The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health challenge, and it has exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities of people living in communities where violence and political instability have been a source of daily struggle. When the health crisis intersects with wars or volatile political conditions such as weak institutions, communal tensions, and lack of trust in political leaders, it may worsen existing conflicts and insecurity or give rise to new ones. In all these, marginalised and invisibilized communities such as ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, refugees, undocumented migrants, the stateless and displaced, especially women and children, are affected the most.

In these difficult times, however, community actors have also demonstrated acts of resilience and resistance, and their capacities to exercise positive peace. We likewise wish to hear these stories.

This session aims to discuss and answer the following questions:

1. How are governments and/or ASEAN responding to the pandemic? Are the needs of conflict-affected, displaced and marginalized communities considered in the government/ASEAN responses and programs to the pandemic, and how/how not?
2. What is the impact of the pandemic on conflict-affected, displaced and marginalized, and the response of community actors?
– What are the needs and concerns that conflict-affected, displaced and marginalized communities have expressed?
– What are examples of communities demonstrating resilience and exercising positive peace? What are examples of inclusive and conflict-sensitive crisis response by governments and CSOs?
– How will this pandemic affect existing peace processes and violent conflicts?
3. What are the most critical tasks/roles for peacebuilders and human rights defenders working with conflict-affected, displaced and marginalized communities at this time?

• Dr. Ayesah Abubakar, Ethnography & Development Research Cluster Head, Borneo Institute for Indigenous Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sabah; and member of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR)
• Sanam Amin, Programme Officer (Grounding the Global), APWLD – Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
• Sam Sai Kham, former Executive Director, METTA Development Foundation
• Rachel Tan, Programme Officer, Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)

Closing: Gus Miclat, Executive Director, Initiatives for International Dialogue and Regional Representative/Initiator, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)-Southeast Asia

The webinar will be moderated by Marc Batac, IID Regional Program Coordinator and GPPAC-Southeast Asia RLO.

Register here:

This Webinar is co-organised by Initiatives for International Dialogue, GPPAC-Southeast Asia and FORUM-ASIA, and is the 6th and last of the Webinar Series on human rights and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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