The long history of Asian civilizations provides significant proclamations that relate to human rights. Ancient declarations that speak of rights, freedom, and justice seem to be coming mainly from political leaders. Cyrus of the Persian civilization is credited for proclaiming freedom of religion and freedom from enslavement. These were recorded in a small clay cylinder known as the Cyrus Edict sometime after 539 BC, after conquering Babylon.[i] Later on, in India, another political leader issued edicts declaring, among others, the duty of rulers to serve the welfare of their people, much like the principle of state obligation to protect and realize the human rights of the people. He also approved of people having their own religion as long as their practice the essence of religion. These edicts are known as the Ashoka Rock Edicts issued by King Ashoka in 304-232 BC.[ii]

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Conference Declarations

  1. Final Document of the Conference-Workshop on Asia-Pacific Human Rights Education for Development (1995)
  2. Conclusions and Recommendations of the Experts Meeting on Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1995)
  3. Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary in the LAWASIA Region (1995)
  4. Tasks for the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004) -The Right to Human Rights Education (1996)
  5. The Osaka Declaration (1998)
  6. The Pune Declaration on "Education for Human Rights in Asia & the Pacific Adopted by the Asia & Pacific Regional Conference on Education for Human Rights (1999)
  7. Karachi Declaration (2000)
  8. Neemrana Declaration (2000)
  9. Declaration of the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum (2001)
  10. Bhopal Declaration (2002)
  11. Colombo Declaration (2002)
  12. ASEAN Declaration Against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women and Children (2004)
  13. Kathmandu Dalit Declaration (2004)
  14. Ridoypur Declaration of Fourth SAARC Peoples' Forum (2005)
  15. Manila Declaration for a 21st Century Independent Judiciary (2005)
  16. Dalit Rights Kathmandu Charter (2007)
  17. Turning up the Volume - Mekong Youth Raise their Voices against Human Trafficking (2007)
  18. Youth Declaration at the 5th APCRSHR (2009)
  19. Declaration on the Rights of School Refusing Children (2009)
  20. Chiba Declaration for a Child Friendly Asia Pacific (2009)
  21. Outcome of the Bangkok Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of International Human Rights Norms (2009)
  22. Solo City Declaration of Children's Participation for a Child Friendly Asia Pacific (2011)
  23. Youth Forum Declaration (2011)
  24. Bali Declaration on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia (2011)
  25. Kathmandu Declaration on Child Friendly Local Governance (2013)