Press Release Bincang ASEAN “Gender in ASEAN”

Yogyakarta, Friday, November 9th, 2018

The ASEAN Studies Center UGM and ASEAN Studies Center UMY held its first collaborated Bincang ASEAN entitled “Gender in ASEAN” at Amphitheater E6 K.H Ibrahim Building, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.


This event featured Dr. Nur Azizah, M.Si. (Head of International Relations Department Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta & Researcher at ASEAN Studies Center UMY and Karina Larasati, S.IP. (Junior Researcher, ASEAN Studies Center, UGM) as the moderator.  250 undergraduate and postgraduate student across Yogyakarta and Central Java participated in this event.


On this occasion, Dr. Nur Azizah, M.Si. addressed the misconception about gender in society and how important it is to understand gender and further differentiate it with the term” sex”. She explained that today, the issue of gender is being politicized and associated with the power division in the government. As consequences, the attention to gender issues is often ruled out where in the end women do not get maximum political space as desired by the relevant legislation and defenders of women’s rights.


Furthermore, she emphasizes that in ASEAN, the issue of gender is still under-explored. If compared to European countries, awareness of gender equality can be said to be quite lagging behind. Yet, this does not mean that gender issue is truly dead in the region. In 1975, ASEAN established the ASEAN Sub-committee on Women (ASW), followed by a meeting in Makati, Philippines to determine ASEAN’s strategy in responding to the United Nations International Decade for Women (1975-1985). In 1981 the ASW was changed to AWP (the ASEAN Women’s Program) until it ended with the name of the ASEAN Committee on Women the year after.


It is good news for gender equality defenders that in recent times, various gender mainstreaming initiatives have emerged in the region. All in all, ASEAN has done a great job in increasing gender equality within its region. However, she further emphasizes that there are constraints and challenges need to be considered, such as lack of data availability, resources, and funding. There will be lots of improvements to be done, and the actions need to be taken to do a grander job. This Bincang the ASEAN exchange center between ASEAN Studies Center UGM and the ASEAN Studies Center UMY.


Written by Karina Larasati and Raissa Almira, ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada

Press Release Bincang ASEAN “Transnational Activism for Migrant Workers in Asia: The Case of Indonesia and the Philippines”

Yogyakarta, October 26th 2018

Yogyakarta – On Friday, October 26, 2018, ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada held the fourth edition of Bincang ASEAN 2018. Approximately 50 students and practitioners across Yogyakarta, Central Java and West Java registered on this Bincang ASEAN #4 held in BA 201 Room FISIPOL UGM on October 26th, 2018. On this edition, Ezka Amalia, MA (ASEAN Studies Center UGM Researcher) disseminatedher dissertation findings about “Transnational Activism for Migrant Workers in Asia: The Case of Indonesia and the Philippines”. This discussion also had Raissa Almira (ASEAN Studies Center UGM Research Intern) moderating.

Firstly, Ezka described the status quo of labor migration in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia and Philippines. She also characterized the detail of Indonesia as a migrant worker sending country and the regulations within the country managing the migrant protection. It includes the advocacy maneuvers of Indonesian migrant worker in articulating their peers’ voice. Consecutively, same explanations were also given concerning Philippines as major migrant sending country.

Simultaneously, the dissertation indeed also explains the migrant worker destination country: Hong Kong. She presented the statistics of Hong Kong as receiving country and the advocacy network of both Indonesian and Philippines migrant worker in that country, that is also known to have a prominent regulations protecting the foreigners working there. These explanations were followed by personal stories of migrant workers re-told by Ezka. 

At the end of the presentation, Ezka discloses the reason behind the difference of advocacy model done by Philippines and Indonesia concerning the migrant worker protection. The metric of the comparison was mainly the domestic structure the two countries. Specifically, Indonesia and Philippines has different civil society tradition and characteristic of network.


(Written by Rafyoga Jehan Pratama Irsadanar, research intern in ASEAN Studies Center UGM)

Press Release Bincang ASEAN “Delegate Sharing Session: Model ASEAN Meeting Experiences”

Yogyakarta, Friday, October 12, 2018

ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada held its very first collaborated Bincang ASEAN featuring the Department of International Relations, Universitas Islam Indonesia. In order to better raise awareness and promote greater ownership of the ASEAN Community among young generation throughout the region, as well as to introduce more closely how the decision-making process at the ASEAN level is carried out, this time Bincang ASEAN inviting Kevin Iskandar (Best Position Paper and Diplomacy Award of AFMAM 2018) and Tri Inov Haripa (Best Delegation of AFMAM 2018) to share their experiences on Model ASEAN Meeting.

