Asia Centre’s Dr Robin Ramcharan was part of panel discussion on the topic Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Retrospect and Prospect at the launch of SHAPE SEA’s Human Rights Outlook in Southeast Asia 2014-2015. Held on the evening of 9 March at the Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand, the event attracted about 40 participants from international and regional organisations, members of civil society, journalists, academics and students.
Dr Ramcharan’s address focused on the positive trajectories for the future of human rights in the region, pointing to, inter alia, State engagement on human rights issues through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). He highlighted the need for more effective engagement with the UPR and a better understanding of how it can impact developments at the national and regional level,
He pointed to Asia Centre’s forthcoming book on The Universal Periodic Review of Southeast Asia: Civil Society Perspectives which reviews civil society’s engagement with the UPR across two cycles, as an example of research that is filling a gap and supporting the work of civil society.
Joining Dr Ramcharan on the panel were Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Thailand’s representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Ms Maita Chan-Gonzaga from Ateneo Law School Philippines, Dr Patricia Rinwigati Waagstein from Indonesia and Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree,Chair of the SHAPE-SEA programme.
Programme Coordinator Michelle D’cruz and Research Intern Francesco Franzoi also represented the Centre at the event to introduce Asia Centre’s work, harness opportunities for collaboration with other institutions and organisations and raise awareness of upcoming projects such as the July 2017 International Conference on National Human Rights Institutions in Southeast Asia: Challenges of Protection, which builds on and extends the Centre’s research into the UPR.