Democracy and Participation

Democracy and civic freedoms have come under increasing pressure in Southeast Asia over the past years. Under the pretense of ensuring stability, national security and public order, regional governments continue to severely curtail fundamental political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights of its citizens.  Unregulated investments, facilitated by rent-seeking governments, in particular in the poorer ASEAN-countries, increasingly disenfranchise and deprive local communities of their livelihoods at a large scale.  

In dealing with these trends, the Democracy & Participation Program strongly commits to the promotion of human rights, democratic participation and gender equality. Among others, we support civil society organizations that engage in the protection of freedom of expression, media freedom and digital rights, a particularly important issue in times of increased digital censorship and surveillance by state authorities across the region. As the ongoing ASEAN integration will be essentially defined by the movement of people across borders, the program will also engage in activities related to the rights of refugees and migrants. Overall, the aim of the Democracy & Participation Program is to assist partners and civil society organizations in creating public space for dialogue and open debates as well as developing adequate strategies for their respective advocacy campaigns. This encompasses (I)NGOs, alternative media, think tanks, scholars, youth activists, artists, LGBT and women’s organizations.

Timor1-Street

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Timor-Leste

Dynasty

Direct Elections, Patronage and the Failure of Party Cadre-ship: Dynastic Politics in Indonesia

Timor Flag

Reflecting Human Rights and Peace in Timor-Leste as an ‘Outsider’

Sultan Omar Mosque

COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam: How Does the Small Nation Cope?

Publications Democracy & Participation

reporting asean

Reportage Around ASEAN-related Issues: A Tip Sheet

ASEAN. Journalists and editors might love it, hate it – or flee from being asked to work on stories related to it. But regionalism in the ASEAN region is a running story of public interest that is here to stay, so we might as well know the beast better, so to speak.

This tip sheet is an invitation to do just that, and take a deep dive into issues around ASEAN.

cover_afraid_of_thelight

Afraid of the Light: Unmasking the Discourse on Irregular Migration and Its Implications for Migration Governance in ASEAN

This paper attempts to investigate the issue of irregular migration in the ASEAN region. The space and attention given to a burgeoning reality of irregular migration is yet to be given its due space at national policy-level and regional discussions. The primary objective of the paper is to function as a baseline study for future advocacy on protection of the rights of undocumented migrants in the region. Primarily, it focuses on the governance of migration, or the lack thereof, by contextualising the current status of irregular migrants in major destination countries of the ASEAN region, being Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

All publications
Squeezed Spaces

Dossier: Squeezed – Space for Civil Society

The Future of Civic Space: What are the Realities of “Shrinking Space”