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FOCUS September 2005 Volume 41

Human Rights Challenges


There is almost no more need to define the human rights violations, and their root causes, affecting our societies in the Asia-Pacific. They have long been analyzed, written about, and discussed in workshops and conferences. Taking action to address them is the basic issue.

Years of work on human rights violations indicate that the sought-after solutions require the involvement of individuals and institutions, need interventions at various levels (community, national and also regional), and require the cooperation among governments, and between governments and non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations.

Despite government declarations expressing full commitment to human rights and support for human rights institutions and programs (in some cases), national realities raise serious concern. Weaknesses in the justice delivery systems, non-observance of the rule of law, repressive laws, lack of accountability and transparency in government processes, and inadequate resources allocated for human rights measures hinder the translation of international human rights commitment to reality.

There are people who occupy positions of authority in governments, including members of the security forces, who seem to regard international human rights standards as irrelevant. As a result, human rights defenders in many countries either suffered or constantly face threats to their personal security without help from governments. Disadvantaged communities suffer even more.

Human rights face serious challenges indeed.

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