In response to this gap, Human Rights Centre students organise our annual Human Rights in Asia Conference. Each year student convenors select different but timely human rights issues related to Asia and invite experts from the region and beyond to address these topics.
Since 2009, this student-led event has been successful in raising awareness of a wide range of regional issues. Previous conferences have examined regional human rights mechanisms, development and human rights in Asia, natural disaster and human rights, human rights in Myanmar, and human rights in South Asia.
The conference is an excellent opportunity for participants to meet and network with other students, researchers and human rights professionals interested in human rights issues in Asia. As well as deepening their understanding of human rights in Asia, the event also helps our student convenors to gain practical skills in conference organisation, a very useful asset for their future careers.
The first Human Rights in Asia Conference took place in 2009. The event was originally proposed by postgraduate students from the Human Rights Centre and supported by the late Professor Kevin Boyle, Professor John Packer (former Centre Director), Dr Sanae Fujita, as well as the wider doctoral community.
The 10th year of the conference was held at the University of Essex Colchester Campus, and focussed specifically on the rights of children in Asia. Most countries in the region have ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which entails a commitment of the states towards ensuring the right to survival, protection, development and participation of every child. The day-long conference focussed on some of the pertinent child rights issues of the region. The rights of the girl child, refugee and IDP children, survivors of child trafficking and children in armed conflict were explored through panels and discussions. Experts and practitioners provided their insight into both, the developments and existing gaps in these areas, in order to advance the debate and further understanding on the issues.