Asia Pacific Working Group
        

The Asia Pacific Working Group counts members from nine countries. It was created in 2018 during GAAMAC’s third Global Meeting.

The Asia Pacific region is home to multi-ethnic societies with rich and diverse civilizations, political culture, and history. The Asia Pacific Working Group translates GAAMAC’s vision into regional, culturally-relevant support to national atrocity prevention mechanisms and policies. It raises awareness and builds knowledge on prevention mechanisms, with an emphasis on hate speech, incitement and discrimination as lead risk factors to the commission of mass atrocities.

2023 highlights

 
In 2023, the Asia Pacific Working Group continued the dissemination of its report: Preventing Hate Speech, Incitement and Discrimination: Lessons on Promoting Tolerance and Respect for Diversity in the Asia Pacific.
 

  • On 3 May 2023, the GAAMAC Asia Pacific Working Group held a dissemination workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This hybrid event was hosted by the Liberation War Museum, a GAAMAC Steering Group member, and presented the Asia Pacific Working Group 2021 report on hate speech and incitement in the region and its key recommendations. The event was attended by 55 participants (60% women and 40%men).
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  • On 20 and 21 June 2023, Dr. Cecilia Jacob (Co-Chair of the APWG) attended UNESCO’s sub-regional launch event in Nepal on their new policy guide – Addressing Hate Speech through Education: a guide for policy-makers. The Co-Chair was invited to contribute to an expert plenary and to lead a workshop based on the group’s 2021 report.
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2022 highlights

Following the publication of a report on hate speech in the Asia Pacific in 2021, two workshops and one webinar contributed to the dissemination of its findings.

  • On 5 September, the Asia Pacific Working Group held a workshop in Bangkok, hosted by the Chulalongkorn University. 29 people attended in-person and online, among whom were representatives from the UNDP Bangkok regional office, civil society groups, and academia/think tanks. The key findings of the cases studies on hate speech were presented by Noel Morada and Cecilia Jacob (Co-Chairs of the Asia Pacific Working Group), and co-authors Marc Batac, Alif Satria and Khadija Rashid.
  • Two days later, on 7 September, a second workshop was held in Jakarta. There were 17 in-person and online participants, which included some representatives from the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, media, civil society representatives, and academic/think tank experts. Participants expressed their appreciation for the APWG members and the GAAMAC for organising the workshops and indicated continuing interest in the group’s work and future engagement in the region through collaborative research and capacity building on prevention of hate speech and incitement.
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  • On 12 October, the author of the Malaysia case study in the 2021 report was invited to participate in a webinar by another of GAAMAC’s partner, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Along with a civil society expert from Sri Lanka, Dr Ruji Auethavornpipat shared his insight and recommendations on hate speech against migrants and minorities.
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In total, 46 people participated to the Asia Pacific Working Group’s activities.
35% women / 65% men
83% CSO / 15% regional or international organizations / 2% States

2021 highlights

  • In 2020, a series of case studies were initiated on hate speech and incitement against the Rohingya population in Myanmar, ethnic minorities in India, and the Bangsamoro population in the Philippines. The research continued in 2021 in three more countries – Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh – and, in the wake of Covid-19, researches also documented how the global pandemic influenced dynamics of discrimination and hate speech.

 

Members of the Asia Pacific Working Group

Regional/Global

  • Asia Justice Coalition
  • Asia Justice and Rights
  • Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Centre for Strategic and International Studies
  • Global Justice Center

Australia

  • Australian National University

Bangladesh

  • Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, Liberation War Museum*

India

  • Human Rights Alert

Indonesia

  • State University of Jakarta

Myanmar/Burma

  • ALTSEAN-Burma
  • Fortify Rights Burma

Philippines

  • Initiatives for International Dialogue

*Member of GAAMAC’s Steering Group

The Asia Pacific Working Group also includes members who serve in their individual capacity: 

  • Ruji Auethavornpipat, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Thailand)
  • Marc Batac, Programmes Manager at Initiatives for International Dialogue (Philippines)
  • Dr Bhanubhatra Kaan Jittiang, Director of MAIDS-GRID and Lecturer in International Relations Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
  • Mujeeb Kanth, Doctoral Candidate South Asian University (India)
  • Naureen Rahim, PhD Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (Bangladesh)
  • Alif Satria, Researcher Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Indonesia)
  • Yuyun Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (Indonesia)
  • Salma Yusuf, Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court (Sri Lanka)

Browse the whole GAAMAC community

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Any state, non-government organization and academic institution involved in atrocity prevention is eligible to become a partner.

Governance

Dr Cecilia Jacob

Co-Chair

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Dr Cecilia Jacob is a Fellow at the Australian National University. Her work focuses on civilian protection, mass atrocity prevention, and international human protection norms. Dr Jacob’s published books include Child Security in Asia: The Impact of Armed Conflict in Cambodia and Myanmar (Routledge, 2014), Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century: Governance and Responsibility in a Fragmented World (co-edited, Oxford University Press, 2016) and Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: A Future Agenda (co-edited, Routledge, 2019). She is co-Editor in Chief of the journal Global Responsibility to Protect. Prior to completing her PhD, Dr Jacob worked for NGOs in France, Thailand and Cambodia, and for the Advisory Group for the Australian government’s aid program.

Dr Noel Morada

Co-Chair

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Dr Noel M. Morada is former Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. In 2005, he was commissioned by the Canadian Embassy in Manila to undertake research on responses to R2P in Southeast Asia from which a R2P Roadmap in the region was published and has served as a guide to the work of the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He has developed a template for R2P plan of action in directing the Philippines programme of the Centre and has conducted lectures and seminars on R2P for government officials, civil society groups, and academia in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Dr Morada is also involved in regional security research.

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