Documentation: International Legal Human Rights Framework -- Human Rights and the Institutionalisation of ASEAN: An Ambiguous Relationship

Theodor Rathgeber


While the ASEAN Charter of 2007 heralded an era of improved democracy, human rights protection and good governance in accordance with the rule of law, the reality on the ground tells a different story. While all of the trappings of a human rights mechanism are in place, the normative and protective capacity of the regime is ambiguous at best. The adoption of core international human rights treaties by ASEAN member states presents an ambiguous picture, one which reveals significant variations between the ten countries. The purported institutionalisation of international human rights standards since 2007 in the region via the creation of an ASEAN human rights mechanism in that year is betrayed by the poor condition of actual protection of human rights at the national and regional level. The article analyses the situation on the ground in light of the normative obligations and aspirations of the states.

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