ASIA: States encroach into personal privacy for so called security without securing the citizens’ rights

An Oral Statement to the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) is concerned over the fast-paced deterioration of the right to privacy of persons and the prevalence of the sale of children in Asia.

Asian states have moved away from the notion of ‘welfare state’ to the practice of ‘security state’. Since the emergence of ‘war on terror’ most states have been copying draconian legislations from each other with the so-called excuse of fighting ‘terrorism’. States spend huge resources to install tools for intercepting telephone and other forms of digital communications. Dysfunctional criminal justice institutions in most of the Asian states fail to provide a first line of defence against this uncontrolled interference of the state into the private life of citizens. States like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India have taken the advantage of defending national security or the ‘war on terror’ to establish surveillance over dissenting voices to disappear them. Countries like Cambodia, China, and Myanmar do not respect the right to privacy at all.

The heinous crime of sale of children still happens in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Children are kidnapped and sold for the business of organ trading in the region in addition to many ending up as sex slaves. The singular impediment to curbing this crime is the dysfunctional nature of the criminal justice architecture in these countries, as well as the notorious criminal-police nexus. The dysfunctional criminal justice mechanism is incapable of, and indifferent to, bringing the perpetrators to justice.

To address both these issues, it is urgent that the criminal justice framework in Asian countries are reformed to meet the performance standards expected of these institutions.

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 45 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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