Written statements by FORUM-ASIA and its members to the 62nd session of the UN HRC
20 February 2006 12:00 am
FORUM-ASIA, together with its member organisations, submitted six written statements on key human rights issues in three Asian countries to the 62nd session of the Commission on Human Rights. The statements addressed the issue of extrajudicial killings as well as the rise of religious intolerance in Bangladesh; the crackdown on democracy and gross violations of human rights, deteriorating situation of women human rights defenders and violence against women in Nepal; and the inter-linkages between violations of economic, social cultural rights, widespread poverty and corruption in Mongolia.
FORUM-ASIA and ASK draw the attention of the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights to the prevalence of extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh
To draw the attention of the outgoing Commission of Human Rights to the pervasive acts of extrajudicial killings by the Government of Bangladesh’s Special Armed Force, known as the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Asian Forum for Human Rights (FORUM-ASIA) together with Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), one of its member organizations in Bangladesh, submitted a joint written statement to the upcoming 62nd Session of the Commission on Human Rights. Referring to the specific articles of the constitution of Bangladesh and international human rights instruments, the discord between the statements of the Bangladeshi Government and the real figures of extrajudicial killings are highlighted. FORUM-ASIA and ASK also expressed their concerns about the deterioration of both the rule of law and the protection of fundamental human rights in Bangladesh.
In the latter part of the statement, FORUM-ASIA and ASK, through the Commission on Human Rights, urged the Government of Bangladesh to consider taking some concrete steps to ensure the prosecution of those officials engaged in extrajudicial killings, including the conduct of a judicial probe into each of the killings; to provide RAB with human rights training, including the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Fire Arms by Law Enforcement Officials; and to implement the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions at the domestic level. Read full text (.pdf, 40kb, 4pp.)
FORUM-ASIA and ASK raise concerns of religious intolerance in Bangladesh to the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights
Asian Forum for Human Rights (FORUM-ASIA) together with Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) submitted a joint written statement to the upcoming 62nd session of Commission on Human Rights concerning the alarming situation faced by religious minorities and the role of the non-state actors in polarizing the religious tension in Bangladesh. The statement focused on increasing incidents of violent campaigns against religious minorities by Islamic groups and the lack of human rights safeguards in the proposed Anti Terrorism Law.
FORUM-ASIA and ASK urged the Government of Bangladesh to consider taking immediate steps such as conducting an independent and reliable investigation into all the bombings, to make the results public and to place the culprit of the violent campaigns before the law, to implement the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s recommendations on Bangladesh of April 2001 to “ensure penalisation of acts of racial discrimination, and ensure access to effective protection and remedies under Article 6 of the Convention through competent national tribunals and state institutions besides the High Court Division of the Supreme Court, in respect of acts of racial discrimination”. Read full text (.pdf, 48kb, 4pp.)
Violations of economic, social and cultural rights, widespread poverty and corruption in Mongolia conveyed to the UN Commission on Human Rights
FORUM-ASIA, in cooperation with its member organisation from Mongolia – Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), submitted a written statement to draw the attention of the 62nd session of the Commission on Human Rights to the denials of economic, social and cultural rights, widespread poverty and the issue of corruption in Mongolia. The weak governance infrastructure, marred with prevailing corruption and favouritism in Mongolia has hindered the entire reform process, the effectiveness of anti-poverty measures and various international assistances. The Government of Mongolia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations has decreased over the years, while new issues continue to emerge, such as human rights violations in the mining sector.
Given this context, FORUM-ASIA and CHRD recommended the Commission to urge the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights to use Mongolia as a specific case study in the issue of good governance, and urged the Special Procedures of the Commission to undertake a country visit to Mongolia with the aim of examining the impact of the mining sector on the enjoyment of human rights and on the situation of extreme poverty in Mongolia. Read full tex t (.pdf, 48kb, 4pp.)
Crackdown on Democracy and Gross Violations in Nepal must be addressed by the 62nd Session of the Commission on Human Rights
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) in cooperation with its member organization in Nepal – Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), submitted a written statement on the deteriorating human rights situation in Nepal to the upcoming 62nd Session of UN Commission on Human Rights. The statement focuses on four major issues – absence of democracy and rule of law, ongoing armed conflict, illegitimate legal measures and restriction on civil liberties, and widespread violation of human rights in Nepal, especially after the seizure of state powers and establishment of an autocratic system by the King Gyanendra on 1 February 2005.
In the statement, FORUM-ASIA requests the UN Commission on Human Rights to urge Nepal’s king to respect the resolution under Agenda Item-19 of Technical Cooperation and Advisory Services in Nepal passed by the 61st Session of the Commission last year. The statement highlights the need for immediate restoration of multiparty democracy and rule of law, and the need for stronger presence of the OHCHR Field Office in Nepal. In addition, it requests the Commission to take up the recommendations on Nepal made by the three mandate holders of the Special Procedures. FORUM-ASIA notes that the Government of Nepal is a member to the Commission despite the ongoing violations of human rights in the country. “Such hypocrisy giving rise to the legitimacy deficit of the UN human rights body must be addressed fully in the new Human Rights Council”, the statement reads. Read full text (.pdf, 46kb, 4pp.)
Violence against Women in Nepal an invisible phenomenon due to escalating armed conflict, the Commission told
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), jointly with Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), submitted a written statement to draw the attention of the 62nd session of the Commission on Human Rights to the situation of violence against women (VAW) and the deteriorating human rights situation of women in Nepal in the context of escalating internal armed conflict. The statement brings to light the fact that the issue still fails to be recognized as a political one due to patriarchal socio-cultural norms and practices in Nepal. The statement, highlighting the emerging new trends of violence against women in Nepal, especially due to the on going armed conflict, focuses on rapid militarization resulting in domestic violence, dysfunction of state machineries and the phenomenon of ‘conflict wives’. Due to Government control of the media, failure of protection mechanisms and a persistent climate of impunity in the country, women are forced into silence, thus making violence against women invisible in the public sphere.
FORUM-ASIA and WOREC urges the Commission on Human Rights to draw its attention to the linkages between the Royal Nepalese Army and violence against women. Given the misconduct of Nepali soldiers and their involvement in violence against women, the statement recommends the Commission to adopt a resolution to prohibit the recruitment of Nepali soldiers in UN peacekeeping missions. It is also emphasized that the visit by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women is needed to reassess the situation in Nepal, as well as a strengthened role of OHCHR-Nepal in protecting women from gender-based violence. Read full text (.pdf, 29kb, 3pp.)
FORUM-ASIA and WOREC highlights widespread discrimination against women human rights defenders in Nepal
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), jointly with its partner organization from Nepal – Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), submitted a written statement on the situation of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Nepal to the 62nd session of the Commission on Human Rights. The statement highlights the important role of WHRDs, as recognized by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Right Defenders, yet the obstacles they face in carrying out their work in Nepal. Focusing on the field experience of WHRDs, the statement underlines the non-recognition of their issues and violations of their rights in the specific context of patriarchy, state ignorance, absence of democracy, and the armed conflict and pervasive militarization in Nepal.
FORUM-ASIA and WOREC urges the Commission to address the prevailing widespread discrimination against WHRDs in Nepal and take further actions on the recommendations made by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders. The statement also urges UN and other key international agencies to become proactive in acknowledging and supporting the contributions of WHRDs, and stresses the need for specific strategies to be taken by institutions such as the OHCHR Field Office. Read full text (.pdf, 36kb, 4pp.)