The event began with Tri Inov Haripa briefly introducing the ASEAN Model Meeting. She portrayed the Model ASEAN Meeting as an academic simulation from the Model ASEAN Meeting, where participants are invited to play the role of diplomat representing 10 ASEAN member countries in solving urgent regional issues by using perspectives and policies of the assigned countries that are in line with the principles ASEAN. As she emphasizes, the key objective of the Model ASEAN Meeting is for participants to gain an understanding, insight, and appreciation of the decision-making process of ASEAN. The final outcome of the meeting is to have the Heads of Government (HOGs) adopt a concerted document that addresses the issues identified, also known as the Chairman Statement, based on the ASEAN Way. There are 6 steps in the Model ASEAN Meeting Process, which are Opening Ceremony (Remarks by HoG), Simulation of Sectoral Bodies Meeting (SOM), Simulation of ASEAN Ministerial Meetings, Community Council Meeting, Coordinating Council Meeting, and ASEAN Summit (Closing Ceremony & Remarks by HoG).

The next session was continued by Kevin Iskandar, presenting the stages and roles in the ASEAN Meeting Model. First off, ASEAN Secretariat is responsible to prepare the Draft Statement, assist the document formulation during the Negotiation and draft the final report with the assistance of the ASEAN National Secretariat. Second, Senior Officials are responsible to lay out the foundation of discussion and amend the draft statement. Third, the Ministers are responsible to negotiate the unresolved (escalated) points of Draft Statements and propose a substantial point. Lastly, the Head of Government is responsible to coordinate councils and the ASEAN Summit.

Closing the session of Bincang ASEAN, Kevin and Tri outlined more details about the strategy paper & position paper. Position paper lays down the background of the topic, country’s position and proposed solutions, does a deliberate research on the past country’s efforts and regional efforts beforehand and formulated by every delegate with the exception of the HoG and Foreign Minister. As for the strategy paper, it comprises of what one’s country has done in the past in its efforts realizing the vision/mission of each pillar, includes the area of cooperation that your country would be (and would not be) willing to negotiate and covers strategy to approach the issue on the table. All in all, Model ASEAN Meeting is a very good platform for youth to learn more about ASEAN, especially in solving pressing regional issues using the policies and perspectives of their assigned country using the ASEAN Way.

Written by Raissa Almira, research intern in ASEAN Studies Center UGM

Press Release BINCANG ASEAN “Mapping the Source of Indonesia’s Refugee Obligations: Does it Exist?”

Yogyakarta, 6th September 2018


ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada held the second meeting of Bincang ASEAN in Thursday (6/9), with Dio Herdiawan Tobing S.IP, LLM, former researcher at the ASEAN Studies Center UGM, who is currently working as Senior Policy Advisor at the Netherlands Embassy, presenting his dissertation on “Mapping the Source of Indonesia’s Refugee Obligations: Does it Exist?” . Held at BB building room number 208, the discussion was initiated with the issue of mapping Indonesia’s refugee obligation from various international legal instruments.

Indonesia is regarded as one of the main refugee transit countries in Southeast Asia after Thailand and Malaysia with more than 13.000 asylum-seekers and refugees. However, Indonesia is a non-party to 1951 Refugee Convention and its additional protocol but Indonesia ratified several treaties such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention against Torture, and Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“Indonesia’s first action on refugee is when the government provided Galang Island so that refugee can be settled in the late of 1970.  Indonesia also thinks that they’ve done well to do their obligation such as when they provide the Island on the refugee from Vietnam when Vietnam War happened, so the government doesn’t think that it is necessary to ratify the refugee convention.” Dio said.

In this occasion, Dio attempts to explain the decision made by the Foreign Ministry of Indonesia and other government-affiliated institutions’ stance on the refugees-like issue which is solid: no ratification, no refugee obligation. But the fact is Indonesia has existing non-refoulement refugee obligation that derived from other legal instruments such as ICCPR and Convention against Torture. In particular, on Article 3 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 6 Convention Against Torture.

The findings of his dissertation present that in spite of Indonesia’s non-ratification to the Refugee Conventions, the country remains to have refugee obligation derived from other legal instruments. In fact, the threshold of Indonesia’s refoulement obligation is higher.

Bincang ASEAN: Mapping the Source of Indonesia’s Refugee Obligations: Does it Exist?


