Monday, 19 September 2011

STRAP's ASEAN Declaration

On 20-21 September 2011, the Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) will be holding a regional training-workshop entitled Women's Rights in the ASEAN: Maximizing Human Rights Mechanisms in the ASEAN that seeks to strengthen women's rights groups' engagement with and participation in the ASEAN. Below is STRAP's official statement written by Co-founder Ms Sass Rogando Sasot and edited by Chairwoman Ms Naomi Fontanos released in the regional training-workshop.

Recalling the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that states that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world;”

Affirming Article 1 of the UDHR that states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that “they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood;”

Affirming Article 6 of the UDHR that states that “everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law;”

Affirming Article 22 of the UDHR that states that “everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality;”

Invoking Purposes 1.1 and 1.6 of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), which respectively are “to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of ASEAN,” and “to uphold international human rights standards as prescribed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;”

Recalling that the top priority of the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) includes “elimination of violence against women and children; trafficking in women and children; women and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS; social impact of climate change on women and children; promotion and protection of the rights of women and children with disabilities; ASEAN and other instruments related to the rights of women and children; child protection system: integrative/comprehensive approach for children in need for social protection; the right to quality education, including Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE); the right of children to participate in all affairs that affect them; women participation in politics and decision making, governance and democracy; strengthening economic rights of women with regards to feminization of poverty, women's right to land and property; promoting implementation of international, gender equality in education (textbook, curriculum, and equal access); strengthening institutional capacities of ACWC; and promotion of consultation and dialogue with stakeholders at national and regional levels;”

Recognizing the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity;

Upholding the International Bill of Gender Rights which states that “all human beings carry within themselves an ever-unfolding idea of who they are and what they are capable of achieving. The individual’s sense of self is not determined by chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role. Thus, the individual’s identity and capabilities cannot be circumscribed by what society deems to be masculine or feminine behavior. It is fundamental that individuals have the right to define, and to redefine as their lives unfold, their own gender identities, without regard to chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role;”

Recalling the societal vision of our organization of a nurturing society that affirms, respects, and upholds the dignity, the right to self-determination and good quality of life of all;

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), in adopting this declaration, hereby:

Affirms the inherent dignity of all transgender people in the ASEAN Region and the rest of the world;

Affirms that gender identity and expression is a matter of self-determination and an exercise of the human right to the free development of personality;

Calls on the AICHR, ACWC and the ASEAN Commission to Implement the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) to uphold, protect, and promote the human rights of transgender populations across the ASEAN which include children, disabled, aging people, migrant workers and people living with HIV and AIDS;

Calls for rights-based legislation in the ASEAN member countries that (1) would protect transgender people from discrimination and bias-motivated crimes and (2) allow transgender people to change their legal sex into their gender identity.