Democracy & Fundamental Freedoms

Democracy & Fundamental Freedoms

What is the problem?

Democracy and fundamental freedoms are under threat in Southeast Asia, with human rights defenders, journalists and government critics routinely facing harassment, threats and attacks, whether of a physical or legal nature. Parliamentarians are also increasingly at risk. The erosion of fundamental freedoms is a result of rising authoritarianism in the region, as rulers resort to the manipulation of laws and democratic processes to tighten their grip on power.

These attacks on MPs, civil society actors and more broadly fundamental freedoms have significant consequences; for the individuals themselves who face threats to their right to liberty, and physical integrity, as well as to society as a whole. Instilling a climate of fear and stifling fundamental freedoms threatens the very foundation of a healthy democracy and contributes to the shrinking of civic space.

What are we doing about it?

APHR assists and encourages its members to use their mandate to advocate for ASEAN governments to promote and protect democracy and fundamental freedoms at the national, regional, and international levels. APHR is also conducting a research and advocacy project to ensure that MPs@Risk in Southeast Asia can exercise their mandate free from reprisals.

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ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) was founded in June 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights across Southeast Asia. Our founding members include many of the region's most progressive Members of Parliament (MPs), with a proven track record of human rights advocacy work.

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