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Training of Volunteer for Jakarta Election Monitoring

training-of-volunteer-for-jakarta-election-monitoring-image1By: Dipo Siahaan, IFES

Fifty volunteers will be deployed in five of the capitol’s districts to monitor the accessibility of the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Four days leading to the election, the volunteers underwent a two-day workshop held at Park Hotel, Cawang, Jakarta, from 7 to 8 July, 2012.

At the workshop the volunteers were introduced to the checklist they will be using in the monitoring. The list consists of questions on issues that the volunteers have to examine on election day. The monitored items range from the description of the polling station where the volunteer is assigned to, to the treatment received by voters with disabilities when they vote. In addition, volunters are also required to do a post-election survey by interviewing persons with disabilities who have cast their ballots. The purpose of the interview is to gauge the perception of persons with disabilities on the ease of access, needs accomodation, and so on.


AGENDA Discusses the Political Rights of Persons with Disabilities

agenda-discusses-the-political-rights-of-persons-with-disabilitiesBy: Dipo Siahaan, IFES

The General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) held an interactive discussion on the political rights of persons with disabilities at the American cultural center known as @america at Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta Indonesia on Monday July 9, 2012.

At the discussion, Ms. Sinta Nuriyah Wahid, the wife of former Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid (also known as Gus Dur), spoke together with Ms. Ida Budhiati, a commissioner from the Indonesian Electoral Management Body (Komisi Pemilihan Umum/KPU) and Mr. Heppy Sebayang, the Program Manager of PPUA Penca (Center for Electoral Access for Citizens With Disability).


Indonesian Rep for AICHR: Civil Society Inputs Are Important for the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

indonesian-rep-for-aichr-civil-society-inputs-are-important-for-the-asean-human-rights-declarationRafendi Djamin, the Indonesian representative for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR) says that inputs and insights from the civil society are important for the drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. He said this on the meeting at Hotel Aryaduta on Friday, 15 June 2012, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as preparation for the Regional Consultation on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 22 June 2012.

There were more than 15 CSOs participating in the meeting. They represent various groups and communities such as women, children, media, lawyers, human right working group, and migrant workers. AGENDA also attended the meeting represented by PPCI (Indonesian Disabled People Association) and PPUA Penca (Center for Electoral Access for Citizens with Disability). On the meeting Rafendi talked about the latest development and challenges towards the AHRD which is planned to be officially adopted in November 2012 in Cambodia. The AICHR is now in the final step of finalizing the document. However, they still have one or two more meetings before submitting the Draft to the ASEAN Foreign Ministry Meeting in July 2012. Before the declaration, each country is encouraged to hold a meeting with its civil society to get final inputs, suggestions and comments.

The meeting also decided to nominate Indonesian representatives to attend the meeting in Malaysia on 22 June 2012. AGENDA was invited by ASEAN Secretariat to the meeting as representative of the disability community and as one of the regional-level organizations.

ASEAN CSOs: More Transparency is Needed for AHRD

news-asean-csos-more-transparency-is-needed-for-ahrd-image.jpgASEAN Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) appreciate the attempt by ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR) to reach out to civil society in the drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). However, they also agree that more transparency is needed in the process. Some CSOs say that despite some outreach attempts by AICHR, in general AICHR is still more or less secretive in its approach, which can be seen, for example, by its failure to share the draft of AHRD until now.

These comments were delivered by the participants of the 2nd Regional Consultation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration which was hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, on 22 June 2012. Ten ASEAN member states participated in the consultation, with each country represented by CSOs. They were chosen either by the civil society, as was the case for Indonesia’s representatives, or by their AICHR Reps. All had to get approval from the ASEAN Secretariat. There were some CSOs who could not get approval because of some reasons.

The meeting was opened by the (alternate) Chair of AICHR from Cambodia. All AICHR Representatives were present. Two however, Laos and Singapore were represented by their alternates. This meeting is what AICHR called as “listening mode”. They only took notes of the delegates’ comments and inputs. Most of the participants criticized the AICHR  for its secrecy and the inability to share the draft of AHRD. Some urged AIHCR not to ignore the rights of indigenous peoples, stateless children, the rights to freedom of religion and expression and SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity).

There were several organizations representing the disabled community. However, AGENDA was the only organization that specifically highlights the political rights of persons with disability.

After the meeting, all organizations were asked by the ASEAN Secretariat to re-submit their recommendations and other documents that they have submitted as the Secretariat wants to compile it and to give it to the AIHCR Representatives so they could use the document for their next meeting in July 2012. AGENDA sent two documents: points of recommendation and the recommended text for the provisions in AHDR.

HILC Announces its Upcoming Research

HILC-logoHanoi Independent Living Center (HILC) announced their involvement in the “Research on the Accessibility of Elections for People with Disabilities in Vietnam”. This is a one-year project funded by the USAID with the technical support from AGENDA (General Election Network for Disability Access).

This announcement was made on 14 June 2012 on a public gathering hosted by the HILC. Several key partners attended the gathering; among them were Khuat Thu Hong Ph.D., an expert from the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), and Ms. Tieu Minh Huong, a lecturer from the University of Labor and Social Affairs. Also present were reporters from the People newspaper, Sponsor magazine, Cultural Newspaper, New Hanoi Newspaper, and The Voice of Vietnam radio channel.

meeting-to-introduce-the-research-imageMs. Hong Ha, the director of HILC, gave a brief introduction about HILC and the research they will be working on. She explains that disability issue is not yet the main focus of state’s policies. Ms. Ha points to the fact that Vietnam still does not have a disabled representative at the National Assembly. She hopes this research will help to raise awareness on disability issues and therefore will be able to bring about real changes into the policy making process and its implementation, especially in the arena of electoral rights for persons with disability. Data collected and recorded by the research can be used by policy makers to better understand disabilities issues and, therefore, enable them to devise policies to promote and support the full participation of persons with disabilities in the society.

On the meeting, participants shared ideas and suggestions regarding the best ways to conduct the research. They also discussed possible challenges and difficulties and how to overcome them.




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