ASEAN CSR Network: October 2018 Newsletter

Promoting and enabling
responsible business conduct in ASEAN

ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2018 concludes
its third and final module in Yangon

ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) concluded the third and final module of the ASEAN CSR Fellowship Programme 2018 in Yangon, Myanmar. The module was held from 01 to 05 October 2018. Through this flagship event, ACN aims develop the next generation of ambassadors for responsible business in ASEAN.

Download the summary report here.


ACN participated in a roundtable on gender equity   

ACN partnered with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and U Women's Network to organise a roundtable on Optimising Human Capital Potential through Workplace Gender Parity, which was held on 9 October 2018 in Singapore. Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary from the Ministry of Manpower & Ministry of Education was part of a panel discussion addressing the gender gap in the Singapore workforce.

ACN Programme Director, Ms Lynda Lim, first gave an introductory remark on Raising the Bar on Gender Equity in Workplace and then moderated the panel discussion. 



ACN promotes sustainable palm oil 

ACN collaborated with the Southeast Asia Alliance on Sustainable Palm Oil (SASPO) to deliver a joint webinar, Is What They're Saying About Palm Oil True? Debunking Myths for Businesses, which was held on 29 October 2018. The webinar was presented by Ms Aqeela Samat, Market Transformation Executive from WWF-Singapore (Secretariat of SASPO) and Ms Sangeetha Yogendran, Programme Manager from ACN.

Regional Multi-stakeholder Forum: Responsible Business Conduct for Safe Labour Migration in ASEAN

The ASEAN Guidelines for CSR on Labour and Regional Strategy for CSR and Human Rights, drafted by ACN, were included in recommendations of the Regional Multi-stakeholder Forum: Responsible Business Conduct for Safe Labour Migration in ASEAN.

Download the report here.


2nd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN


ACN Chair, Ms Yanti Triwadiantini and CEO, Mr Thomas Thomas participated in the 2nd Forum of Entities Associated with ASEAN, hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat on 15 October 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The forum served as a platform for the entities to explore possible cooperation between ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN sectoral bodies, ASEAN related centres and entities, and among the entities themselves.

Read more about the forum here.


ACN and the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) are organising a forum on Sustainability Reporting in ASEAN and Singapore - Opportunities in an Era of Tensions on Thursday, 22 November 2018, in Singapore. The event features a presentation on the state of sustainability reporting (SR) in ASEAN and Singapore, as well as a panel discussion comprising thought leaders and industry experts.

Register for the event here.

ACN is pleased to bring you this new regular column where participants of the ASEAN CSR Fellowship share their thoughts, reflections, insights and lessons learnt about responsible business. 

Learning about CSR the ASEAN Way
By Roxanne Lu, Programs and Projects Unit Director, Makati Business Club, Manila

Testimonial from Fellow's Line Manager
By Nguyen Dinh Dang Khoa, Management Trainee, Frieslandcampina Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City 
Learn more about the ASEAN CSR Fellowship Programme 2018 here.

In its report to the 2018 UN General Assembly, the Working Group on Business and Human Rights highlights key features of human rights due diligence and why it matters; gaps and challenges in current business and Government practice; emerging good practices; and how key stakeholders - States and the investment community, in particular - can contribute to the scaling-up of effective human rights due diligence.

Human rights due diligence in practice is a major focus of the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

Download the Working Group report on human rights due diligence
to the 2018 General Assembly (in English) here.

Download key documents to the report here.


Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the U.N. special rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, urged Malaysian authorities to protect the rights of minors, particularly young girls. Government statistics show that more than 5,000 applications for marriages involving minors were made at the sharia court between 2013 and 2017.

Read more from Thomson Reuters Foundation News here.

Cutting plastic bag use, reducing plastic packaging and redesigning products for recyclability have minimal impact in reducing the plastic waste that enters Southeast Asia’s seas. Instead, improving rubbish collection systems is the best way for the region to stop plastic leaking into the ocean, a study by Food Industry Asia has found.
Read more from Eco-Business here.
Opportunities may still exist for South-east Asia provided ASEAN acts boldly to transform into a common market and production base that can boost regional economies, create new jobs and cushion the impact of external shocks., retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan said.
Read more from The Straits Times here.

Singapore is ranked among the bottom 10 countries globally on tackling inequality, according to an Oxfam International study. The organisation called on policymakers here to strengthen labour rights, enact anti-discrimination laws, and increase social spending, while the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in turn delivered a blistering response to the report.

Read more The Business Times here.

The Philippines generates an enormous amount of trash and is the third worst ocean plastic polluter in the world, according to a 2015 study in the journal, Science. Environmental advocates say that the government could do more, including pressuring multinational corporations to change how they package their products.

Read more from Mongabay here.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed that it was important for ASEAN to remain committed to multilateralism and integration. In pursuing this goal, Singapore has made sustainable development a key theme for its ASEAN chairmanship this year, so that economic growth will bring tangible improvements to the lives of citizens.

Read more from Channel NewsAsia here.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 was amended to introduce corporate liability for bribery and corruption for the first time. After years in legal limbo, the amendment was pushed through just days before the May elections.

Read more from The FCPA Blog here.

From Thomson Reuters Foundation News:
​By Kieran Guilbert

From Asian Development Blog:

Think bigger on small sanitation projects to reach the urban poor

By Tomoo Ueda


Working Paper Series 4: Sustainable Development Goals – A Human Rights Based Approach

From The Guardian:
Could this be the start of the end of world poverty?
By Kevin Watkins

From S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS):

Sustainable Development: Can ASEAN Lead the Process?
By Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit

Participating Organisations
Indonesia - Indonesia Business Links
Myanmar - Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry

If your country does not have a Participating Organisation formalised as a convenor yet, you may contact the Secretariat of the ASEAN CSR Network directly.

ASEAN CSR Network is a company limited by guarantee in Singapore, with charity status as an International Charitable Organisation (ICO) and is an ASEAN accredited Entity.

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