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Please send us your top 10 human rights issues of the year!

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FORUM-ASIA would like to ask your cooperation to review the human rights situation in Asia in 2007, as a way to meet new challenges of 2008. You are invited to send your nominations from this list by/on 17 December 2007.

Dear friends,

Greetings from Bangkok!

I would like to ask your cooperation to review the human rights situation in Asia in 2007. We want to meet new challenges of 2008, concluding this year by taking stock of all the major human rights issues in the region.

In conjunction with this month’s celebration of International Human Rights Day and to bring this year to a close, we would like to present the Top 10 Human Rights News of the Year 2007 in Asia, which we plan to publish on 21 December for this year’s last issue of our E-Newsletter. To ensure that the top 10 issues are representative of the region and is reflective of the real human rights situation of the respective countries, we would like to ask you to join us in nominating 10 issues from the list below, proposed by the FORUM-ASIA Secretariat.

Your contribution and participation here will significantly help us prepare and prioritise our coming activities and reporting at E-Newsletter in the year ahead.

Kindly send your nominations by/on 17 December 2007 to our ICP coordinator Moyuko Okada at [email protected] or me at [email protected] . Please indicate your top 10 out of 34 issues listed below. You are also welcome to suggest any new issues that you think are important but not listed below.

We thank you for your cooperation in advance and look forward to hearing from you soon!

In solidarity,




Anselmo Lee
Executive Director


Please Choose 10 out of These 34 Human Rights Issues!

1. Afghanistan: Taliban’s violence of human rights on women and their abduction and hostage-taking of 23 South Korean civilians, two of them killed, and continued gross human rights violations

2. Bangladesh: State of emergency since February, resulting in 162 killings in the first 300 days of the state of emergency alone

3. Bhutan: Over 100,000 of Bhutan’s ethnic Nepali citizens languish in refugee camps, stripped of their citizenship and currently remained stateless

4. Burma: The saffron revolution and massacre in September, followed by the visit of Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, in October as a result of the Special Session on Burma in the UN Human Rights Council Cambodia: Addressing impunity and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which begun in November

5. China: Child labour: The government runs agricultural and manufacturing schemes in more than 400,000 state middle and junior high schools, allowing children to be employed under “special circumstances” that affect their personal health and safety

6. China: Crackdown on Internet: Authorities have arrested a growing number of web dissidents who are critical of government policies (Since 2006, more than 50 reporters have been imprisoned for writing about subjects the government deemed sensitive, according to Reporters Without Borders)

7. India: Hunger strike of Irom Sharmila, against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which prevents the military from being held accountable for human rights violations

8. India: Nandigram Massacre, killing of at least 11 persons as the police fired at local farmers protesting against a proposed acquisition of land for a chemical plant in Nandigram, West Bengal, in March

9. Indonesia: Visit of Hina Jilani, the UN Special Representative on human rights defenders, and Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in June and July (And Jilani’s press statement on Papua, Palu and Aceh)

10. Japan: Fingerprinting of non-Japanese visitors to the country implemented since November

11. Korea: 2nd Inter-Korea Summit of North and South Korea in October

12. Korea: Crackdown on migrant workers’ union in November

13. Maldives: Islamic fundamental activists’ first bombing in October, resulting in restrictions on religious freedoms) at the end of October 2006, and the subsequent farcical trial this year, involving top government aides

14. Malaysia: Judicial rot; VK Lingam case against the present judicial system which started in September

15. Malaysia: Lawyers, BERSIH, HINDRAF rallies for freedom of assembly/expression in October and subsequent crackdown on protestors by threats to use the Internal security Act, which allows detention without trial

16. Mongolia: Bankrupting of credit cooperatives resulting in the loss of livelihood of 10,000 citizens, who condemned the government for not having sufficient regulation on the activity of the cooperatives and their victory in a lawsuit, which compensated their loss by state budget, in August

17. Mongolia: People of Khongor sub-district of Darkhan-Uul province started to get effects by the hazardous chemicals, such as cyanide and mercury, since April, resulting in sickness of 6000 people and pollution of drinking water resource and soil

18. Nepal: Impunity in the context of the civil war, resulting in 13,000 deaths, involvement of child soldiers since 1996 and postponement of general election

19. Pakistan: State of emergency since November, followed by crackdown on civil society in the name of fighting the war on terror, including cases of disappearances, house arrest and threats of arrest to UN officials, and military violence in Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan

20. Philippines: Mid-term election marred by series of politically motivated executions and bombings in many parts of the country in May

21. Philippines: Extra judiciary assassination (EJK) continues as oppose to the recommendation of the Melo Commission and the visit of SR on Torture Philip Alston in December 2006 to set up a committee to investigate the motivation

22. Singapore: Three young internet dissidents/bloggers were arrested and charged with sedition, and risk imprisonment up to three years

23. Sri Lanka: The intensifying violence and attacks on civilians by both LTTE (armed opposition Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and the Sri Lankan government, resulting in the increase of internally displaced peoples’ (More than 22,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the north since September, according to International Committee of the Red Cross)

24. Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan domestic workers face abuses, including violence, harassment and rape in the Middle East, where they are forced to work for 16-21 hours a day for USD 15-30 cents an hour (About 90 percent of 660,000 Sri Lankan women working abroad as domestic workers are in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon)

25. Thailand: New Constitution endorsed by referendum in Thailand in August and consequent general election scheduled on 23 December

26. Timor Leste: Series of Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF)’s public hearings which may result in amnesty for alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations prior to the referendum in 1999

27. ASEAN Charter signed at the 13th Summit in Singapore in November, including the creation of “Asian human rights body”

28. UN: New Conventions for the protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances adopted by UN General Assembly

29. UN: New Convention on the Right of Persons with Disability adopted by UN General Assembly

30. UN General Assembly Third Committee’s resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions on 15 November 2007 and UNGA’s endorsement to be made in December

31. UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (13 September)

32. UN Human Rights Council: Adoption of institution-building resolution of UN Human Rights Council (HRC), which created the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism

33. 12th annual meeting of Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (Sydney, 24-27 September)

34. 14th Annual Workshop on the Framework of Regional Cooperation for Human Rights Promotion and Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region (Bali, Indonesia, 10-12 July)