man in blue spreads hands against red and white wall

5th Conference on Human Rights

Human Rights and Human Security in Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The 5th Conference on Human Rights provides a platform for academics, human rights activists and practitioners to explore current human rights issues in Southeast Asia and beyond. 

Dates: 24 & 25 November 2021
Venue: Online via Zoom and in person at the Conference Hall, University of Jember, East Java, Indonesia


The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the world. In the name of the nation state's health and sovereignty, some countries have adopted strict policies to tackle the pandemic, which also violate basic rights. The right to work, freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of assembly, minority and vulnerable rights are some of the most troubled rights during the pandemic. In some developing countries, human rights matters are even more complicated, mixed with authoritarianism, poverty, marginalisation, and populism. Countries in Asia provide some striking examples.

To respond to those matters, the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (CHRM2) at the University of Jember, Indonesia; the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia; the Indonesian Consortium for Human Rights Lecturers (SEPAHAM Indonesia); the National Commission on Human Rights (KOMNAS HAM); and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Indonesia are delighted to organise the 5th Conference on Human Rights. The conference is expected to become an academic platform to share ideas and experiences from academia, practitioners, civil society organisations, and governments in Asia and beyond.

Conference hosts

This conference is co-hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (CHRM2) at the University of Jember, the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM); the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Indonesia; and supported by the Indonesian Consortium for Human Rights Lecturers (SEPAHAM Indonesia). 


Further information

Participants are encouraged to submit abstracts that address any aspect of this broad theme, drawing upon their particular field of study and their national, regional, or comparative experience. The focus of accepted papers will include, but will not be limited to:

  • Business, development and human rights;
  • Community security, minorities, and human rights;
  • Disability rights; 
  • Environmental rights;
  • Food security and human rights;
  • Gender, women's security, and human rights;
  • Health security and human rights;
  • Human rights advocacy;
  • Human rights protection for migrant workers;
  • Marginalisation, development and human rights;
  • Personal security, freedom of expression and human rights; 
  • Political security and human rights;
  • Politics of constitutionalism and human rights;
  • Populism, religious intolerance and human rights;
  • Refugees and human security;
  • Regional mechanisms for human rights promotion.
  • Each speaker will be given 20 minutes to present their paper.
  • All speakers must send a paper abstract (in English, and not more than 200 words) and a short biography of the author (in English, and not more than 150 words) no later than 30 April 2021.
  • Speakers will be notified by 17 May 2021 if their paper is accepted.
  • Accepted presenters must send confirmation of acceptance no later than 31 May.
  • Final papers must be sent to the committee by 17 September 2021.

Please direct any queries regarding the submission process to Dr Al Khanif.

The conference is free of charge for all presenters.

The committee will provide conference grants for the authors of the 10 best papers submitted. These conference grants will include:

  • An allowance of up to IDR 5 million to cover travel fees in economy class - this allowance may be used to purchase return airfares and/or train tickets in economy class, as well as to cover taxi fees, from the speaker's place of residence to the University of Jember
  • Accommodation for the duration of the Conference
  • The opportunity for their paper to be published in the Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, Volume 6, Issue 1, June 2022
  • The opportunity to attend free of charge an academic writing workshop on 23 November 2021 with a Fulbright Specialist

Both domestic and internationally-based presenters may be considered for this grant. The recipients of these conference travel grants will be announced by 1 October 2021.

Disclaimer: Please note these grants are subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 


In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the conference organisers reserve the right to cancel this event on short notice. The conference organisers will be closely monitoring the situation and following international and national health advice to assess all risks associated with the conference, and will notify participants of any changes to the program. In participating in this conference, all individuals will be required to follow social distancing and good hygiene practices so as to reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19. 

Photo credit: Henri Ismail

For any enquiries, please contact

Dr Al Khanif