ASIA: Restrictive sanctions must not stand in way of justice institution development

United Nations Human Rights Council – 36th Regular Session

An Oral Statement to the 36th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre

Mr. Vice President,

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) appreciates the challenging work undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. Within the Asian region, one of the most pressing concerns of today is in Myanmar, where the Rohigyas are facing literal annihilation due to the violence meted out against this community.

While there are specific sanctions still in place against Myanmar, particularly concerning its military and services related to therein, the ALRC wishes to call upon the Rapporteur to use his good offices to persuade the government of Myanmar to ensure that the resources, particularly financial resources that are now available to Myanmar through various international and bilateral sources are used in such way that it benefits the most needy in the country. International aid to Myanmar should be used to build functioning justice institutions in the country without which ethnic tensions would never end.

The ALRC is also concerned about the pressure tactics that influential ethnic communities like the Nagas play, with full support from the Government of India, that has resulted in restricting development to other ethnic communities in India’s north-east. Arbitrary trade and transport blockades that often lasts for weeks imposed by the Nagas with the support of the government, often cripple life in states like Manipur. Schools and hospitals remain closed for weeks or months in Manipur when these arbitrary blockades are imposed. Unfortunately such incidents are least exposed or reported even within India, until situations worsen to their extremes.

India has also adopted similar measures against Nepal, with unofficial trade restrictions whenever the Government of India wanted to pressure Kathmandu to pay heed to its political and strategic demands to Nepal.

The ALRC urges the Rapporteur to work closely with regional organisations like the ALRC, to study emerging and past incidents within the Asian region, so that the good offices of the mandate is used to its fullest extend in the region.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

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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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