Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights
Programme for Asia-Pacific

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Bangladesh 2021

China 2023

Fiji 2021

India 2021

Indonesia 2022

Japan 2022

Marshall Islands 2022

Nepal 2023

Pakistan 2023

Philippines 2021

Republic of Korea 2022

Uzbekistan 2023

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments


UN Human Rights Report 2019 UN Human Rights Report 2019
OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021 OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021
Brochure: Human Rights in action Human Rights in Action (PDF)
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Asia-Pacific (2011-2012)

Human rights context

OHCHR’s Regional Office for South-East Asia covers Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The South-East Asia region is diverse in terms of political systems and economic development.   Despite on-going economic growth in the region, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar remain three of the least developed countries in the world.  Furthermore, within countries there is a vast difference in the share of national income going to the richest 20 per cent of households compared to the poorest 20 per cent.  Inadequate social security nets leave the poor particularly vulnerable to economic downturns and high food commodity prices. Common concerns include unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on freedom of expression; impunity for serious human rights violations, including torture; the treatment and poor legal protection of undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees; human trafficking; and discrimination against women , persons with disabilities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.  Positive developments include increased engagement by States with international human rights mechanisms, including the UPR process; on-going efforts by States to advance the nascent Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) human rights system; as well as promising reforms at the domestic level in countries such as Myanmar.

Although national human rights institutions have been established in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, some of them lack political support from their respective governments and the strength to effectively monitor human rights violations. Existing civil society organisations continue to find it difficult to win ASEAN’s recognition to become part of the decision-making process at the regional level; in some States, they face censorship and restrictions on their freedom of expression.

A considerable number of international human rights instruments have yet to be ratified by ASEAN Member States, and human rights treaty obligations as well as the recommendations made by treaty bodies and special procedures are often not implemented.



OHCHR’s Regional Office for South-East Asia acts as an expert resource and plays a catalytic and convening role, helping to bring human rights standards and mechanisms into discussions on political, social, economic and developmental issues amongst governmental and non-governmental actors.  A combination of advocacy on human rights issues of concern and technical support and capacity building with key partners has formed the basis of the Regional Office’s work, including with national government authorities, ASEAN, national human rights institutions, civil society and UN agencies and programmes.


Priorities in 2011 included supporting increased engagement by all States with UN human rights mechanisms and improved implementation of their recommendations; an increased number of national human rights institutions and civil society actors making use of international human rights mechanisms; the increased integration of human rights standards into the UN programmes in the region; and support to the strengthening of the emerging ASEAN human rights system.

Contact Information


Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Asia Pacific Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9650

Regional Offices/Centres

Officer in charge
Tel: 679 3310 46565
Fax: 679 3310 485
Address: Level 5, Kadavu House, Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji

South-East Asia
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Regional Office for South East Asia
6th Floor, United Nations Buidling, Rachadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200,
Tel. +66 2 288 1235,
Fax: +66 2 288 1039


UNDG-HRM Regional Human Rights Adviser
UNDG Asia and the Pacific
UN Service Building, 3rd Floor, Room 326
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Office: +66-2-304-9100 Ext. 5222
Skype: h.alefsen

Other OHCHR Offices

Sri Lanka
Timor Leste

Feature stories

Human rights meeting in the Asia-Pacific region

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

National Institutions

Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.