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Discussion on "Asian Values"

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Aliran (Justice Freedom Solidarity)
Description/subject: Human rights publication/organization in Malaysia. Search for Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALIRAN
Alternate URLs: http://aliran.com/?s=myanmar&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Search
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: Asian Human Rights Charter (AHRC)
Description/subject: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was founded in 1986 by a prominent group of jurists and human rights activists in Asia. The AHRC is an independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realisation of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilise Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations. AHRC promotes civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. AHRC endeavours to achieve the following objectives stated in the Asian Charter "Many Asian states have guarantees of human rights in their constitutions, and many of them have ratified international instruments on human rights. However, there continues to be a wide gap between rights enshrined in these documents and the abject reality that denies people their rights. Asian states must take urgent action to implement the human rights of their citizens and residents."
Language: English, Chinese, Korean, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Alternate URLs: http://material.ahrchk.net/charter/
http://www.ahrchk.net/modules249a.html
http://www.ahrc-thailand.net/index.php
http://ahrcburmese.blogspot.com/ (Burmese site)
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: International Movement for a Just World
Description/subject: "The International Movement for a Just World is a non-profit international citizens' organisation which seeks to create public awareness about injustices within the existing global system. It also attempts to develop a deeper understanding of the struggle for social justice and human rights at the global level, which the International Movement for a Just World believes, should be guided by universal spiritual and moral values rooted in the oneness of God. In furtherance of these objectives, the International Movement for a Just World has undertaken a number of activities including conducting research, publishing books and monographs, organising conferences and seminars, networking with groups and individuals and participating in public campaigns."
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2010


Title: Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
Description/subject: The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism’s (Working Group) primary goal is to establish an intergovernmental human rights commission for ASEAN. It is a coalition of national working groups from ASEAN states which are composed of representatives of government institutions, parliamentary human rights committees, the academe, and NGOs. Working Group follows a step-by-step, constructive and consultative approach when it engages governments and other key players in the region.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (Working Group)
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Demystifying Human Rights Protection in Asia
Date of publication: 20 November 2015
Description/subject: Introduction: Asia and human rights 4 Part One: “Asian Values” and their metamorphoses: the debate on the universality of human rights 7 1. The “Asian values” discourse 7 A. The articulation and crystallisation of “Asian values” 7 B. The “Asian values” discourse as a strategic essentialism – its main arguments 8 C. Various national situations 10 2. The waxing and waning of “Asian values” 10 A. The crisis of “Asian values” at the turn of the 21st century 10 B. Singaporean, Chinese or post-Asian values? 12 C. Is there growing recognition of the universality of human rights in Asia despite the sporadic reemergence of opposing trends? 13 Part Two: Domestic human rights protection in Asian states 15 1. Civil and political rights; economic and social rights: perspectives 15 A. The assertion and questioning of civil and political rights 15 B. Are economic and social rights given primacy of importance? 19 C. Specious distinctions and perverse effects 20 2. Promotion and protection? Implementing and guaranteeing rights 22 A. An implicit dichotomy 22 B. Have internal changes led to an improvement in the protection of rights? 23 C. Persistent impediments to the fulfilment of human rights 25 Part Three: Regional perspectives for the protection of human rights 28 1. Asia and the international system 28 A. The characteristics of the array of Asian diplomatic policies 28 B. The absence of a regional mechanism and weak human rights cooperation 29 C. Did you say progress? 29 2. ASEAN, has there been any real progress? 30 A. The long maturation of a mechanism dedicated to human rights 30 B. Advancements in policies and institutions: the ASEAN Charter, the AICHR and the Human Rights Declaration 31 C. Have there been any real advancements? 32 Part Four: The role of the international human rights protection system 34 1. How the international system influences human rights protection in Asia 34 A. The growing influence of the UN system 35 B. Obstacles and resistance 38 2. How Asian states respond to and influence the UN system 39 A. Levels of commitment vary 40 B. The behaviour of Asian states in international arenas: the case of the Human Rights Council 44 Conclusion: the prospects
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Format/size: pdf (600K-reduced version; 716K-original
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/FIDH-2015-Demystifying_Human_Rights_Protection_in_Asia-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2015


Title: Asian Human Rights Charter (English) 2
Date of publication: 17 May 1998
Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights People's Charter, Our Common Humanity, launched by NGOs in Kwangju, South Korea on 17 May reflects the growing strength and determination of the human rights movement in the Asia-Pacific region and the contribution it can make to the international debate on human rights. This initiative is especially appropriate during the 50th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The People's Charter affirms the universality of all human rights -- a principle often attacked by governments in the region, both rhetorically and in law and practice. Drawing upon a broad spectrum of civil society across the region, it shows that human rights, far from being an alien or foreign concept, are the legitimate aspiration and demand of people throughout Asia and the Pacific. It shows how these universal principles can be articulated powerfully from an Asian cultural, religious and philosophical perspective. The People's Charter is also an important expression of the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights, a reminder that the process of development is about the realisation of all human rights and that one set of rights -- economic, social, cultural, civil or political -- cannot be enjoyed at the expense or in the absence of another. This message is particularly relevant at this time of economic crisis in the region, as some countries face the human rights and social fallout of decades of political repression and unsustainable economic development. Amnesty International welcomes the Charter's emphasis on legal and institutional protection of human rights, starting with the ratification of international human rights instruments and their full implementation in law and practice. It recognises the critical role the judiciary, legal profession and national human rights institutions can play in the protection and promotion of human rights. Amnesty International believes, however, that some aspects of the Charter need to be strengthened -- in particular, it should include an unreserved call for abolition of the death penalty. The People's Charter calls for the adoption by governments of a regional convention on human rights. While such a regional convention might be a positive development over the longer term, Amnesty International believes the overwhelming and immediate priority is broader ratification and implementation of existing international standards by governments in the Asia-Pacific region. Widespread adherence to international standards, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, should serve as the foundation stone for any future regional human rights mechanism." - Amnesty International..... http://www.humanrights.asia/resources/books/asian-human-rights-charter/?searchterm=asian%20human%20rights%20charter
Language: English (available also in Chinese, Thai, Sinhala & Urdu from the AHRC site)
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html, pdf (898K-reduced version-en; 1.2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.humanrights.asia/resources/books/asian-human-rights-charter/?searchterm=asian%20human%20...
http://ahrcburmese.blogspot.com/
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2015


