Asian Rights, Asian Remedies: The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs)
46 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2015
Date Written: February 2011
In a region where State sovereignty is jealously guarded, and prime importance is accorded to consensus-building, how are human rights enforced, if at all? Can individuals obtain remedies when their rights are violated? Tracing the experiences of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in Southeast Asia and the odyssey of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), this paper attempts to identify the roles that the national institutions, on the one hand, and the regional body, on the other, should take in order to promote and protect the human rights of Southeast Asians. The paper submits that, in its present form, the AICHR leaves much to be desired because of its failure or refusal to assume more protective functions. Meanwhile, the NHRIs are also proving inadequate in affording remedies against human rights violations due to their limited independence within their respective jurisdictions. The suggested solution consists of concentrating the promotion functions to the institutions, and placing the bulk of protection roles in the hands of the AICHR.
Keywords: International Human Rights Law, ASEAN, Regionalism, National Institutions
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