The Publication of “Human Rights in ASEAN: Indonesian and International Perspectives.”

1 March 2021

The Human Rights Resource Centre, with the generous support of Universitas Indonesia, published its latest publication, “Human Rights in ASEAN: Indonesian and International Perspectives.” The book, composed as a manifestation of the Centre and Universitas Indonesia’s commitment to increase the academic discourse on ASEAN and Human Rights, was published by World Scientific, a leading academic and professional publisher in the Asia and Pacific Region.



“Human Rights in ASEAN: Indonesian and International Perspectives” is a collection of 13 essays that offers different insights on the institutional, legal, social, and cultural human rights dynamics in the region, with Indonesia as the primary country case study. The essays are written by eminent statesmen, diplomats, development practitioners, and academics who are experts in their respective fields. They are curated to cover the issues pertinent to the Centre’s areas of concern, especially rule of law and vulnerable groups.

Some of the contributors capture human rights issues of immediate concern in Indonesia, which other ASEAN contexts may draw lessons and comparisons from, such as child marriage, democracy and Islam, and participation of women in communal decision-making. A reflection from Singapore in the area of human rights and peace education can also be found in the book, providing a starting point to contemplate on how shifting ideas on these matters may be achieved. It also offers external and internal perspectives of ASEAN human rights dynamics since the ASEAN Charter was signed in 2007, a binding treaty that envisages the establishment of a regional community that adheres to “the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. The following are the list of chapters in this volume:

  • Bridging the Internal-External Nexus: ASEAN’s Human Rights Development (RM Marty M Natalegawa)
  • Personal Reflections on the Formation of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (Bilahari Kausikan)
  • An Overview of Human Rights Developments in ASEAN (Param Cumaraswamy)
  • Civil Society and ASEAN: Of the People, By the People, For the People (Braema Mathi)
  • ASEAN Treaty Practice: Trends in the Post-Charter Era (Ranyta Yusran)
  • One Vision, Three Communities? Reflections on Human Rights in ASEAN’s Community Blueprints (Michelle Staggs Kelsall)
  • International Human Rights in the Constitutional Orders of the ASEAN States: A Preliminary Survey (Kevin YL Tan)
  • Human Rights and Democracy and the Response of Indonesian Islam (Syafiq Hasyim)
  • Women, Customary Law, and Rights to Participate in Decision-Making Process: Stores from the Customary Council in Rote and Labuan Bajo (Lidwina Inge Nurtjahyo)
  • Imagined Justice in Practice: The Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia (Daniel Mattes)
  • Statelessness in ASEAN: Causes and Responses to a Protracted Problem (Rodziana Mohamed Razali and Christoph Sperfeldt)
  • Child Marriage in the Eyes of Indonesian Police Officers: A Socio-Legal Perspective (Sulistyowati Irianto and Harkristuti Harkrisnowo)
  • Human Rights and Peace Education in Singapore (Tamara Nair)

The Centre believes that the publication of this book is timely to contribute to the human rights discourse in the region as we pass the halfway point of ASEAN Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together. It will especially be useful for students and academics with interest in, among others, law and human rights, international law studies, and international relations especially in the context of ASEAN. The book can be purchased from the World Scientific website, and the Centre has also distributed copies to its partner and affiliated universities’ libraries in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, and Vietnam as well as regional academics and experts in order to increase this volume’s accessibility.