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Religious Freedom: ASEAN

Volume 718: debated on Monday 29 March 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 15 March (WA 113), whether they intend to make representations about religious freedoms to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. [HL2982]

We have no current plans to raise religious freedoms with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN has recently established the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to promote human rights in the region. The AICHR commissioners are still drafting the first five-year work plan. It is not yet clear whether religious freedoms will be included in the body's mandate, but if so, this would provide opportunities to discuss religious freedom in a regional context.

We, along with our EU partners, raise human rights concerns, including those around religious freedoms, bilaterally with ASEAN member states. Where there are specific concerns, particularly on the treatment of religious minorities, we have raised them in bilateral discussions.