Asean leaders adopt Human Rights Declaration

ASEAN leaders, meeting in Phnom Penh, have  put their signatures to a milestone document called the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.

Officials say it is work in progress when it comes to the subject of human rights.

In adopting the Declaration, ASEAN's leaders said they are confident that it will help  establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community process building.

The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration states that every person is entitled to rights and freedom without any distinction like race, gender, age, language, religion and political or other opinion.

The document also declares that the rights of women, children, elderly and disabled persons and migrant workers are integral and indivisible part of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Singapore's representative on the ASEAN Human Rights Commission and Ambassador-at-large, Professor Chan Heng Chee said  such a document was not a possibility for the grouping five years ago.

She added  ASEAN countries change and one example is Myanmar.

The reforms there were not anticipated.

Professor Chan added each member state strives to deliver good governance and public goods and services.

She said some may say that not enough has been addressed in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. 

Professor Chan noted Asean countries are doing their best and  human rights are implemented according to societal context.