The vast and diverse continent of Asia is undergoing transformations that, in some cases, threaten civil society and progressive values. Asia’s economies are generating greater yet highly unequal prosperity. At the same time, civic-political spaces in these societies are being curtailed. In almost every country, the governing elite—the ruling Malay in Malaysia; the former communists in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; and the military juntas in Thailand and Myanmar—are being challenged by excluded political and ethnic groups. Our work aims to bolster and reinforce open society values in the Asia Pacific region so that human rights are entrenched, and economic growth is shared equally and presided over accountably.
To accomplish this, the Asia Pacific Regional Office supports an array of national and regional civil society organizations, activists, and community groups. Our work takes place in three major subregions: South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Our South Asia operations support efforts to strengthen health and disability rights, democratic participation, and equal access to justice. Our East Asia work encompasses our work in China, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula, and focuses on shoring up civic activism, exposing abuses, and fighting for the rights of marginalized communities. In Southeast Asia, our work touches a wide range of countries, focused on issues such as inclusive development, human rights, democratic participation in adverse contexts, and strengthening regional institutions. Our regional work focuses on cross-border issues, supports pan-Asia organizations and mechanisms, and fosters collaboration across groups in the region.