The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) was formed in November 1997 to promote and support democratization in Asia at the national and regional levels. It has since established itself as the foremost NGO working for democratic elections in the region.
ANFREL is an international, multi-sector, independent and non-political alliance of like-minded organizations working together to advance a common vision: that every State should have a government whose authority derives from the will of the people as expressed by secret ballot in genuine free and fair elections held at regular intervals on the basis of universal and equal suffrage. We strongly believe in the principles enshrined in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Our objectives are defined in the ANFREL Constitution as follows: "ANFREL shall:
a) Support multi-stakeholder initiatives towards democratization in Asia with a particular focus on strengthening political and electoral institutions and processes, civic engagement and civil and political freedoms and rights;
b) Engage in international election observation efforts to assess whether electoral processes meet international and regional standards and best practices on free and fair elections;
c) Support development and strengthening of civil society and citizens groups across Asia that are dedicated to engage in democratic accountabilities such as election observation and parliamentary oversight;
d) Provide a platform for election stakeholders across Asia to exchange knowledge and experience, mutually learn and develop synergies for greater cooperation, collaboration and partnerships;
e) Support its member organizations in their domestic initiatives on election monitoring, voter education, civic engagements and other such actions that seek to strengthen democracy."
ANFREL’s main efforts are focused on conducting international election observation missions, developing capacity building programs for electoral stakeholders such as domestic election observer groups, media, and other civil society organizations working for democratization in their home countries, and undertaking campaign and advocacy activities to address electoral challenges and related issues encountered in the development of democracy in Asia. These three areas of work support and complement one another to further our mission of improving the quality of elections across Asia.
Today, ANFREL counts 28 member organizations hailing from 18 different countries.