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Land conflicts flare across Asia during coronavirus lockdowns

Lockdowns to contain the novel coronavirus in Asia have made farmers and indigenous people more vulnerable to losing their land, according to land rights activists who are backing new technologies to help track the growing number of conflicts. More than 4.4 million people have been reported to be infected by...

Indonesia edging towards 1,000 new infections in a day for the first time.

Indonesia has recorded a huge jump in its daily coronavirus infections, with 973 new patients confirmed on Thursday. The jump in new infections easily beats the previous one-day record of 693 infections, set just a day earlier and again calls into question the Indonesian government's handling of the crisis -...
Puan Maharani as Speaker of the People's Representative Council (2019). Picture Courtesy to Jakarta Post

House approves revised Mining Law amid outcry

As the country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers have approved a controversial revision of the 2009 Coal and Mineral Mining Law, despite outcry from civil society organizations. The new law, aimed at developing Indonesia’s downstream mining industry and increasing economic growth, will allow miners to extend permits through a...
A Rohingya family stands outside their home in Maung Hnama village, Buthidaung township, western Myanmar's Rakhine state, July 13, 2017. Courtesy to Benar News

Mine Blasts Kill 2 Rohingya Girls in Rakhine as UN Extends Arrangement with Myanmar

Mine blasts in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state killed two Rohingya children and injured another child as they picked mangoes in a deserted village on Wednesday, with the government military and the rebel Arakan Army blaming each other for the deadly explosions, locals said. The blast highlighted the peril and instability...

ASEAN has failed to cooperate on COVID-19, leaving marginalized groups exposed

Editorial As we settle into the age of the coronavirus, scathing critiques of government responses to the pandemic are increasingly common in the media—tropes of foreign policy analysis play out on the pages of The New York Times and The Guardian. For Southeast Asia, the now-tired hot take is that countries in China’s backyard...

COVID-19, a litmus test for ASEAN

By: Eunice Barbara C. Novio - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 09:53 PM April 13, 2020 BANGKOK – With over 13,000 cases of COVID-19 in the ASEAN Region, many countries are still treating the pandemic as a security issue rather than a health and medical issue. This was an observation shared by the...

Group slams rollback of human rights in Asia

MANILA, Philippines — Governments in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, have used the COVID-19 pandemic to impose measures that have rolled back human rights in the region, according to Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia). Under the pretext of public safety and national security, these governments have either...

ASEAN MPs urge governments to put human rights at centre of COVID-19 response

JAKARTA – As governments in Southeast Asia increase measures in response to the spread of coronavirus, regional lawmakers have today urged authorities to ensure that human rights are at the forefront of their responses. “Now is a particularly challenging time for governments around the world to combat the virus, but...

ASEAN must uphold human rights in responding to the COVID‐19 pandemic, says FORUM-ASIA

In a joint statement earlier today (20 March), the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), together with the Solidarity for ASEAN Peoples’ Advocacy and the undersigned organisations, expressed grave concerns with the lack of a human rights focus in the current response to the ongoing COVID‐19 pandemic...

ASEAN Must Do More to Help the Rohingyas

The deaths of more than a dozen Rohingyas on an overcrowded boat that was bound for Malaysia but capsized in the Bay of Bengal in early February highlighted the desperation that about a million refugees continue to face in the sprawling camps in southern Bangladesh. While the refugees’ plight...