ASEAN Community Virtual Summit 2020

25 Jun 2020 10.00 AM - 26 Jun 2020 2.00 PM

ASEAN Community Virtual Summit 2020

Date: 25-26 June 2020

Diplomatic Briefing:

Town Hall Meeting:

Digital Press Conference:

Diplomatic Briefing. Human Rights in Peril: the Impact of COVID-19 on Civic Space, Refugee Rights, Business and Human Rights in ASEAN.

About this Event

Providing information to diplomatic missions in ASEAN on the impact of COVID-19 on democracy and human rights in the region. Key issues to be address will include: the rising of xenophobia, in particular anti-migrants and anti-refugees narrative, translated into harmful practices in the region against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities; deterioration of freedom of expression and civic space; as well as the impact on business and human rights. The session seeks to mobilize the diplomats to push for an ASEAN wide regional response on these matters.


- Lucas Cibor (Mission of the EU to ASEAN)

- H.E. Jane Duke (Ambassador of Australia to ASEAN)

- Cornelius Hanung (FORUM-ASIA)

- Golda Benjamin (Business and Human Rights Resource Centre)

- Razia Sultana (RW Wealth Society)

- Atty. Arpee Santiago (Ateneo de Manila University)


Fitri Bintang (CSIS)


Collaborating Organisational:



Townhall Meeting: ASEAN Member State's accountability on Human Rights During and Post Covid-19

About this Event

Despite of more than 90,000 COVID-19 cases in the region, ASEAN has yet to take any action to halt the virus spread, or act to prevent the suppression of freedoms that should be universally enjoyed. Furthermore, ASEAN’s principle of non-interference remains an insurmountable obstacle blocking efforts to effectively address human rights violations, even in instances of major crises like the pandemic.

Civic space and human rights situation in Southeast Asia have been significantly deteriorated due to the pandemic. Strict security and digital surveillance measures imposed by ASEAN member states have creates a chilling effect for right to expressing opinion and organizing assembly – for human rights defenders, communities, academician, among others. National security decree (and bill) have been introduced by states under the pretext of COVID-19, labelling any activity that might harm reputation of the Head of the States and its officials as defamation and associated to terrorism.

As the 36th ASEAN Summit will be conducted by the end of June, there is a need for civil society and related stakeholders to revisit on ASEAN’s achievement on human rights, assess the condition, and to convey demand to the intergovernmental organization and its member states to fulfill the commitment that has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ASEAN Community Virtual Summit is a platform lead and created by the ASEAN CSOs to raise community voice in parallel with the ASEAN summit. One of the modalities to be conducted is to build solidarity among diplomatic missions for ASEAN to jointly push for the realisation of promotion and protection of human rights in the region.

List of potential speakers;

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand*

- Hon. Charles Santiago (MP Malaysia)

- Hon. Sarah Jane Elago (MP Philippines)

- Yuyun Wahyuningrum (AICHR Rep.Indonesia)

- Racehl Arinii Judhistari ( FORUM-ASIA)

- Sopheap Chak ( Cambodia Centre of Human Rights )

- Ryan Silverio ( ASEAN SOGIE Caucus)

- Lilianne Fan (APRRN)


Joeal Barredo (SHAPE-SEA)


Collaborating Organisations;





Media Advisory - Digital Press Conference 36th ASEAN Summit, 2020: Protecting Human Rights and Democracy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

About this Event

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed major weaknesses in ASEAN’s capacity to respond to a global pandemic. ASEAN failed to take measures to protect those in the most vulnerable situations and to prevent a surge in restrictions on freedom of expression and in hateful rhetoric against marginalized groups. Despite the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN’s principle of non-interference remained a major obstacle to effectively address human rights violations.

At the press conference human rights organizations working in the region will present their demands and recommendations to ASEAN on how to place human rights at the center of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will focus on issues around restrictions on civic space and democracy, protection of those in most vulnerable situations, and the situation of Rohingya refugees at sea.


- MP Charles Santiago (MP Malaysia)

- Lini Zurlia (ASEAN SOGIE Caucus)

- Phil Robertson (Human Rights Watch)

- Rachel Arinii Judhistari (FORUM-ASIA)


Cornelius Hanung (FORUM-ASIA)


Collaborating Organisations:




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