International Human Rights Day Message 2005
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.
Letters to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Country Reports
- Bangladesh - A society floundering in corruption, fear and arbitrary killings (PDF)
- Cambodia - Twelve years after the peace process, Cambodian in human rights limbo (PDF)
- India - The lack of domestic remedies for human rights victims and the collapse of the rule of law (PDF)
- Indonesia - Trial of human rights defender exposes absence of justice and rule of law in Indonesia (PDF)
- Myanmar (Burma) - Sinking deeper into the un-rule of law (PDF)
- Nepal - A world-leader in disappearances, but no Parliament or laws to enable change (PDF)
- Philippines - Human rights defenders being killed in droves; the victims of a failing system (PDF)
- Republic of Korea (South Korea) - Human rights trailing democracy - legislation and labour rights concerns and the violent repression of demonstrations (PDF)
- Sri Lanka - Deliberate neglect of U.N. treaty body recommendations adds to general lawlessness in Sri Lanka (PDF)
- Thailand - Government of Thailand shows little serious effort to meet commitments under the ICCPR (PDF)