East and Southeast Asia

Articles that focus on or disucss East and Southeast Asian countries


“Our house is on fire”: the Asian climate emergency

November 25, 2019
By: Beatrice Tulagan
Español | Tagalog

Declaring a climate emergency is not enough, but women activists in Asia are pushing for these declarations ...

Genocide is an act of state, and demands a response by other states

April 24, 2019
By: John Packer
Français | Rohingya | العربية | Español | বাংলা | Türkçe

The Myanmar state can and must be held accountable for the genocide being perpetrated against the Rohingya, ...

Using the UN to advance LGBT rights in China

November 6, 2018
By: Yanzi Peng

China’s engagement in UN human rights reviews provides real opportunities to advance protection for ...

Malaysia’s punishment of lesbian couple highlights OIC rejection of LGBTQ rights

October 3, 2018
By: Robert C. Blitt

Malaysia’s recent caning of a homosexual couple reflects a larger problem with the Organization of Islamic ...

The activist balance: being both globally connected and locally rooted

February 20, 2018
By: Urantsooj Gombosuren & Marte Hellema

In the volatility in Asia's human rights situations, can rights defenders and organizations stay globally ...

Protecting human rights defenders in Asia: using networks to fill the gaps

December 13, 2017
By: Lorenzo Urbinati & Sejin Kim

Data on human rights violations in Asia proves the need to establish a network of protection mechanisms ...

Religious rights advocacy won’t save the Rohingya—but what will?

December 7, 2017
By: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

To insist on the Rohingya status as a victimized religious minority while ignoring other factors cements ...

Climate change exacerbates gender inequality, putting women’s health at risk

November 6, 2017
By: Hwei Mian Lim

Climate change takes a higher toll on women than on men. Women’s health and well-being, including their ...

Losing the battle for hearts and minds

October 10, 2017
By: Stephen Hopgood

The battle for human rights—as seen in the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar—may be losing ground ...

Indonesia at a threshold: reinventing the human rights movement

August 30, 2017
By: Julius Ibrani & Marte Hellema

Combined with growing fundamentalism and sectarianism, Indonesia once again is in dire need of a human ...

‘If I lose my freedom’: preemptive resistance to forced confessions in China

June 13, 2017
By: Michael Caster

Human rights defenders in China are increasingly using pre-recorded statements to control narratives ...

To strengthen digital security for human rights defenders, behavior matters

May 9, 2017
By: Michael Caster
简体中文 | Español

When approaching digital security for human rights defenders in hostile environments, we need to think ...

Engage when we can, confront when we must

April 26, 2017
By: Navaz Kotwal

Indian human rights workers do not want to engage with the police, but to enact real change, both sides ...

Engagement versus endorsement: Western universities in China

April 25, 2017
By: Robert Edward Precht

The presence of Western universities in China is on the rise, but they are not following UN principles ...

Taking the battle for civic space online

March 23, 2017
By: Marte Hellema

As online spaces become increasingly restricted, human rights activists must stay aware of the risks ...

To change torture practices, we must change the entire system

March 15, 2017
By: Kiran Grewal

Preventing torture goes beyond understanding individuals—it requires changing an entire system that ...

Could volunteer-based CSOs be a model for practicing human rights in China?

February 22, 2017
By: Hou Ping
Español | 简体中文

In China, new laws make fundraising even harder, but the LGBTQ community is getting creative.

State-owned enterprises in China could be an entry point for human rights

December 6, 2016
By: Qian Cheng

To make headway on human rights in China, advocates need to get creative by partnering with state-owned ...

ICC will investigate environmental destruction as well as war crimes

October 19, 2016
By: Richard J. Rogers 

The ICC is now prioritizing crimes involving environmental destruction and land grabbing. How will this ...

Dogs, pigs, and human rights: South Korea’s uproar

September 27, 2016
By: Jeong-Woo Koo 

A recent political uproar in South Korea has exacerbated the public’s diminishing trust in government ...

In Asia, freedom of speech is critical in the fight for human rights

July 25, 2016
By: Henri Tiphagne & Marte Hellema

Protecting freedom of speech, assembly and association in Asia is the lynchpin to protecting all human ...

Self-interest argument for refugee admission backfires in Japan

June 15, 2016
By: Saul J. Takahashi

Japan fails to protect refugees—but arguing it should do so because its aging society needs new immigrants ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: a missed opportunity for civil society?

June 6, 2016
By: Mark Aspinwall

Civil society could have played a key role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership—why were they left out?

Cambodian trials offer important lessons

February 13, 2016
By: James A. Goldston

The trials in a special, internationally-backed Court in Cambodia of Khmer Rouge leaders offer important ...

Making the ASEAN Economic Community human rights-friendly

January 28, 2016
By: Haris Azhar

The ASEAN Economic Community should insert human rights rules into its implementation plan before integrating ...

Getting creative with local resource mobilization in Hong Kong

January 20, 2016
By: Linda To

To get funding amidst intense non-profit competition in Hong Kong, human rights groups must get creative.

Mongolia’s economic crisis: an end to corporate social responsibility?

December 3, 2015
By: Bolor Legjeem

Despite an economic crisis, some Mongolian companies still respond to carefully constructed funding ...

In Myanmar, polls are the beginning of a larger conversation

August 10, 2015
By: Kathy Frankovic 

Many activists in Myanmar (Burma) are very skeptical of public opinion polling. But these polls are ...

Public opinion on human rights is the true gauge of progress

July 3, 2015
By: Jeong-Woo Koo 
Español | 한국어

External, “objective” measures of South Korea’s human rights progress will only take us so far. What ...

Do-It-Yourself-Aid: alternative funding sources for rights work?

April 21, 2015
By: Anne Meike Fetcher

Is “Do-It-Yourself-Aid” the answer to funding rights work? Anne-Meike Fechter describes this model, ...

Religion as a political game: rising intolerance in Indonesia

December 1, 2014
By: Ahmad Sueady

Indonesia’s rising religious intolerance stems from a political pact struck between former president ...

Indonesia’s growing religious intolerance

November 26, 2014
By: Phelim Kine

Although Indonesia has long been seen as a religiously moderate country, Sunni Muslim militants are ...

Human rights abuse in Burma and the role of Buddhist nationalism

April 16, 2014
By: Wai Yan Phone 
ภาษาไทย | မြန်မာဘာသာ

Myanmar is taking significant strides towards political and economic liberalization after decades of ...

Now is the time to invest in China’s nascent rights groups

November 15, 2013
By: William Nee

Even as China grows in wealth, it has yet to fully develop a culture of philanthropy – one that is free ...