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Press Statement by SEAHRN on the 4th International Conference on Human Rights and Peace and Conflict in Southeast Asia


Reclaiming Lost Ground
in Human Rights and Peace in Southeast

Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network (SEAHRN) is proud to announce
that we are conducting our Fourth International Conference on Human Rights
and Peace & Conflict in Southeast Asia on 10-12 October 2016 at The
Sukosol Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. The SEAHRN conference is the only
conference that focuses on human rights and peace & conflict in Southeast
Asia.A mere six years ago during our first conference in 2010 there was a
distinct air of optimism. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
had just signed its Charter, legally recognising for the first time the
importance of concepts such as the rule of law, governance, democracy and the
promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in its
purposes and principles for an ASEAN Community. In 2012, ASEAN leaders
reconfirmed their commitment to human rights by adopting the ASEAN Human
Rights Declaration. Yet today we seem to be moving backwards, hence the theme
of the conference – Reclaiming Lost Ground — for we need to reclaim that
forward momentum that was promising to propel the region into an era where
respect for human rights along with the peace, justice and fairness that it
brings is the norm.To help us in this process we have excellent paper
presenters to discuss a wide variety of human rights and peace issues. We are
fortunate to have Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, the renowned human rights
scholar and activist from Thailand to deliver the opening keynote speech. He
will be speaking about the current issues on human rights faced by the
region. And as a counterpoint and continuation of Professor Vitit’s ideas,
the closing keynote speech will be about the future of human rights in the
region, and this will be delivered by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen
of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.In between what promises to be two
thought provoking speeches there will be numerous panels discussing a broad
spectrum of issues including: democracy and governance, workers’ rights,
academic freedom, the environment and human rights, religious freedom, gender
and sexuality, history, business and human rights and peace and security in
the region.We hope that academics, activists, government officials as well as
anyone in the general public interested in human rights will make the effort
to attend. We also hope that the press will give coverage to this conference
as human rights in Southeast Asia needs to be pushed further into the public
consciousness. This conference series have been successful in the past to
provide an important forum for human rights and peace discussions, and
promises to be so again. Online registration is open until 30 September 2016
Fourth International Conference on Human Rights and Peace & Conflict
in Southeast Asia is co-organized by the Institute of Human Rights and Peace
Studies, Mahidol University and is supported by the Strengthening Human
Rights and Peace Research/Education in Southeast Asia/ASEAN (SHAPE-SEA)
Programme, Swedish International Development Cooperaion Agency (SIDA) and the
Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR)CONTACT: Dr. Azmi Sharom at

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