Human Rights

Indonesia’s abandoned children in Syria

The notion of repatriation for the 689 Indonesians associated with terrorists and violent-extremist groups in Syria has led to controversy in Indonesia. Public debate is not only divided on whether the government should repatriate them or not, but also whether or not their nationality should be revoked. In responding to that, the Indonesian government has just declared its decision to not repatriate them.

23 February 2020
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Misinformation laws on the rise in ASEAN

Singapore’s newly passed misinformation law has been grabbing headlines because it empowers government officials to order corrections to be placed next to social media and online posts they deem false. The law came into effect in October 2019, resulting in outrage from human rights groups and tech giants such as Facebook and Google, which claim that the law is in violation of free speech. A number of opposition figures and activists have already been ordered to place correct

10 February 2020
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Indonesia’s child prostitution problem

Since the early 2000s, child prostitution has become an increasingly difficult issue for Indonesia. This issue particularly affects the party islands of Bali and Batam where tourists exploit the child sex trade. As “sex tourism” rises worldwide, Indonesia has become a major “destination country” for human trafficking.

9 February 2020
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Is the coronavirus threatening human rights?

The novel coronavirus isn’t the only thing spreading. It was recently reported that authorities in Thailand had arrested two people for posting "fake news" about the novel coronavirus as a senior official warned internet users last Thursday to “think twice” before sharing incorrect information about the disease.

3 February 2020
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No religious freedom in ASEAN?

From last year’s church bombings in southern Philippines which killed at least 20 and wounded scores more, to the decades-old persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya population which has seen a mass exodus of 1.2 million people fleeing for their lives, religious freedom isn’t exactly one of ASEAN’s strong points.With 650 million people spread across 10 countries, ASEAN’s diversity has long been one of its defining characteristics.

1 February 2020
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Internet surveillance and censorship in ASEAN

An analysis of 65 countries has found that only 20 percent of the world's internet users enjoy "free" access according to international watchdog organisation, Freedom House. The remaining 32 percent are "partly free" and 35 percent are "not free", while 13 percent of users have yet to be assessed. The declining freedom of the internet in ASEAN highlights some serious concerns for its citizens in terms of privacy and ownership of data.

27 January 2020
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Indonesia’s child prostitution plague

Police in Jakarta, recently arrested six people for allegedly forcing underage girls to work as prostitutes in a café under horrific conditions. According to Jakarta police, each victim was forced to serve 10 clients per day and take pills to delay menstruation to "maximise profits." The café is located on Jalan Rawa Bebek in Penjaringan, North Jakarta. Police said at least 10 underage girls had fallen victim to the syndicate.

27 January 2020
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Cambodia is criminalising democracy

The sham trial of Kem Sokha, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), is underway in Phnom Penh. How the international community responds will send a powerful signal to Hun Sen, the world’s longest-serving prime minister, about his ability to continue to trample on Cambodia’s democracy and its people’s human rights.After Kem Sokha and I founded the CNRP, Cambodia’s first united democratic opposition party, in 2012, we quickly gained strong public support.

18 January 2020
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Internet shutdowns could cost ASEAN dearly

The ASEAN Post recently ran a story on the world’s longest internet shutdown in the northern part of Rakhine State in Myanmar and the concept of digital rights as a legitimate human right.

14 January 2020
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How to “starve” a city in today’s modern world

Can you imagine waking up and not being able to check your phone? For most of us it is as essential as our morning coffee to look at our texts, emails and social media. To be informed of the world and inform the world of us. But imagine not just a day but weeks, and then months without internet connection. Internet is a fundamental tool for society because it has the ability to make entire towns, cities and even countries visible to the rest of the world.

30 December 2019
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Indonesians hold solidarity rally for Uighurs

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia held a protest Friday against China's treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang in front of China's embassy in Jakarta.The rally was organised by hardline Islamic group the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) but was attended by members of other Muslim communities under heavy security.The protest started at noon, after Friday's mass prayer, and continued until late afternoon despite heavy rains, according to the media.Demonstrators brought posters showi

30 December 2019
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