Human Rights Watch has urged world leaders converging for annual summits in Southeast Asia to address the region's human rights crises led by the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and what it calls the "murderous" anti-drug crackdown in the Philippines.

The call made by the U.S.-based group on Thursday, however, will run against obstacles as the hosts of the summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam are among leaders in the crosshairs of human rights watchdogs.

Brad Adams from Human Rights Watch says leaders should agree on sanctions to pressure Myanmar to end abuses against the Rohingya and confront Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on his deadly crackdown. He asks them to raise concern over political persecutions in Vietnam.