ASIA: Reengineer justice institutions to end infant malnutrition in Asia

An Oral Statement to the 34th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteurs on Environment and Right to Food

Mr. President.

70% of all malnourished children live in Asia. South Asian countries comprising of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan make up more than 50% of this number. Exact figures of child malnutrition in China and Myanmar are not known due to restrictions the two states employ against independent assessments.

However, available limited research findings throw China and Myanmar into the same basket of states that have neglected their future generations for decades.

Countries like India and China have financial and technological self-sufficiency to deal with the problem. Yet the same is not proportionately reflected in their efforts to end infant malnutrition. States like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines require external assistance in cash and kind to deal with the problem. What is lacking however is, the political will and honesty of the states to admit that a serious problem exists that needs to be addressed.

It is not coincidence that the countries that collectively contribute to 2/3rd of the world’s child malnutrition have primitive forms of justice institutions. Inability to end corruption in public administration and services delivery, and the unwillingness to change, are two among the main reasons for the prevailing state of child malnutrition in Asia. Ending public corruption requires a well-functioning justice delivery system.

The ALRC wishes to enquire with the Rapporteur on the right to food, whether his mandate has plans to engage on the structural and conceptual failures of Asia’s justice institutions that contributes to child malnutrition and infant mortality in the world?

Thank you, Mr. President.

Webcast video: Link (Please scroll down and click on clip number 4, Asian Legal Resource Centre)

About Admin

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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