Title: ASEAN's engagement with human rights
Date of publication: 28 April 1998
Description/subject: The history of human rights protection in Asean would very likely make a extraordinarily brief account indeed, but there is reason to believe things are changing for the better.
Author/creator: Vitit Muntarbhorn
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Asian Human Rights Charter (Final Document)
Date of publication: 30 March 1998
Description/subject: # Preamble # Background to the Charter # General Principles # Universality and Indivisibility of Rights # The Responsibility for the Protection of Human Rights # Sustainable Development and the Protection of the Environment # Rights # The Right to Life # The Right to Peace # The Right to Democracy # The Right to Cultural Identity and the Freedom of Conscience # The Right to Development and Social Justice # Rights of Vulnerable Groups # Women # Children # Differently Abled Persons # Workers # Students # Prisoners and Political Detainees # The Enforcement of Rights # Principles for Enforcement # Strengthening the Framework for Rights # The Machinery for the Enforcement of Rights # Regional Institutions for the Protection of Rights # Appendix A: Groups and individuals who were involved with shaping this charter
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Charter
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://material.ahrchk.net/charter/mainfile.php/eng_charter/
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: Burma Tests Asian Values
Date of publication: August 1997
Description/subject: If Asian values are about encouraging a harmonious relationship between the state and society, then ASEAN leaders have their work cut out in Burma. Now that Burma is a member of ASEAN, it would not be illogical to assume that ASEAN will now take some responsibility for the well-being of that unfortunate country - which is now an economic, political and social "basket case" in the regional forum.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Human Rights and Asian Values: What Lee Kuan Yew and Le Peng don't understand about Asia (extract)
Date of publication: 14 July 1997
Description/subject: "Abstract: A wide-ranging historical and economic survey of Asia reveals little substance in Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's defense of authoritarianism: it is not helpful in rapid economic development. Civil rights and tolerance have roots in both Asian and Western traditions.
Author/creator: Amartya Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: The New Republic, v217 n2-3.
Format/size: pdf (36.85 K)
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: Human Rights and Asian Values
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: Nobel Prize-winning philosopher Amartya Sen argues that human rights are neither a uniquely Western phenomenon nor a hindrance to economic development, the charges usually leveled against those who seek to implement human rights in Asia. He points to intellectual strands within Asian thought that value human rights.
Author/creator: Amartya Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs
Format/size: pdf (1.30 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/resources/publications/morgenthau/254.html
http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/resources/publications/morgenthau/254.html/_res/id=sa_File1/254_sen.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: Position of Power and Notions of Empowerment: Comparing the Views of Lee Kuan Yew and Aung San Suu Kyi on Human Rights and Democratic Governance
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: "This essay compares the human rights views of two Asians who in their own ways have been influential not only on their own fellow countrypersons but whose influence extend beyond their national borders. It is submitted that both Lee Kuan Yew1, a Singaporean and Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese, have made their impact internationally And I further submit that their influence and impact are at least partly due to their ideas though of course, in the case of Lee Kuan Yew his influence is perhaps primarily due to Lee's role in the "miraculous transformation in Singapore's economy while maintaining tight political control over the country ... [resulting in] Singapore's per capita GNP [being] now higher than that of its erstwhile colonizer Great Britain". The comparison of Aung San Suu Kyi's and Lee's views on human rights and democracy should be of some relevance and interest in the light of increasingly substantial contemporary literature on democratisation and international law..."
Author/creator: Myint Zan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Newcastle Law Review, Vol. 2, pp. 49-69, 1997
Format/size: pdf (186K
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/Myintzan-Suu-LKY.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2014


Title: "Asian Values" and the Universality of Human Rights
Description/subject: "Orientalist scholarship in the nineteenth century perceived Asians as the mysterious and backward people of the Far East. Ironically, as this century draws to a close, leaders of prosperous and entrepreneurial East and Southeast Asian countries are eager to stress Asia's incommensurable differences from the West and following from them, to demand special treatment of their human rights records by the international community. They reject the globalization of human rights and claim that Asia has a unique set of values, which, Singapore's ambassador to the United Nations argued, provide the basis for Asia's different understanding of human rights and justify the "exceptional" handling of rights by Asian governments..."
Author/creator: Xiaorong Li
Language: English
Source/publisher: China Rights Forum
Format/size: Fall 1996. Edited version of an article which first appeared in the Spring 1996 edition of Report from the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2.
Alternate URLs: http://www.igc.org/hric/crf/english/96fall/e11.html
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


Title: Asian Values vs. Human Rights
Description/subject: The claim that "Asian Values" and Asian culture are at odds with Western concepts of human rights has been repeated widely in recent years. It presents one of the most serious challenges that the international human rights movement has confronted because it denies the universality of rights....
Author/creator: Aryeh Neier (Open Society Institute)
Language: English
Source/publisher: FDL-AP
Format/size: Undated
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003