Amnesty International is pleased to announce the appointment of James Gomez as the human rights organization’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The appointment underscores Amnesty International’s commitment to the region, moving closer to the ground to ensure a more impactful presence where human rights abuses are taking place.
“Across Southeast Asia and the Pacific, people are facing a relentless assault on their rights, Amnesty International is mounting a robust response to drive change on the ground,” said Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations.
“James Gomez is an accomplished human rights expert with more than twenty five years’ experience in the region, across a variety of leadership roles, and we are delighted that he will be leading our human rights work there.”
Gomez joins Amnesty International from the Asia Centre in Bangkok, where he served as the Executive Director, overseeing its regional human rights programme. His experience includes leadership roles at international NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, public and private universities, research institutes and think-tanks.
Rarely has it been more important to stand up for human rights in Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Gomez holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Australia’s Monash University, an MA from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the National University of Singapore. He has held appointments at universities and think-tanks in Australia, China, Japan and Malaysia, working on human rights and democratization.
“Rarely has it been more important to stand up for human rights in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The region has seen some of the fastest economic growth over recent years, and yet, at the same time, there has been a dramatic rise in human rights violations,” said James Gomez.
“Civic space is shrinking across the region, impunity still reigns for torture and other ill-treatment, the death penalty is still used by governments when most of the world has abandoned this cruel practice, and there are increasing restrictions placed on what people can say in public.
“Southeast Asia has come together to share the benefits of a globalized economy, but it has sadly failed to call out the practices of abusive governments, including when their actions may amount to crimes against humanity. In the Pacific, Australia has paid lip-service to human rights while subjecting asylum-seekers and refugees to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
“I look forward to leading Amnesty International’s work in the region, campaigning for a future where governments put the protection of people and their rights at the heart of their policies.”
Southeast Asia has come together to share the benefits of a globalized economy, but it has sadly failed to call out the practices of abusive governments, including when their actions may amount to crimes against humanity.
Gomez has been a frequent contributor to the regional and international media, speaking on human rights issues across the region. He also lectures at leading universities around the world.