ASIA: Recognising minority rights would serve no higher cause without justice institutions to guarantee them

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

Mr. President,

Minorities, across the world, have faced persecution over time. Our history is peppered with violent instances of abuses committed against minorities, in one form or the other.

The ALRC is of the opinion that at least in jurisdictions where stable governments are in place, like in most of South and Southeast Asia, mere ratification of UN documents would not end ongoing persecution of minorities.

Whether it be forced conversion of non-Muslims in Pakistan, or atrocities committed against the Dalits in India and Nepal, or the Tamils in Sri Lanka, or the Muslims in the south of Thailand and the Uighur in China, or the Rohingyas of Myanmar, or the LGBT communities in Asia, all of this to be effectively addressed, require state participation, and more importantly, functioning justice frameworks that makes discrimination and oppression of minorities an offence and an actionable claim.

Unfortunately, none of Asia’s justice architecture is equipped or capable of effectively dealing with oppression of minority communities. At its best, all that the entire region could claim, are soft approaches when it comes to recognition and respect of minority identities.

The ALRC therefore calls upon the Rapporteur, that while efforts to recognise the rights of minorities continue, equal effort must be made to closely examine the justice architecture of Asian jurisdictions, failing which the progress made in recognising rights will be lost into the deep cracks caused by the primitive nature of Asia’s justice institutions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Webcast video: Link (Please scroll down to video clip number 15 to find the statement of 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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