Human Rights In ASEAN

LexisNexis® Interactive Online Course


This course provides an overview of the current state of human rights in ASEAN, exploring the developing and shifting attitudes on such issues in recent times.

4 Modules

Recommended Background
Law students, lawyers, legal academicians, human rights activists.

Course Format
Each module consists of a brief introduction, course presentation, reading materials and integrated quizzes along with an opinion question. Participants are to complete each module to proceed to the next one.


Will I get a certificate for this course?
Yes. LexisNexis will award a Certificate of Completion to students who successfully complete the course. A paper will also be generated based on the student’s opinion answer and a pledge to action will be made.

What resources will I need for this class?
Got an up-to-date browser and a decent internet connection? You’re good to go!



To kick-start this course, watch this lecture by former President of the Malaysian Bar, Lim Chee Wee. This was presented as a keynote lecture in the LexisNexis™ Rule of Law Debate 2013. It would provide you with a general idea of Human Rights in ASEAN, after which you may begin on our first module..


Human Rights in ASEAN
This course provides an overview of the current state of human rights in ASEAN, exploring the developing and shifting attitudes on such issues in recent times.
Module 1 Universality vs Asian Values
Our mission for this module is to explore two schools of thought on human rights that are often debated in this region: whether human rights is universal and applicable to all regardless of cultural background OR whether there are specific Asian values (cultural relativity) that must be taken into account in applying these rights. We will then look into the Bangkok Agreement signed by ASEAN member countries in 1993 together with the Bangkok NGO Agreement signed in opposition of it. We will end by discussing the relevancy of the argument for Asian values.
Unit 1 Resources and Quiz for Module 1
Unit 2 Opinion Question For Module 1
Module 2 Pre-ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights
Here we will learn about the development of human rights in the region since the formation of ASEAN. Firstly, we will look into the ASEAN Charter where regional members pledged for the first time to uphold and institutionalize human rights. This culminated in the establishment of special regional bodies and commissioners for human rights. We will then briefly examine the history of the development of Human Rights in ASEAN leading up to the the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights (ADHR).
Unit 1 Resources and Quiz for Module 2
Unit 2 Opinion Question for Module 2
Module 3 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
Beginning with the controversial matter of its non-transparent drafting process, here we will probe the aims of the AHRD itself. We will then move to expand on a few key articles in the AHRD and the relevant disputes that arise from them. This will be followed by a highlight of the arguments found in critiques of the Declaration. The module will end with a discussion on why ASEAN is so quick to establish human rights even though there seems to be minimal political will to do so.
Unit 1 Resources and Quiz for Module 3
Unit 2 Opinion Question for Module 3
Module 4 Where Do We Go From Here?
Now that we have gotten a comprehensive overview on the current position of human rights in ASEAN and have extensively discussed our views, we no longer have a reason to be ignorant or inactive. It is time to take action. Suggest possible reforms that can be taken to improve the present situation. Identify the little things you can do within your community to make a difference. Actions speak louder than words.
Unit 1 Regional Level
Unit 2 National Level
Unit 3 Personal Level