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Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 6, 2021

Human rights and civil society in Asia

A letter to Australia: The Asia-literacy conversation we’re not having

A new draft Australian Curriculum has been released for debate. It's time for a genuine focus on Asian engagement.

  • Hamish Curry

WEBINAR: Hong Kong’s National Security Law: one year on

This webinar looks at the impact of the National Security Law on peaceful political speech in Hong Kong.

How Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ is being significantly opposed within the Philippines

A great deal of attention has been given to international opposition to the 'war on drugs', but domestic opposition has also had an impact.

Taiwan’s View of the Trump Administration

Trump will be remembered positively in Taiwan as someone who forced a rethink on the terms of the relationship.

Public sentiment in China cools towards Australia

Two consecutive years of polling indicates that Chinese attitudes towards Australia have become less favourable.

How activists are using Facebook in Myanmar for democratic ends, but Facebook itself also facilitated hate speech

When Facebook was used in Myanmar as a platform for hate speech and organised violence against Rohingya, the company was quick to deflect blame.

WEBINAR: Human rights and democratic regression in Asia

Three experts on human rights and civil society discuss the situation in two countries which have seen recent democratic regression, Thailand and Myanmar, as well as the use of forced disappearances.

The year of daring: revisiting the Philippine left’s dalliance with a strongman

Given Duterte's open endorsement of mass killings and anti-human rights rhetoric, how was an alliance possible with the left movement?

Politicising the natural environment through Indonesian art

Many Indonesian artists discuss natural disasters not in isolation, but in relation to broader social, political and historical processes and injustices.

Edition 6, 2021

Human rights and civil society in Asia

INTRODUCTION: Questions and challenges for civil society and human rights in Asia

As elsewhere, many societies in Asia have recently witnessed the rapid rise of populists and democratic regression.

The Jimmy Lai case: The National Security Law and the future of dissent in Hong Kong

If Lai is convicted it will serve as a clear signal to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement that Beijing is in charge.

The racialised and gendered online abuse of activists in Japan

While human rights activists take advantage of social media, so do their opponents with xenophobic, racist, and sexist tropes.

The many challenges of fighting against enforced disappearances in Asia

Many Asian countries still do not understand the nature of enforced disappearance, and often believe the issue is not relevant in their countries.

Building a community for sexual orientation and gender identity rights in ASEAN

If ASEAN is unlikely to see its way toward SOGIE rights, the arena it reifies arguably helps activists navigate strategies.

India’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

There are more than 27 million persons with disabilities in India and their rights are still not protected.

Global civil society must promote linguistic rights for China’s Indigenous peoples

China is involved in historical denialism that enables the Party-state to continue human rights abuses against vulnerable linguistic communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and possibilities for Arab ‘risk society’

COVID-19 may afflict without discrimination, but not all polities, economies and societies can equally withstand its damage and rebuild in its aftermath.

The dark side of civil society? How Thailand’s civic networks foster autocracy

Royalist civil society networks operate as repressive forces which reduce democratic space.

How Kong’s civil society networks have contributed to the containment of COVID-19

The networks and solidarity formed by the democracy movement laid the groundwork for a prompt civil society response to COVID-19.

Speaking no truth to power in a time of coup: Myanmar’s Human Rights Commission

Myanmar's Human Rights Commission has been noticeably silent which raises issues regarding expectations of human rights institutions against regimes inimical to human rights.

Book Review

‘queerqueen: Linguistic Excess in Japanese Media’ by Claire Maree

What linguistic anthropologist Miyako Inoue did for Japanese women’s language, Maree has done for onē-kotoba and onē-kyara—the language of queerqueen personalities.