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Business and Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Progress Towards Developing National Action Plans

15 December 2021


As of 2021, in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the only country that has published the national action plans (NAPs) on business and human rights; while Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines have either expressed their intention or have undertaken necessary steps to develop their NAPs. This event, convened to mark the launch of a new report,  will take stock of the latest developments and challenges to the implementation of the NAPs in Southeast Asia. It will, in particular, focus on the participation of business organisations and parliamentarians in realising the NAPs. During the event, to mark the launch of Asia Centre and Fredrich Naumann’s publication Business and Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Developing National Action Plans, invited speakers and discussants will review the role(s) of the states and discuss case studies. The aim is to identify the way forward for the positive adoption of NAPs in the region and convene regular activities around issues related to business and human rights in the region. 


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Panel 1 (Report presentation and discussion): 10 AM – 12 PM

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr. Robin Ramcharan, Executive Director, Asia Centre


  • Parliamentarians and BHR, Paolo Zamora, Programme Manager, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
  • Myanmar: A New Frontier in the BHR Agenda, Vicky Bowman, Head of the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business
  • Inducing business organisations to support the BHR agenda, Obiora Okafor, UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity


  • Tricia Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs

Lunch Break: (12 PM to 2 PM)

Panel 2 (Regional Roundtable): 2 PM – 4 PM

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr. Balazs Szanto, Senior Researcher, Asia Centre


  • NAPs on BHR in Southeast Asia: Prospects for Progress, Betty Yolanda, Asia Regional Manager, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Business Organisations and the BHR AgendaThomas Thomas, CEO at ASEAN CSR Network Ltd.
  • Promoting BHR Among SMEs in Malaysia, Edmund Bon Tai Soon, Lawyer Amerbon
  • An Emerging Regional Cascade on BHR?, Saul Takahashi, Asia Centre Advisory Board and Professor of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Osaka Jogakuin University


  • Husai Chantarawirod, Regional Programme Officer, Regional Office Southeast & East Asia, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung

Vote of Thanks 

  • Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director, Asia Centre


15 December 2021
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