The institute has been active in Asia for over 25 years. In 1996 it initiated its cooperation in the region with human rights training courses for Chinese high-level justice officials. During the following years the activities in the region expanded. The programme in China grew larger, projects were implemented in Vietnam in cooperation with the Vietnamese Institute for Human Rights (VIHR), cooperation was initiated with the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand and capacity development projects were developed in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights. In 2005 the institute established a presence in Jakarta to facilitate the cooperation in Indonesia. In the years that followed, cooperation with partners were further developed and projects implemented. The institute cooperated with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), Academic Institutions and Justice Sector institutions in numerous countries in the region, for example in East Timor, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar and Cambodia. In addition to the bilateral projects, RWI has also since 2001 implemented regional programmes in Asia that target, and brings together, different types of organizations and institutions from different countries. In 2013 the institute established a presence in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to facilitate cooperation and implement a large capacity development programme.
Over the years, the institute has played a key-role in supporting the establishment of Master Programmes in Human Rights at universities in the region, for example at Peking University (China), Mahidol University (Thailand) and Pannasastra University (Cambodia). Instrumental support have also been given to several Judicial Training Academies and NHRI’s in the region and the institute’s unique method of working with human rights standards in prison was originally developed in cooperation with the Directorate General of Correctional Service (DGC) in Indonesia.
Since a few years back the Institute has taken groundbreaking steps in relation to the interlinkages between Human Rights and the Environment in Asia-Pacific, and is now one of the leading actors in this field in the region.
In its aim to promote regional networking, and support discussions on human rights issues, the Institute is involved in organising the ASEM informal seminar on human rights series. The institute has also in different ways been involved in the Human Rights Dialogues the Swedish government and/or EU have/had with countries in the region, for example with Indonesia, China, Laos and Cambodia.
Our Asia Programmes and Cooperations
Our work in China
For more than two decades, we have worked to strengthen academic and justice institutions and networks for the promotion and protection of human rights in China.
Our work in Regional Asia
We are currently implementing the 2017-2021 Regional Asia Programme on Human Rights and Sustainable Development that aims to contribute to a just, inclusive and sustainable development in the region. It does this by mutually reinforcing protection of human rights, gender equality and the environment.
Our work in Cambodia
Our work in Indonesia
We initiated activities in Indonesia in 1999. An office was established in Jakarta in 2005. Our work in Indonesia focuses on supporting the implementation of the Regional Asia Programme on Human Rights and Sustainable Development (2017-2021). In particular, we work to promote the concept of human rights cities and foster a local dialogue around challenges and solutions related to the human rights, gender equality, environment and SDGs.
We initiated our cooperation on human rights capacity building in Myanmar in late 2011, as the first international organisation to engage in human rights capacity building with their newly established national human rights institution. However, we currently have no activities in Myanmar.
If you wish to know more about the programmes in the Asia-Pacific region, please contact:
Andreas holds both a Swedish LL.M and a Master in International Human Rights Law from Lund University. He has almost 20 years of experience working with human rights and has for more than half of that time been based at different duty stations abroad.
He joined RWI in 2003 having previously worked for the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo and OHCHR in Geneva. He has extensive experience working with human rights both within a development cooperation context and from an international court setting.
In 2005, he established RWI’s office in Jakarta, Indonesia and stayed as office director until 2007. Between 2007 and 2013 he was Head of RWI’s Asia Unit coordinating and developing the institute’s work in the region. In 2013, he established a RWI office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and stayed there as office director for almost five years. In 2018 he took up the position as Team Leader for Fair and Efficient Justice at the Institute’s headquarter in Lund, Sweden.