National Human Rights Institutions in Southeast Asia: Potential and Challenges

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Khoo Ying Hooi


This paper explores the potential of the six national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in promoting and protecting human rights in the Southeast Asia region. With the adoption of the ASEAN Charter in 2008 and the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission (AICHR) in 2010, ASEAN faces high expectations to deliver human rights commitments. In order to face regional developments, these government-established NHRIs in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Myanmar evolved from an initial informal network to a formalised network called the Southeast Asia NHRIs Forum (SEANF) in 2009. This paper, therefore, identifies the challenges of these NHRIs in enhancing human rights promotion and protection in the region.


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