Each year, a team of LLM and MA students decides on a timely topic and organises a conference on Human Rights in Asia, with the support and supervision of HRC fellow, Dr Sanae Fujita, where experts from the region are invited 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 11th Human Rights in Asia Conference was held on 23 March 2019 under the theme: “Shadow behind the Light: Economic Development and Human Rights”. This year’s keynote speakers were Professor Rhona Smith, the UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia, Professor Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, and Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
Also special panelists from Fukushima, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Bretton Woods Project discussed “Business and Human Rights: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster” and “International Development Agencies and Human Rights”. In the students’ panel, three students gave presentations on human rights issues in their countries