International Human Rights Day Message 2005

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Extracts from The State of Human Rights in Ten Asian Nations report:
The nexus between the rule of law and the actual realisation of human rights is not something to which the global human rights community has paid sufficient attention. The result is that while enormous attempts have been made to propagate the basic ideas of human rights, as enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other covenants and conventions adopted by the international community under the sponsorship of the United Nations, the effort to create the conditions that are necessary for the actual realisation of human rights compares very poorly with the hard work that has been undertaken to create an awareness of human rights. The result is that people whose rights are so blatantly and continuously violated ask their governments as well as the United Nations, “Where are my rights?” To this question, neither the governments nor the United Nations and the international community are able to give a satisfactory answer as of now.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls upon the peoples of Asia, as well as all others concerned with the actual realisation of human rights, to pay special attention to the link between the rule of law and human rights. Finding ways to resolve this contradiction is the path that has to be treated if human rights are to be a practical reality. As a symbolic means of stressing this issue and keeping it alive for discussion in the immediate future, the AHRC has launched an Asian Charter on the Rule of Law. This effort is a follow-up to AHRC’s earlier effort to work towards drafting a People’s Charter on Human Rights. We urge everyone to support this effort and to make the theme of improving the rule of law for the achievement of human rights a central theme of engagement in the coming year.