Friday , 18 October 2019
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Statement of the Asia-Pacific Gathering on Human Rights and Extractives During ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF) 2019 Bangkok, Thailand

 

Stop The Expansion Extractive Project 

We are communities and organizations all over the Asia-Pacific region who have come together to pursue protection and fulfillment of human rights and challenge destructive mining projects and the extractivist economy. We represent farmers, fishermen,  indigenous  peoples, women, forest-dependent communities, academe, faith-based  groups,  development  partners  and  non-governmental  organisations (NGOs).

Several of our members and partners participated in ACSC/APF 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand and have engaged in discussions, workshops and meetings that discuss pressing issues of human rights violations, ongoing delegitimization of the work of human rights defenders, negative impacts of business activities to human rights and the urgent need for corporate accountability, among others.

Contributing  in  these  ACSC/APF  activities,  we  have  given our  perspectives,  shared our experiences, and presented our analyses and recommendations around our concerns on trade, investments, corporate accountability and the need to re-claim and assert people’s sovereignty and ensure our fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Increasingly concerned, we recognize the intensifying threats, risks and security issues that our leaders and community organizations face, as we resist the entry and expansion of extractive projects like mining, oil, gas, quarrying and plantation projects.  This is largely because of the increasing priority that ASEAN has given to business and investments through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other trade agreements.  At the same time, ASEAN has not delivered on the promise embedded in the ASEAN Intergovernment Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

The  potential  of  the  United  Nations  Guiding  Principles  on  Business  and  Human Rights  remains  to  be  elusive,  as  some  ASEAN  Member  States  (AMS)  are  in  the process of, or have not even initiated their intent to craft their own National Action Plan (NAP).   This is happening in the context of shrinking space for effective and meaningful engagement of communities and civil society organizations to engage their governments and investors to resolve  social  acceptability and address  the issues identified in various impact assessments.

Essentially,  the  promise  of  UNGPs/BHR  to  address  human rights  abuses  linked to business activities has not been achieved. In  fact,  Asia  and ASEAN  countries continue to be a deadly place for environmental rights defenders to operate, with the  increasing recorded killings,  threats  and  harassment cases documented by international groups.

Meanwhile,  global  efforts  to  hold  corporations  accountable  have been stalled, with the challenging situation in the UN working group to negotiate a binding  treaty for transnational corporations.

With these developments, we affirm our collective commitment to become an effective platform of solidarity among Asia-Pacific peoples to challenge corporations that destroy our environment. We believe that ACSC/APF is an important channel to hold ASEAN governments accountable to deliver their duty to protect and fulfill our human rights.

As  we  offer  our  solidarity  to  ACSC  and  APF,  we  promise  to  sustain  these commitments and mobilize our members and partners in ASEAN to engage, both constructively and vigilantly, our governments.

We deliver the following messages to ASEAN governments:

  1. Ensure that the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) evolves into a  functional  and  meaningful  mechanism  to  protect, fulfill and promote all human rights of all peoples   in ASEAN;
  1. Concretely move forward and fast-track the roll-out or implementation of the UNGPs on Business and Human Rights, particularly the adoption of National Action Plans (NAPs);
  1. Continue and pursue the negotiations for a legally binding treaty to hold transnational corporations  (TNCs)  accountable,  especially  for  mining  and extractive TNCs, for their human rights obligations;
  1. Resolve immediately, in favor of affected communities, the many conflicts and issues brought by mining and extractive companies in various ASEAN countries.   The resistance of local communities reflects the destruction and negative impacts of these extractive projects, and ASEAN governments must listen and act to these peoples struggles;
  1. ASEAN governments to conduct Human Rights Impact Assessment before ratifying RCEP and other trade and investment agreements which further expands the exploitation and destruction of natural resources, and protects investor rights through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. We call on ASEAN states not to ratify any agreement that will potentially violate human rights; and
  1. ASEAN governments must deliver climate justice.  ASEAN countries belong to the most vulnerable regions that will suffer the impacts of climate change, and stopping these destructive mining and extractive projects is a necessary step to achieve climate justice;

 

For the  Asia-Pacific Gathering on Human Rights and Extractives: 

Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)

Koalisi Masyarakat untuk Hak Atas Air (KRuHA) Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM)

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)

Yes to Life No to Mining (YLNM)

AID Watch Forum-Asia

Deep Sea Mining Campaign (DSMC)

Indigenous Perspectives (IP)

Asian Task Force on Binding Treaty Focus on the Global South

Koalisi Rakyat untuk keadilan Perikanan (KIARA)

Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia (KNTI)

Kesatuan Perjuangan Rakyat (KPR)

Download >>> Statement of the Asia-Pacific Gathering on Human Rights and Extractives

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