ASEAN Peoples’ Forum 2015


EMPOWER will be part of the following events at the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum 2015:


Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in partnership with Women’s Legal Bureau (WLB), Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), South East Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) and Association for Progressive Communications (APC) are co-organising the Internet Rights and Governance pre-ASEAN People’s Forum (APF) workshop on the 21st & 22nd April, 2015.

The details of the workshop are as below:

Date:  Day 1,  21st April, 2015
Time: 1:30pm – 5:00pm
Venue: Lostgens Contemporary Artspace, 8C, Jln Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Date: Day 2, 22nd April, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Venue: Suite 1, 13th Floor, Wisma MCA

This two (2) day pre-APF workshop aims to discuss the following:

a. What is ASEAN’s approach on internet development in the region?
b. What are the ASEAN ICT Masterplan, Master Connectivity Plan and ASEAN Economic Blueprint and what are the priorities set out for the development of ICT in ASEAN?
c. How do the above impact on civil society’s work on different areas, including women’s rights, migration, SOGIE, peace and security, youth, economic justice and accountable governance?

This two-day pre-event aims to discuss some of these issues, and surface some of the potential areas that relate to human rights and the development of the internet in terms of policy and governance in ASEAN.  As South East Asia become one of the fastest growing region in terms of internet connectivity, and being seen simply as an emerging important market, it’s vital that we frame this conversation from a human rights  perspective.



The Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau of the Philippines, in partnership with EMPOWER, ASEAN Youth Forum (Thailand) and the Association for Progressive Communications is organising a workshop under the theme of “Democratic Processes”:

Date: Day 3, 23 April 2015
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue: Room Kuliah A-2, UTM Space KL

The global growth of information and communications technology (ICT), which comprise a complex and heterogeneous set of goods, applications and services used to produce, process, distribute and transform information, have led to the development of digital society with resulting changes in political, economic and social interaction.

ICT has affected rights particularly privacy and women’s rights. Women who are active, diverse and empowered citizens and users of the Internet have shaped and defined the digital arena and have used ICT to better meet their needs. Internet for instance has become a critical space for women’s expression and participation in public life. ASEAN has recognized the vital role of ICT towards ASEAN integration and has laid out plans for its development under the ASEAN Connectivity master plan – but have we as a people caught up with opportunities and challenges presented by ICT development?

The session will feature conversations between activists from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand on the intersections between women’s human rights concerns and ICT trends, towards identifying entry points for civil society. We are seeking your participation in these conversations as activists working within these areas.



Organised by: National Organising Committee on FOE (Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia and SUARAM, in collaboration with Bersih 2.0, Empower, SEAPA, Projek Dialog)

The right to freedom of expression and opinion is a foundational pillar to a healthy, working democracy. How is the right to freedom of expression and opinion protected in ASEAN countries? What kinds of speech and content are allowed to circulate freely? What kinds of content and expression are restricted, policed and outlawed? What are your hopes and vision for an ASEAN that respects our right to speak our minds, freely and without censure?

This exhibition features 2 components:

a) Tree of silence

This tree will hold:
• Names of people who have been investigated, charged, arrested or killed for exercising their right to freedom of expression in different countries in the region.
• The laws and regulation that have been used to silence them
• The actual statements, information, content (headlines, quotes, titles of reports etc) that were subjected to regulation

We invite your participation in populating this tree with your knowledge and experience of what has been happening in your country. The countries will be colour coded, and each of the branches of the tree will represent the type of content that is being restricted (e.g. sexual, religious, political, etc.).

This is to both commemorate and recognise the people who have been silenced, as well as to visually present the extent and ways in which the right to freedom of expression and opinion are regulated in the region. The tree will be installed at the main foyer of the ACSC/APF space throughout the event.

Please submit your stories to:, with the subject title: Tree of Silence, by *17 April* so we can begin this installation prior to the ACSC/APF. Please include:

• Name of person:
• Actual statement, quote, headline, title etc of the speech that is restricted (in your language), if possible:
• The laws or policy used, where applicable:

b) Wall of resistance

This is an interactive wall at the ASCS/APF, where we invite participants to write down or draw their vision of an ASEAN that protects and promotes our right to freedom of expression.

We are also inviting you to submit posters, placards that you have used in related protests, or photographs to be part of this installation.

Create a poster that says “Freedom of expression” in your language and add them to the wall.

c) Twitter chat

We will also be organising a twitter chat around this topic, using the hashtag #FOEASEAN, and add them to the wall.

It’s important to include your voice and perspective to the conversation. Join us!

The Twitter chat will be held on 16 & 17 April 2015 Share your vision on what a region that respects and protects the right to freedom of expression should be.

How to participate:
1) Add @cij_malaysia and @AseanPF to your Twitter account
2) Announce the Tweetchat to your network of followers. For example, “Join us for a tweetchat on #FreedomofExpression in #ASEAN on 16 & 17 April. Hashtag #FOEAsean”
3) Add your tweets to the conversation.

Some examples of tweets:
* We want an ASEAN that respects fundamental right to freedom of expression #FOEASEAN #yourcountry @cijmalaysia @AseanPF
* #ASEAN govts should not use #defamation laws as a way to silent dissent #FOEASEAN #yourcountry @AseanPF
* #FreedomofExpression is the foundational pillar to a healthy people-centred democracy & economy #FOEASEAN #yourcountry
* No speech should be criminalised #FOEASEAN #yourcountry @cijmalaysia @AseanPF
* #FreedomofExpression should be respected offline AND online #FOEASEAN #yourcountry @AseanPF
* All govts of #ASEAN should ratify #ICCPR, and uphold #Article19 #FOEASEAN #yourcountry
* Don’t fear our opinions, free them #ASEAN #FOEASEAN #yourcountry @AseanPF

If you would like to participate in any of the activity above, or have any questions, please email us:

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