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  4. September 2007 - Volume 49
  5. Regional Human Rights Mechanism

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FOCUS September 2007 Volume 49

Regional Human Rights Mechanism


Regional inter-governmental structures provide ways of addressing human rights issues within the "community." Instead of international bodies dealing with their human rights issues, the members of the community (States) who are bound by common history, culture and other ties can resolve these issues in their "own way," that is, in effective , efficient and appropriate manner using the international human rights standards.

Intergovernmental human rights mechanisms are likely valuable in addressing cross-border issues such as trafficking in human beings and exploitation of migrant labor, but also national issues that require external pressure to prod governments into action, or provide redress for violations resulting from governments' action or omission.

When the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) establishes its human rights body, it has to ensure that it will not be ineffective. It has to prove that it addresses human rights issues by protecting people in the subregion from human rights violations, complementary to the efforts of institutions at the national level.

The human rights problems in Burma/Myanmar are urgent cases waiting for a subregional solution. Will the ASEAN human rights body be able to act on them?/