3) Number of individuals killed in massacres 4) Number of individuals who have disappeared 5) Number of salvaged individuals/Number of summary executions 6) Number of violent dispersals of demonstrations

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International Conventions/Covenants Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 5) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Philippine Laws

Possible Indicators

Labor Rights 2) Philippine Labor Code 3) R.A. 6715 An Act Strengthening Constitutional Rights of Workers to SelfOrganization 4) R.A. 6727 Wage Rationalization Act Rights to Housing 5) R.A. 6126 - Abot-Kaya Pabahay Program 6) R.A. 7279 - Urban Development and Housing Act

Violations 7) Number of labor strikes/demonstrations 8) Number of forcible dispersals of strikes/demonstrations 9) Number of unresolved managementlabor disputes

Violations 10) Number of informal settlers (family or individuals) 11) Number of homeless persons 12) Number of individuals affected by demolitions

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Provisions 13) Number of government housing beneficiaries (family or individuals) 14) Households with access to safe drinking water 15) Households with access to electricity Right to Health 7) R.A. 7875 National Health Insurance Act Provisions 16) Percentage of barangays with health care centers 17) Percentage of municipalities with hospitals 18) Number of individuals who are members of health security system 19) Doctor-patient ratio (city/municipal level) 20) Dentist-partient ratio (city/municipal level)

Right to Education 8) R.A. 6655 Free Public Secondary Education Act 9) R.A. 9155

Violations 21) Number of out-of-school youths 22) Dropout rate

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Governance of Basic Education Act

Provisions 23) Access to free basic education 24) Completion rate 25) Literacy rate 26) Percentage of barangays with primary schools 27) Percentage of municipalities with secondary schools

Rights of the Elderly 10) R.A. 7432 - Senior Citizens Act 11) R.A. 7876 Senior Citizens Center Act

Provisions 28) Number of senior citizens receiving economic benefits 29) Access to social services for the elderly 30) Representation in decision-making bodies Provisions 31) Percentage of disabled persons in the workforce 32) Percentage of disabled persons receiving special education 33) Infrastructural support

Rights of the Disabled 12) R.A. 7277- Magna Carta of Disabled Persons

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IP Rights 13) R.A .8371 An Act to Recognize and Promote Indigenous and Cultural Rights 14) R.A. 8971 - Ancestral Domain Act

Provisions 34) Percentage of indigenous people receiving government services 35) Percentage of indigenous people in schools 36) Ancestral lands that have been recognized by the government (in hectares) 37) Protection of cultural identity

Childrens Rights 6) Convention on the Rights of the Child

15) R.A. 7610 Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act 16) R.A. 7658 An Act Prohibiting the Employment of Children below 15 Years of Age in Public and Private Undertakings

Violations 38) Number of child prostitutes 39) Number of children subjected to sexual abuse 40) Number of children subjected to trafficking 41) Number of children subjected to abuse, cruelty, neglect or exploitation 42) Number of streetchildren 43) Number of child workers without permits 44) Number of children affected by armed

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17) R.A. 6972 BarangayLevel Total Development & Protection of Children Act

conflicts 45) Number of children recruited in armed conflicts Provisions 46) Percentage of barangays with day-care centers 47) Access to education 48) Access to health services

Womens Rights 7) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

18) R.A. 6725 Strengthening Prohibition on Discrimination Against Women

Violations 49) Percentage of women dropouts in primary, secondary and tertiary levels Provisions 50) Percentage of women in the workforce 51) Wage differentials between women and men 52) Percentage of women in elective positions in government

Rights of Migrant Workers 8) International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and

19) R.A. 8042 Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act

Violations 53) Number of individuals affected by illegal recruitment

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Members of their Families

20) R.A. 9208 AntiTrafficking in Persons Act

54) Number of illegal/undocumented OFWs 55) Number of deported OFWs 56) Number of trafficked OFWs 57) Number of OFWs who faced predeparture problems 58) Number of OFWs who faced postdeparture problems

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ASEAN Member States: Data on the Ratification of International Human Rights Instruments
CESCR Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam 05 Sep 99a 24 Sep 82a 29 Oct 96a 24 Sep 82a 07 Jun 74 23 Oct 86 22 Aug 89a 15 Sep 67 s:07 Dec 00 s:07 Dec 00 26 May 92a 26 May 92a 28 Nov 83 25 Jun 99a 22 Feb 74a 15 Oct 92a 13 Sep 84 14 Aug 81 05 July 95 22 Jul 97a 05 Aug 81 05 Oct 95a 09 Aug 85a 17 Feb 82 s:21 Mar 00 18 Jun 86a s:11 Nov 01 s:28 Feb 00 15 Oct 92a 28 Oct 98 CCPR CCPROP1 CCPROP2 CERD CEDAW CEDAWOP CAT CRC 27 Dec 95a 15 Oct 92a 05 Sep 90 08 May 91a 17 Feb 95a 15 Jul 91a 21 Aug 90 05 Oct 95a 27 Mar 92a 28 Feb 90 s:08 Sep 00 s:07 Sep 00 s:08 Sep 00 CRCOPAC CRCOPSC

s:27 Jun 00 s:24 Sep 01

30 May 02 s:24 Sep 01

14 Jun 00

09 Jun 82a

20 Dec 01

20 Dec 01

Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights As of 09 December 2002

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CESCR CCPR CCPROP1 CCPROP2 CERD CEDAW CEDAWOP CAT CRC CRCOPAC CRCOPSC MWC

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Convention on the Rights of the Child Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families

The dates listed refer to the date of ratification, unless followed by an a which signifies accession and an s which signifies signature only.