1st ASEAN-Japan Roundtable: Multipolar Asia-Pacific Century

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After the Second World War, Japan’s search for a guiding framework for renewed relations with Southeast Asia led to the adoption, 32 years after the end of the war, of the Fukuda Doctrine on 18 August 1977. The doctrine had at its core a “heart to heart” approach to its foreign policy in the region. However, forty years later, at Asia Centre’s roundtable discussion on Japan-ASEAN Relations in a Multipolar World, it became clear that Japan needed to develop a human rights dimension to its foreign policy with Southeast Asian countries in order to distinguish itself from other major Asian…

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China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative: What Role for Southeast Asia?

The role of Southeast Asia in China’s one belt, one road vision for its relations with Asia, Africa and Europe was the topic of discussion between Asia Centre and Dr. Wang Jianwei, Director of the Institute of Global and Public Affairs, University of Macau. China’s One Belt, One Road initiative was announced in 2013 by President Xi Jinping. It seeks to increase the connectivity between China and Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Major support mechanisms for this important initiative are China’s policy banks (China Development Bank and Exim Bank) that support a ‘going-out’ strategy, state-backed investment funds (including…

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2nd International Conference (2017): National Human Rights Institutions in Southeast Asia: Challenges of Protection

An effective national human rights institution (NHRI) requires a creative, purposive interpretation of the mandate, and a proactive approach to implementation, this was one of the key takeaways from Asia Centre’s International Conference on National Human Rights Institutions in Southeast Asia: Challenges of Protection held on 13 and 14 July at the Centre’s premises in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference brought a diverse group of participants including representatives from United Nations, NHRIs and civil society for critical discourse into the effectiveness of the regions NHRIs. The conference also featured the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons,…

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ASIA Centre Lectures on Business and Human Rights in ASEAN at Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (RMUTP)

Asia Centre’s Dr. Robin Ramcharan delivered a course to students at RMUTP on the political economy of human rights in the ASEAN area, from 3 to 7 July 2017. A total of 23 students in the Faculty of Business at RMUTP from Bhutan, Germany and Thailand benefited from a comprehensive overview of ASEAN’s origins, evolution and contemporary challenges, notably in the area of human rights protection.     The students, all of whom are pursuing degrees in international management of business organizations, learned of the relationship between business entities and larger economic, social and political problems in the societies in…

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Asia Centre delivers lectures on Women’s Rights in China

Asia Centre’s Dr James Gomez, delivered several key lectures at a one week course on the Study of Gender and Women’s Rights in China in Shanghai from 3-7 July 2017. Organised by Fudan University’s National Base for Human Rights and Training the course drew some 20 students from within and outside the university.     The course is part of a range of activities within China organised by “National Bases” around the topic of human rights. Throughout China there are presently 8 National Bases for Human Rights and Training located within different universities which draws researchers from within its departments, faculties and schools.…

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Nite for Rights: A Human Rights Open Mic Platform

Asia Centre’s first human rights open mic night was held on the 30 June 2017 with an audience of about 35 from various backgrounds including academics, students, civil society representatives and media representatives. Nite for Rights was a celebration of human rights advocacy and activism in the region, with Asia Centre providing a platform for sharing and discussion into the critical human rights issues impacting the region as well as strategies for effective engagement.   The event was opened with an overview of Asia Centre’s Human Rights Programme and sharing of key findings of our research into the Universal Periodic…

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Asia Centre’s Second Anniversary

After two years of operations, Asia Centre cast a confident gaze at its steady growth, program development, outreach and presence in Bangkok. As a testament to the Centre’s community-building prowess the celebrations featured friends and associates from academia, local and international civil society organizations, international institutions, embassies, students and the media. Asia Centre provided a platform for sharing in the form of an open mic night dedicated to human rights in the region.     Over the past year, the Centre focused on developing its role as a think tank and on its flagship Human Rights Programme, which carries out…

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Asia Centre Leads Discussion on Human Rights and Conflict Prevention at ICIRD 2017

Applying human rights principles in the development of early warning systems and indicators can bolster internal - conflict prevention processes and mechanisms. This was the key discussion point at the Asia Centre-Thammasat University panel on  internal conflict held at the  International Conference on International Relations and Development (ICIRD) on 24 June 2017. The panel entitled, Human Rights Violations and Internal-Conflict in Southeast Asia: Identifying Conflict Prevention Processes and Mechanisms, looked at the challenges and opportunities for internal conflict prevention from conceptual and practical perspectives.   Asia Centre’s Executive Director Dr Robin Ramcharan’s paper Human Rights and Conflict Prevention in Southeast…

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Asia Centre Human Rights Briefing for Georgia Tech, USA

  Asia Centre held a briefing session on 22 May 2017, in Bangkok, for visitors from the Southeast Asia Study Abroad Program of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs of Georgia Tech, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Dr. Robin Ramcharan and Dr. James Gomez led the briefing and discussions. Dr. Katja Weber led the group from Georgia Tech.   The session focused on challenges facing human rights protection and democratic transitions in ASEAN, and on contemporary governance challenges that affect human security including the difficulties of providing social protection. Institutional differences between ASEAN and other regional bodies…

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IFC #1: Asia Centre Launches International Faculty Club

  On 12 May 2017, Asia Centre launched the International Faculty Club (IFC) with some 40 academics, researchers and graduate students in attendance.   The event filled a gap in the Bangkok social landscape that brought together people across different tertiary institutions allowing those from diverse academic disciplines to dialogue, share innovative ideas and forge friendships in a convivial setting.     The evening turned out to be an engrossing academic networking event as the inaugural gathering saw a series of speakers taking to the floor to share their ongoing research and interests.   These included: Evgeniia Sidorova, Thammasat University,…

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