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Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia: Enlarging Space for Civil Society
Pavin Chachavalpongpun
Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies
June 2012
The concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is relatively new to many Southeast Asians, who have traditionally relied on the state for security and therefore faced a sense of hopelessness when such protection was lacking. While the state represented the only institution ensuring human security for the masses in he past, civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have today emerged as indispensable non-state actors campaigning for humanitarian interventions in situations where the state has failed in the provision of human security. (…)
This paper discusses the roles that CSOs and NGOs play in promoting the R2P concept in Southeast Asia, exploring the nature of such roles and attempting to arrive at policy recommendations for a more efficient operationalization and implementation of R2P. (…)
The roles of CSOs and NGOs in three fundamental areas of R2P are explored: promoting awareness and understanding of R2P; aiding the protection process and strengthening justice; and, knitting alliances with other actors. The policy recommendations proffered highlight the need to consolidate existing networks of CSOs as part of improved capacity building, using available social media networks to make the R2P concept more relevant to Asia, and finally mingling with local communities to raise awareness of the necessity to prioritise human security.

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