Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Theory Meets Practice

The 4th conference on Human Rights provides a platform for academics, human rights activists and practitioners to explore current human rights issues in Southeast Asia.

Date: 13-15 October 2019
Venue: Conference Hall, University of Jember, East Java, Indonesia

Call for papers

The call for papers is now open for the 4th Conference on Human Rights on the theme of “human rights in Southeast Asia: theory meets practice”. Submissions are open until 26 April 2019.

Submit your paper abstract here! (closed)



Human rights implementation in Southeast Asia is dynamic and challenging. On a regional scale, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) lacks the capacity to enforce human rights in the region because of ASEAN member countries’ shared position on preserving state sovereignty. Individually, most Southeast Asian states have eschewed universalist concepts of human rights, preferring instead to emphasize the primacy of local concepts of individuals’ rights and responsibilities as members of society. This position is especially evident in countries where an authoritarian regime privileges the preservation of national stability, economic development, or social harmony over respect for individual human rights. However, even countries that have amended their constitutions to align with international human rights instruments have struggled, since implementation is influenced not only by legislation but by developments in the economic, social, cultural, religious, and political spheres.

Conference streams

Participants are encouraged to submit abstracts which address any aspect of this broad theme drawing upon their particular field of study and their national, regional, or comparative experience. The focus of accepted papers will include, but will not be limited to:
– Academic freedom and freedom of expression;
– Authoritarianism, democracy and human rights;
– Disability, development and human rights;
– Gender and human rights;
– Human rights protection for migrant workers;
– Individualism vs collectivism/communalism;
– Peace and transitional justice;
– Politics of constitutionalism and human rights;
– Refugees and human security;
– Regional mechanisms for human rights promotion;
– Religious intolerance and the rights of minorities;
– Terrorism, fundamentalism, and human rights; and
– The challenge of mainstreaming human rights.


-Each speaker will be given 20 minutes to present their paper.
-All speakers must send a paper abstract (in English, and not more than 200 words) and a short biography of the author (in English, and not more than 150 words) no later than 26 April 2019.
-Speakers will be notified by 17 May 2019 if their paper is accepted.
-Accepted presenters must send confirmation of acceptance no later than 31 May.
-Please direct any queries regarding the submission process to Dr Al Khanif.

Conference grant

The conference is free of charge for all presenters. The committee will provide travel subsidies for the authors of the 10 best abstracts submited.

This conference is co-hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (CHRM2) (the University of Jember), the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (the University of Sydney), National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM); and supported by Migrant CARE, Komnas Perempuan and the Indonesian Consortium for Human Rights Lecturers (SEPAHAM Indonesia).