18 Nov 2012

SE Asian nations to sign human rights declaration

11:59 am on 18 November 2012

Southeast Asian nations have agreed to sign their first joint declaration on human rights.

The commitment by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comes as several of its 10-member countries come under growing scrutiny over an apparent deterioration in human rights.

But the document has already been condemned by rights groups as failing to meet international standards and as leaving the door open for countries to crack down on freedoms, Reuters reports.

United States president Barack Obama is under pressure to raise human rights concerns with Cambodia and Myanmar on his visit to the region for the East Asia summit in Phnom Penh this week.