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Webinar: Human Rights Situation of the COVID-19 Response in ASEAN

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An Online Discussion on the Human Rights Implications of COVID-19 Responses in ASEAN States

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm (GMT +7)

Date: Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Click to register! RSVP by 10am (GMT +7), 7 April 2020
A link to the webinar will be emailed to registered participants ahead of the discussion.


  • Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director, The Philippine Human Rights Information Center
  • Asfinawati, Executive Director, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation
  • Themba Lewis, Secretary General, Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network
  • Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA

Moderated by Cornelius Hanung, FORUM-ASIA

Special closing remarks by Clément Nyaletsossi Voule – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.

Declared a global pandemic, COVID-19 threatens already-strained government systems and adversely affects almost all aspects of human life. In the ASEAN region, confirmed cases have surpassed 10,260. As the spread of the virus increases exponentially, there is no available cure in sight.

To effectively respond to the pandemic in a way that respects human dignity, swift government action to uphold human rights is imperative. Alarmingly, ASEAN Member States are using the crisis as a pretext to violate fundamental rights and freedoms.

With speakers from human rights organisations in the region, the first of a six-part webinar series provides an overview of government responses to COVID-19, and discuss how ‘emergency decree’ and lock-downs in ASEAN countries violate international standards of human rights.

Human rights defenders, civil society organisations, and academics are invited to share observations on specific issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Wellbeing and safety of human rights defenders;
  • Discrimination faced by vulnerable groups in accessing testing and treatment;
  • Clampdown on the freedom of speech;
  • Potential government abuse of power given ambiguous and draconian policies;
  • and the effectiveness of military engagement in handling public health crisis.

This webinar is the first in a six-part webinar series on the Status of Human Rights in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic in Southeast Asia.