With more than 13,000 asylum-seekers and refugees currently hosted in Indonesia, the country is regarded as one of the main refugee transit countries in Southeast Asia after Thailand and Malaysia. However, in light of the situation, Indonesia is a non-party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its additional protocol. The Foreign Ministry of Indonesia and other government-affiliated institutions frequently describe that Indonesia’s stance to refugees-like issue is solid: no ratification, no refugee obligation. Is this even entirely true?
Speaking from an international perspective, Dio’s LL.M Dissertation maps out Indonesia’s refugee obligation from various international legal instruments: Convention Against Torture, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Convention on the Rights of the Child. The findings of his dissertation presents that in spite of Indonesia’s non-ratification to the Refugee Conventions, the country remains to have refugee obligation derived from other legal instruments. In fact, the threshold of Indonesia’s non-refoulement obligation is higher.
ASEAN Studies Center UGM presents:
Mapping the Source of Indonesia’s Refugee Obligations: Does It Exists?
With the expert, Dio Herdiawan Tobing, S.IP, LL.M, this edition of Bincang ASEAN will discuss about Indonesia’s existing non-refoulement refugee obligation, the reflection of such obligation in the newly adopted Refugee Decree No. 125/2016 and its flaws, and the incoherence of the existing international non-refoulement obligation in Indonesian practices.

Don’t miss it!
Friday, September 7th, 2018.
15.00 – 17.00 WIB.

Online registration at

Pictures source:


Seminar on Enhancement of Cooperation between Eastern Part of Indonesia and Southern Part of the Philippines

Seminar on Enhancement of Cooperation between Eastern Part of Indonesia and Southern Part of the Philippines

23 August 2018 | 8.30 – 16.45 | R. Seminar Timur, Fisipol UGM

REGISTRATION until 21 August 2018
Subject: August Seminar | Format: name_institution_phone number | send to:

CP Karina +62 851 1332 3663

*Registration starts at 8.00 AM

Press Release BINCANG ASEAN “Democratization in Southeast Asia: The Case of Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand”

Bincang ASEAN Monday, 14 May 2018

Yogyakarta – Recently, the ASEAN Studies Center UGM held its first Bincang ASEAN in 2018 entitled “The Democratization in Southeast Asia: The Case of Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand” at Digilib Café FISIPOL, UGM. This particular Bincang ASEAN featured Hestutomo Restu Kuncoro, M.A. (Alumni of Manchester University) with Ezka Amalia (Researcher at ASEAN Studies Center UGM) moderating.


On this occasion, Hesutomo raised the topic of democratization in Southeast Asia, using comparative methods of Western democratic model and models adopted in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. As the discussion progressed interactively, Hestutomo explained that Southeast Asia did not support the strong Western democratization model in Latin America and Eastern Europe because of differences in the type of regime. As a consequence, Huntington’s ‘universal’ model of democratization is not applicable to Southeast Asia as it could not portray a complete explanation of the process taking shape in the region.


Putting the context on Southeast Asia, a region that is relatively immature for its democracy, Hestutomo argued that Thailand and the Philippines subscribe to the opposition-initiated democratization theory, whereas Indonesia adopted the regime-opposition alliance theory. These two types of theory are self-explanatory in nature; both are named after the drive for democratization. The former is characterized with non-violence movements and revolts, to begin with, and started without a power overturn. These people who demanded democracy fought against the same enemy, not because of a shared vision. On the contrary, the latter emphasizes on the function of regime opposition that seeks for change. True oppositions in Indonesia, in this regards, is difficult to define.


To further argue, Hestutomo contended that the power of people or civil society is not evidently strong to drive the democratization in Southeast Asia. In Britain, the free flow of ideas during the democratization process was associated with the existence of a strong civil society, something that Southeast Asia did not share in common. The interdependency between business sectors and politics are deemed as the catalyst for democratization. For instance, the unintended consequence of elitist competition in Indonesia gave birth to a greater democracy after the New Order era. In the Philippines, the constituents and those who are loyal to Aquino could not give much to say in the political agenda unless Aquino gave an approval in their action. People in Thailand, however, sought to get the patronage of the country.


As to the goals of democratization in Southeast Asia happened primarily due to the expected outcomes of the people within the jurisdiction of the respective state, such as to provide a better opportunity to be heard and to provide a better security from the state. Such conditions depict Indonesia during the fall of well-known corrupt Soeharto’s regime that curbed the voice of the people. In comparison to Portugal and Spain whose, people strove to seek democracy to participate in deciding the budget allocation of the country, the case in Latin America showed a transitional situation from a very closed government into one with the inclusion of the people in economy and decision-making process.


