Human rights development and humanitarian crisis in South East Asia pose a challenge to ASEAN member countries. It is not easy to realise trans-border humanitarian mission due to resistance and protection of the state and local society. So, a joint agreement is required to resolve these issues. This topic emerged in the seminar titled Humanitarian Challenge in South East Asia: Capacity and Research, held at University Club UGM on Tuesday (20/12).
The Seminar is organised by Universitas Gadjah Mada, Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) and European Commission, presenting speakers: President NOHA, Prof. Joost Herman, UGM international relations lecturer, Dr. Muhadi Sugiono, researcher from University of Social Science and Humanity, Vietnam, Anh Thu Vu, and researcher from Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Arratee Ayuttacorn, Ph.D.
Muhadi Sugiono said South East Asia was vulnerable to disasters,. The humanitarian crisis affecting this region should be part of the component of trans-border humanitarian mission done through researchers, government, and volunteers. But all needs response from the government and local society. “We want agreement and togetherness in each humanitarian mission,” he said.
Arratee Ayuttacorn, Ph.D reported his research on human rights development in Thailand after the military junta. The military junta claimed that their nation was not ready to do a referendum or general elections. “The situation in Thailand does not differ from the emergence of authoritarianism. In 2015, there were 60 events related to human rights and politics, like seminar and panel discussion by academics, being disbanded,” he said.
But the rate of conflict in the past two years increased after a peaceful dialogue between the government and separatists. “Both have the commitment to prioritise human rights and minimise violence,” he said. Arratee acknowledged the involvement of the UN, the US, the EU and Japan for their persuasive approach to the Thai government.
Anh Thu Vu said that Vietnam is a country vulnerable to natural disaster and climate change. Up to 70 percent of Vietnamese are prone to experiencing these things. “The disasters cause poverty or loss of status, but there is no conflict or terrorism in Vietnam,” he said.
Prof. Joost Herman said he supported research and humanitarian mission by academics. “NOHA invite the participation of academics and researchers in enhancing education, research, and training for humanitarian workers,” he said.
Cooperation between researchers and students, added Joost, can build strong networks between universities and even increase the ties between North-South and South-South.