ASIA: Protection of rights of the minorities requires capable justice institutions

An Oral Statement to the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President.

The situation of human rights of the minorities – of ethnic, religious, indigenous, linguistic, or geo-political targets – in Asian countries is a matter of our collective concern.

We see non-Muslim girls being forced converted in Pakistan. The Muslims, Christians, and Dalits face public lynching by right wing Hindu extremists of the ruling party-affiliates while the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir are subjects to extrajudicial executions and torture by the armed forces, in India. The Madhesis of Terai in Nepal survive without any guarantees of rights from the State. The indigenous people of West Papua of Indonesia face militarised brutalities. Similar is the case of the Muslims in the South of Thailand. The Chinese authorities increasingly prevent the Muslims to practice their religious rituals while alleged demolition of Christian church is being recorded. The Rohingyas have been victims of genocide by the Tatmadaw and Buddhist extremists in Myanmar. The Sri Lankan Muslims have been the latest victims of communal attacks by the extremist Buddhists.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) observes that all these persistent crimes and discriminations against the minorities in the region has a common key reason. The justice mechanisms have not been objectively developed for upholding ‘justice’. The law-enforcement, the crime investigation, prosecution, and adjudication systems function subserviently in most Asian countries. The institutions often behave subjectively being biased to the influential elites of political, ethnic, caste, or financial identities that contribute to make everyone’s life, liberty, livelihood, and human dignity vulnerable in Asia.

Continuous practice of defending the dysfunctional and coercive justice institutions and bad-governance would only keep the minorities more vulnerable in front of our eyes. True sincerity of the States in protecting the minorities, and the citizens in general, must be reflected through, and began with, the transformation of the justice mechanisms now.

I Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Web TV Video Link(Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 37 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)