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Jakarta Post

Time to rethink ASEAN’s rights body

  • Kasit Piromya

Bangkok   /   Wed, June 12 2019   /  01:12 am

Human rights are increasingly under attack in Southeast Asia. Atrocities against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar and extrajudicial killings through President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” in the Philippines likely amount to crimes against humanity. In other countries, crackdowns on the press or attacks on human rights defenders are just some of the issues plaguing the region. The good news is that ASEAN has a regional body meant to address such crimes under international law. The bad news, however, is that this body has so far proven wholly ineffective and fundamentally incapable of protecting human rights. Instead, Southeast Asian governments have been able to stay silent and stand firm in inaction when it comes to addressing atrocities in neighboring countries. ASEAN’s human rights mechanism, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), was established in...