The role of the military in government, as Hestutomo explained, dominates in the Philippines and Indonesia. As time passes, they begin to enter the political business network to gain access to national resources. A question remains, why is this clear, the power of the people in the Philippines still unable to remove the authoritarian government that unilaterally supports Marshall’s Law and the War on Drugs in the country despite their views against such practices. Borrowing the physical molecular theory that explains a state of condition with sufficient critical mass and people power and a collective action necessary to transform a particular state or condition to another, democracy is possible to make. However, in fact, is still nowhere near to happen partly because the people in the Philippines still cast their votes to the characteristics of the figure they can relate to.


All in all, democratization in Southeast Asia is an unfinished project due to a plethora of variables. The intertwining role of religion and democracy make us questioning the maturity of the democracy in the region. For instance, the democratic practice in Southeast Asia tends to follow a procedural matter of democracy which highly focuses on the national election. The lack of tolerance to differing views in politics has the tendency to be divisive and harmful for the maturity of our democracy. The question that arises is what kind of democracy do young people imagine as the future of Southeast Asia? and how will our civil society be more open to embracing differences? When he concludes, such a scenario will eventually arise when people adhere to the values of democracy and inculcate it in our lives.


(Written by Kevin Iskandar, research intern in ASEAN Studies Center UGM)

Internship Program

ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gajah Mada membuka kesempatan magang untuk mahasiswa dari seluruh jurusan di universitas di Yogyakarta yang akan berkesempatan untuk terlibat dalam riset serta program akademik yang diselenggarakan oleh ASEAN Studies Center UGM.

Output dari pekerjaan intern adalah sebagai berikut:
1. Membuat artikel mengenai isu-isu ASEAN sebanyak 1 buah, dalam Bahasa Indonesia atau Bahasa Inggris sepanjang 800 kata per minggu.
2. Berpartisipasi aktif dalam seluruh kegiatan/event yang melibatkan ASEAN Studies Center, UGM
3. Berpartisipasi aktif dalam riset dan program-program akademik ASEAN Studies Center, UGM

Pendaftaran : Maret – 13 April 2018
Interview & Pengumuman : Minggu ketiga bulan April 2018
Program Magang : Mei – November 2018

Informasi lebih lanjut (persyaratan-persyaratan) dapat dilihat di foto/hubungi akun-akun ASC UGM (tercantum). #ASC_release


Day 3: UGM-RUG International Working Conference on Regional and National Approaches Toward Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia and ASEAN

The third day of UGM-RUG International Working Conference on Regional and National Approaches toward Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia held on October 5th 2017. With only three session of draft paper presentation left, the international working conference was opened by Dr. Titus C. Chen’s presentation on his draft paper. The title of his work is blue-washing, green coffe, and the sustainable development agenda in Southeast Asia.

The second draft paper presentation was presented by Dr. Helena Varkkey, an expert on the transboundary haze issues in Southeast Asia. Her works, Transboundary Haze, ASEAN and the SDGs: Normative and Structural Considerations.

Prof. Laksono Trisnantoro from Indonesia became the last but not the least draft paper presenter at the UGM-RUG working conference. He presented his draft paper with the title Health Care System Reform and Governance for Sustainalbe Development in Indonesia. The UGM-RUG international working conference finally closed after every participant presented their draft paper.

Day 2: UGM-RUG International Working Conference on Regional and National Approaches Toward Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia and ASEAN

The second day of UGM-RUG international working conference on October 4th 2017 was opened by Prof. Dr. Ronald Holzhacker draft paper presentation the relation of multi-level governance and the sustainable development goals. Taking concern on how some persistence issues and also some unfinished agenda from the MDGs, Prof. Dr. Ronald Holzacker then point out at the problem when one issues is tent to be covered by more than one ministry in a country, meanwhile the coordination between the ministries is not good. Prof. Dr. Ronald Holzacker then proposed a solution with multi-level governance approach that would create better coordination between ministries on a specific issues, so the SDGs can be accomplished.

The second presenter is Prof. Ir. Bakti Setiawan MA., PhD from Indonesia. He presented his draft paper, Indonesian Responses toward Goals Number 11: The New Urban Ageda – Habitat 3, which discussed about the gab of the concept of SDGs goal number 11 and the concept of Habitat 3 in order to come up with a better idea in how to design the future urban life.

Protecting Rights of Construction Workers to Safe Working Condition in the Course of Economic Boom: Lesson Learned from Cambodia was the third draft paper that had been presented by Kimsan Soy. Triggered by the fact that the construction worker does not have an employment contact, which mean construction worker does not protected by Cambodia Labor Law, Kimsam Soy explored the possibility in using external resource mobilization to raise the issue so then Cambodia government would acknowledge the issue.