Our Regional Partners : Our Regional Partners

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Southeast and East Asia collaborates with four main partners: the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), the Regional Working Group for the Establishment of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (RWG), the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), and AmerBON.

Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD): CALD is the leading forum for liberal politics in Asia, uniting parties and institutions that advocate for freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, press freedom, open civil society, and market economy. Its members come from Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Japan. The permanent secretariat is in Manila, Philippines. CALD also maintains forums for women and youth, and a working group focused on climate change impacts.

Regional Working Group for the Establishment of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (RWG): Established in 1993, the RWG is the only human rights organization accredited by the ASEAN Secretariat. It aims to create a human rights protection mechanism within Southeast Asia. The RWG has national working groups in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia, with its permanent secretariat based at Ateneo University in Manila. Following the establishment of the ASEAN Human Rights Commission and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights, the RWG now focuses on establishing an ASEAN Human Rights Court and strengthening the existing Human Rights Commission.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS): Founded in Malaysia in 2009, IDEAS is a respected think tank supported by foundation grants. It organizes public events and publishes extensively, focusing on economic issues, market economy principles, and free trade. IDEAS staff are frequently quoted in both national and international media. IDEAS partners with the Foundation on Malaysia and Regional Projects, emphasizing economic freedom. Under the ASEAN Prosperity Initiative (API), IDEAS and the Foundation have been supporting ASEAN's economic integration since 2018, publishing an annual ASEAN Integration Report.

AmerBON: This law firm is led by Malaysian human rights lawyer Edmund Bon, a prominent human rights activist in Southeast Asia. In 2016, Bon was appointed by the government to represent Malaysia at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). He remains an active member of the RWG. In 2021, AmerBON won a Foundation bid to produce a publication to help SMEs implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Following the success of this collaboration, the partnership with AmerBON is now being strengthened further.

The Asia Centre: This organization is a respected think tank in Bangkok/Thailand that works on regional issues and has a regional network. In addition, the Asia Centre holds special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In the past, the foundation has cooperated on the topics of business and human rights, freedom of expression/press freedom, and ASEAN/EU relations. The successful cooperation is to be continued with these key topics.