The Center is honored to host delegates from Asia-Pacific’s first regional human rights body, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). On November 19, we are holding a special briefing on maternal mortality for AICHR members, who are on their first trip to the United States.
An estimated 385,000 women worldwide lose their lives to pregnancy-related complications every year. While most ASEAN member states have made progress in reducing maternal mortality in their countries, notable disparities among and within countries remain.
The AICHR is uniquely positioned to provide leadership on this important human rights issue as it begins to implement its mandate to promote human rights in Southeast Asia and assumes the role of key architect of human rights norms and standards in the region.
Maternal mortality is a consequence of economic inequities, lack of access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, including family planning, and pervasive gender inequality and discrimination. Every effort must be made to reduce the incidence of these deaths to a minimum as a matter of human rights and social justice.
The establishment of the AICHR is a major milestone and shows a commitment by member states to promote human rights in Asia.
Member states of the AICHR include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These governments have signed and ratified key international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.