UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
 
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Declaration of the Basic Duties of ASEAN Peoples and Governments

Declaration adopted by the First General Assembly of the Regional Council on Human Rights in Asia on December 9, 1983, in Jakarta, Indonesia, and presented to the ASEAN Secretariat on the same day. The Regional Council was a non-governmental organisation largely composed of jurists and others interested in human rights.

Article 5

    1. It is the duty of government to ensure a minimum decent standard of living for all the people, reduce the gap in access to goods and services by different economic and social sectors, and equalise wealth, power and opportunities without distinctions based on race, sex, language, religious belief, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin.

Article 8

    1. It is the duty of government to recognise that members of cultural communities have the same rights as other citizens including the right to participate on an equal basis in public life, and to take affirmative action to ensure such equality. Where equality has been denied in the past, it is the duty of government to provide special representation of cultural communities in order to obtain true equality. It is moreover the duty of government to enforce respect for the right of such peoples to preserve their identity, traditions, language, cultural heritage and customary laws, and enforce protection of their ancestral domains, providing them, if they so desire, with all care and facilities to develop, but respecting their right to determine for themselves the manner and extent of their relationship with the larger society. It is the duty of cultural communities, in turn, to exercise their rights with due respect for the legitimate interests of the nation as a whole, respecting the territorial integrity and political unity of the nation.

    2. It is further the duty of government to review its land policies with a view to restoring all ancestral lands belonging to cultural communities to the tribe, bearing in mind the changes that have taken or are taking place in those communities.

Article 9

    3. Consequently, it is the duty of the military (a) to respect the rights of an persons and peoples in accordance with this Declaration, without discrimination based on race, sex, language, culture, religion, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin; and (b) to accept the popular will on questions of national policy, refraining from imposing its own views and opinions on the people.

Article 11

    2. It is the duty of government, under a state of emergency validly declared, to take only such measures restrictive of human rights as are strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, so that no less stringent measures would suffice, and to enforce such measures without discrimination based on race, sex, language, religious belief, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin.


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