On this page



DeclarationThe ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (the “ASEAN Declaration”) was adopted on 18 November 2012 in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). It is Southeast Asia’s first regional instrument on human rights norms and principles.

Although the ASEAN Declaration is not formally binding, it is considered the framework for human rights cooperation in ASEAN and member states agree to follow its provisions. The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights is responsible for overseeing its implementation and assisting states to achieve this goal.

The ASEAN Declaration consists of forty articles broken into categories:

  • General Principles: Articles 1-9
  • Civil and Political Rights: Articles 10-25
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Articles 26-34
  • Right to Development: Articles 35-37
  • Right to Peace: Article 38
  • Cooperation in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Articles 38-40

iconLockWant more? Read the full text of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights’ website

How does it help tackle violence against women?

4. The rights of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and vulnerable and marginalized groups are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (emphasis added)

Because violence against women is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and unequal enjoyment of human rights between men and women, most (if not all) of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration is relevant for tackling gender-based violence.

Some of the rights in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration most relevant for tackling violence against women are:

  • Article 3: Equality before the law
  • Article 4: (above) Human rights of women, children, elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and other marginalized groups
  • Article 5: Right to an effective and enforceable remedy
  • Article 9: Right to non-discrimination
  • Article 11: Right to life
  • Article 12: Right to personal liberty and security
  • Article 13: Freedom from servitude and slavery in all its forms
  • Article 14: Freedom from torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Article 15: Freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state
  • Article 18: Right to nationality
  • Article 19: Equality in the family
  • Article 27: Right to just and favourable conditions of work
  • Article 28: Right to an adequate standard of living


Icon Key