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Jakarta Post

ASEAN has ‘gone nowhere’ on human rights protection

  • Agnes Anya and Tama Salim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 11 2018   /  02:03 am

A decade on from installing necessary safeguards, the attitude toward human rights protection in Southeast Asia has barely changed, a former top Indonesian diplomat has said in a scathing review of the human rights discourse in the region.

Former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda recently said the region’s commitment to human rights had yet to make significant progress even after the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2009.

Hassan said most ASEAN member states besides Indonesia had not shown a serious attitude on the handling of human rights issues, as they lean into what he calls the “excessive use of the noninterference principle” to deflect criticism from its neighbors on “domestic issues”.

He then called on Indonesia, which he described as the loudest member state to voice concern on human rights in the reg...