03/11/2016 | AICHR Regional Workshop on Promoting Business and Human Rights in ASEAN Through CSR, Singapore
3-4 November 2016
The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) adopted by the ASEAN Member States (AMS) highlights the rights of the people of ASEAN to participate in, contribute to, enjoy and benefit equitably and sustainably from economic, social, cultural and political development. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has the potential to serve as a useful tool to realise the goals outlined in the AHRD. The ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint (2009-2015) identified CSR as key to promoting “justice and rights." The blueprint proposed a number of actions including the development of a model of public policy on CSR or legal instrument for reference of AMS, with reference made to the relevant international standards and guides such as ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility, and increasing awareness on CSR towards sustainable relations between businesses and the communities where they are located.
CSR was also included in both the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights’ (AICHR’s) Five Year Work Plans from 2010 to 2015, and from 2016 to 2020. As part of the Five Year Work Plan (2010 to 2015), Singapore led an AICHR Baseline Study on “the nexus between business and human rights” (2012-2014). The study not only provided a comprehensive assessment on CSR in relation to the promotion and protection of human rights in the region, but also serves as the foundation for the establishment of a common framework to accelerate the promotion of CSR and support the development of policies in line with the ASEAN Charter, the AHRD and other relevant regional and international frameworks.
This closed two-day seminar aims to provide a platform for key stakeholders, i.e. government, public sector, private sector and civil society in all 10 AMS to discuss and develop follow-up actions for the baseline study’s recommendations at the national and regional levels, highlighting the need to incorporate CSR in general, and CSR for human rights in particular, in the national and regional development agenda post-2015. This entails knowledge sharing and discussions on how to tackle challenges and advance CSR in AMS, as well as exploring the potential for a joint framework/action plan on promoting CSR in ASEAN.