An Oral Statement to the 35th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
72 years since the UDHR the possibilities for the people’s actual realisation of fundamental human rights in Asia, remains minimal. In Asia, the ordinary people are today more alienated from their governments, and live to share harrowing and daily negations of their rights.
Despite being free from colonial rule in as much as 30 jurisdictions, and the UDHR, to which all Asian states have promised allegiance, for the ordinary person on the street, fundamental human rights remains a mirage.
This is the direct result of the Asian states, initially neglecting and currently denying the simple logic, that for realising human rights requires an enforcing mechanism. This mechanism, Mr. President, translated as justice institutions at the domestic level, are thoroughly flawed in Asia.
The global human rights community has promoted setting up of mechanisms at the UN, in the region, and at the domestic level like the NHRCs, all of them which have failed in varying degree to guarantee universal human rights to the people in Asia.
In the member states of this Council, where fundamental human rights are not as frequently negated as in Asia, it was not the UN, or regional mechanisms, or the NHRCs that came first. It was achieved through the transformation of the domestic justice delivery framework.
Mr. President, until bodies like this council are avenues where flawed justice institutions are analysed, and such a debate occupying the centre stage, Asian human rights aspirations will find no means for realisation.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Webcast video: Link (Please scroll down and click on clip number 12 to find the statement presented by the Asian Legal Resource Centre)