Throughout 2017, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has promoted its 50th year of existence, marked on August 8. The regional bloc comprising 10 countries has grown and integrated in ways hardly dreamed of five decades ago. But to this day, ASEAN lacks cohesion on human rights issues and, in particular, has a flawed record protecting freedom of religion or belief, both as a collective regional bloc and as individual Member States. The good news is that ASEAN possesses both the raw materials and the incentive to turn its record around.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As President Obama soon will visit Laos to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today urged the President to raise religious freedom concerns in the country.