The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) works to promote and protect human rights, including the right to development, through collaboration and cooperation among human rights organisations and defenders in Asia and beyond.

FORUM-ASIA is a network of 81 members in 21 countries, as of December 2020, across Asia. It was founded in 1991 in Manila, the Philippines. Its Regional Secretariat was established in Bangkok, Thailand in 1992. Since then, offices have been opened in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu.

FORUM-ASIA is committed to building a peaceful, just, equitable and ecologically sustainable community of peoples and societies in Asia, where all human rights of all individuals, groups and peoples – in particular, the poor, marginalised and discriminated – are fully respected and realised in accordance with internationally accepted human rights norms and standards. It does so by:

  • Bringing together activists and stakeholders to tackle human rights issues;

  • Protecting human rights defenders in Asia that find themselves in emergency situations;

  • Advocating for human rights at the national, regional and international level; and

  • Building the capacity of its members and partners.

For more information on the history of FORUM-ASIA, check out the chapter in our anniversary publication, ‘Our Struggle for Human Rights – 25 Years of FORUM-ASIA’ here. [http://l.forum-asia.org/1934037e]


About the Secretariat

The Regional Secretariat of FORUM-ASIA has been based in Bangkok since 1992. The International Office was opened in Geneva in 2006. Since 2010 FORUM-ASIA also has an office in Jakarta, and since 2015 one in Kathmandu. FORUM-ASIA has had consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC Status) since 2004, and a consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) since 2017.

The Secretariat is headed by the Executive Director, who is responsible for assuring that the Secretariat implements the decisions of the Executive Committee. The Executive Director is the ex-officio secretary to the Executive Committee, without voting power.

The Secretariat is composed of an international team of professionals. Their work is structured through programmes that reflect the strategies and priorities of FORUM-ASIA.

About the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the policy-making body that supervises the work of the Secretariat. Members are elected by the General Assembly, which convenes once every three years.

The current members of the Executive Committee for the period 2019-2021 are:

  • Ms. Urantsooj Gombosuren, Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Mongolia, Chairperson

  • Mr. Sevan Doraisamy, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Malaysia, Vice-Chairperson

  • Mr. Suresh Kumar Dhakal, Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), Nepal, Treasurer

  • Ms. Shahindha Ismail, Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), Maldives

  • Ms. Asfinawati, Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Indonesia

  • Dr Nymia P Simbulan, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippines.