The Development of Human Rights and Its Mechanisms in ASEAN

Co-presented with the Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation at the University of Sydney, with support from the Australia-Thailand Institute

6 December, 2011
Dr Sriprapha Petcharamesree


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is not a human rights organisation. The fact that human rights was not included in any of its original objectives and has not been the focus of the institution should not be a surprise. However, with the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter and the establishment of ASEAN human rights mechanisms namely the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, ASEAN has gone quite far.

It is in such a context that the speaker will examine human rights landscape in ASEAN. The politics of human rights and the politicisation/depoliticisation of human rights issues shall be also discussed. The speaker will also address the way how human rights issues have been dealt with in an ASEAN way, and how the newly established human rights mechanisms have been functioning in ASEAN.

Dr Sriprapha

Dr Sriprapha Petcharamesree is currently Director of the International Ph.D Program in Human Rights and Peace Studies at the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand. Since October 2009 she was appointed as the Thai Representative to the newly established ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

Sriprapha Petcharamesree completed an undergraduate degree in political science from Thammasat University in Thailand. She furthered her studies in the same discipline and received her D.E.A. and then Ph.D. (Doctorat) in international politics from the University of Paris-X Nanterre, France. Until June 2007, she chaired the first International Master Program in Human Rights ever established in Thailand and in Asia. Under her directorship, two more human rights study programs have been established namely, Ph.D in Human Rights and Peace Studies, and MA. Program in Human Rights and Development.

Sriprapha Petcharamesree is active in the human rights field both among the academic community and human rights activists at a national, regional and international levels. She works closely with NGOs, grassroots people and some marginalised groups, ethnic minorities, migrant workers, asylum seekers, in particular. Her recent works focus mainly on issue of citizenship, economic, social and cultural rights, rights to development, human rights-based to poverty eradication, community rights, and human rights education both within and outside educational system. She is currently preparing two books; one dealing with the issues of citizenship, statelessness, border and discrimination, and another on ASEAN and human rights.