ASIA: High Commissioner for Human Rights should initiate effective programmes for unhindered access to justice and ending impunity

An Oral Statement to the 39th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. Vice President,

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) congratulates Madam Michelle Bachelet for her appointment as the High Commissioner for Human Rights and commits to continued cooperation with her office.

Madam Bachelet’s report has observed that, “Good governance is based on identifying and amending gaps in access to justice, dignity and equality – so that all can live in more respectful and harmonious societies, and enjoy development that is more dynamic and sustainable.”

While the High Commissioner’s observation is true, the experiences of the ALRC in the Asian region suggest most States are far away from allowing access to justice, dignity and equality.

Let’s take the example of Bangladesh. As mentioned in the High Commissioner’s report, “student protestors and media professionals have in recent months been attacked, arrested, charged with defamation and, reportedly, ill-treated.” The Police picked up 40 students on September 5. Since then 12 of them remained disappeared until the morning of Monday, September 10, after their parents held a press conference to demand their sons’ release and the media published reports on the matter. There is no justice accessible or affordable for such crimes consistently being committed in that country.

The ALRC, therefore, asks the High Commissioner what effective programmes your office is going to initiate to address the governance gaps that would oblige the States to ensure human dignity and equality guaranteeing unhindered access to justice in the real life of people.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 93 to find 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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