COVID-19 & Southeast Asia
June 25 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 pm BMT
Since February 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both the public health and economies in countries in Southeast Asia. Many Countries have imposed a lockdown on their citizens, while the economy is going into despair. The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected democracy and human rights throughout the region. In Southeast Asia, there has been a regression of freedom of speech and democracy. As more and more populist governments have gotten into power and crackdowns on freedom of speech are becoming rampant. As a reaction to the pandemic, governments in the region impose a variety of laws, legislations, task forces, and policies that are implemented in order to combat COVID-19. But what has happened is that COVID-19 related laws and regulation are used to silence critics, expand executive powers and manipulate online discourse, collectively regressing democracy and human rights in the region.
This seminar will take stock of how the COVID-19 public health crisis has adversely accentuated democratic backsliding in Southeast Asia, especially as a result of governments’ responses (e.g.legislation, temporary laws, and policies and practices) to the global pandemic.
Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director,
Dr. Kenneth Houston, Centre Associate and
Dr. Robin Ramcharan, Executive Director
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