The Politics of Human Rights and Peace Education in Southeast Asia


Single Panel

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Session 4
Wed 15:30–17:00 Room 1.101


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The protection of human rights, conflict transformation, and building of peace in Southeast Asia are far from being the norm in terms of governance, law making, and even in the everyday life of its peoples. The socio-political problems in the region are deep and far ranging, with some countries having more serious rights violation than others. What is alarming is the popularity of governments that are blatantly authoritarian and populist. This reflects a non-appreciation of human rights and peace, not only on the part of states, but perhaps, far worse, on the part of many people.

Human rights and peace education aim to help students develop an understanding and appreciation of human rights and peace. Moreover, it leads to building capacities for students to contribute to the protection of human rights and creation of peace in their respective societies and/or communities. Although Human Rights and Peace education is included in ASEAN Vision 2025 and is part and parcel of the Association of Southeast asian Nation (ASEAN)’s Culture of Prevention, human rights and peace education is still lacking, or is still not included in learning systems in many parts of Southeast Asia. A significant number of higher education institutions and academics are struggling to push for its full promotion due to (1) restrictive political climate, (2) low demand for subjects or programmes, (3) the lack of funding and human resources, (4) social and structural challenges, (5) marginalization of human rights and peace by States and non-state actors, most notable university administrations.

This panel will identify and examine the impacts of the socio-political environment affecting the delivery of existing human rights and peace courses and programmes in higher education institutions. Researchers of Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Timor Leste will provide a deeper analysis of the situation in these countries.