An Oral Statement to the 39th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
The promotion and protection of all human rights require collective and comprehensive efforts of the States. It requires ensuring and accommodating the participation of all actors in every national jurisdiction and beyond.
The Asian realities suggest that many States impede such participation. We observe draconian legislation to muzzle dissent, disfranchising people for their political identities, faiths and ethnicity, and routinely curtailing liberties. Enhancing institutional competence to ensure ‘governance’ without discrimination, and administering ‘justice’ guaranteeing the principles of fair trial, is not a priority of many Asian states.
All State institutions are required to complement each other to promote and protect rights. How can a coercive law-enforcement system protect human rights while the crime investigation, forensic medicine examination and prosecution mechanisms are incapable of performing their professional duties? Can subservient judiciaries administer ‘justice’ to the litigants and rights-holders? Can we expect ‘good governance’ and ‘democracy’ from the ruling elites who assume power and retain it using rigged electoral systems? The answers to these questions is a resounding ‘No’.
Human rights cannot be promoted or protected while systems of discrimination are in place within the institutional architectures of the State itself. Consistent non-cooperation and non-compliance with the Special Procedures by many States clearly indicate that innovative and effective programmes are required to protect rights of the rights-holders on their own soil.
Thank you, Mr. President.
UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 37 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)