An Oral Statement to the 35th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
The Asian Legal Resource Centre attributes great emphasis to the opening statement made yesterday by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Unfortunately, the High Commissioner’s speech did not touch upon a vital aspect, that is the need for member states to establish at the domestic level, functioning justice institutions, to breathe life into human rights obligations that the states have signed up to.
Mr. President, after seven decades where we as global community have spent resources in preaching human rights norms, for these norms to be practically realised for the people for whom these norms are set, functioning justice delivery mechanisms at the national level do not exist.
This is a subject that has not been prioritised even today.
We witness in Asia, justice institutions, particularly – the police, prosecution and the judiciary – serving the role of a window dressing, than being instrumentalities of the state that forms the first defence against human rights abuse. In most Asian states these institutions are used as oppressive tools to crush freedom, dignity, and equality of the people.
I quote once again the High Commissioner “[t]o achieve progress in human rights takes a great deal more than the flourish of a signature at the bottom of a document.”
The ALRC calls upon this Council to start understanding and addressing deep-rooted problems of the justice delivery institutions in member states, as otherwise, time is not far where the ordinary person will lose all trust in the UN and in this exercise that today we are engaged in.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Webcast video: Link (Please scroll down and click on clip number 19 to find the statement presented by the Asian Legal Resource Centre)