Author: Ms Chong Jen Hui, Senior Associate, Steven Thiru & Sudhar Partnership

The 4th Human Rights Conference 2023 organised by the LAWASIA’s Human Rights Committee, in association with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Fukuoka Bar Association, successfully concluded on 4th September 2023. The Conference, which lasted from the 2nd to 4th of September 2023, was the first in-person conference organised by the LAWASIA Human Rights Committee after the COVID-19 pandemic, and was organised in the beautiful city of Fukuoka, Japan.

With an impressive turnout of over 300 participants from various different jurisdictions, the Conference also featured a range of experienced legal professionals and activists with formidable track records in the human rights field. This included the President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Ms Lubna Shuja and President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Mr Motoji Kobayashi.

The Conference saw a vibrant discussion and exchange between participants and panellists on a wide range of issues such as including human rights issues in situations of armed conflicts, human rights violations against migrants and refugees, death penalty in Asia, children’s rights, gender violence and the reconciliation of human rights and business. For example, in the 2nd Plenary Session on ‘Promoting Access to Effective Remedy in Business and Human Rights: The Role and Cooperation of Lawyers Beyond Borders’, the panellists from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom gave suggestions on ways in which international legal organisations can promote and encourage human right compliances in businesses.

The diverse range of participants of the Conference also sparked exciting cultural and knowledge exchanges which will, no doubt, be helpful in advancing the protection of human rights and the state of the legal profession.

One of the highlights of the Conference was a visit to the Fukuoka High Court and the Fukuoka Public Prosecutors Office where participants had the opportunity to gain invaluable insight into the local courts system.

The LAWASIA Human Rights Committee extends its gratitude to all speakers, participants, and organising committee members whose support and contributions helped make the Conference a wonderful success.

By Chong Jen Hui, Senior Associate, Steven Thiru & Sudhar Partnership