While the Asia Pacific region is one of the world’s largest by population size, it has long been known for having the least developed regional and national institutional mechanisms for protecting human rights, particularly compared to the well-developed systems in Europe, the Americas, and increasingly in Africa. Asia has the least uptake of human rights treaties of any region in the world, and serious human rights violations are documented as occurring in numerous countries in the region. Asia has also presented conceptual challenges to the universality of international human rights, for instance through arguments about 'Asian values' (the collective over the individual, the economic over the political, compromise over adjudication) being inconsistent with western notions of rights. At the same time, innovative human rights practices and protections have been developed in some jurisdictions, and increasingly at the transnational level.
There is increasing scholarly and practitioner interest in human rights in the Asia and Pacific regions, driven in part by recent efforts by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to enhance human rights protections in those sub-regions. This edited collection makes a timely and distinctive contribution to the literature by bringing together the leading scholars in the field who have written across the gamut of thematic human rights issues in Asia and the Pacific. A particular strength of the collection is its inclusion of significant Asian and Pacific authors, who are sometimes under-represented in the mainstream legal debates. The work will be of interest to a scholarly and student audience in law (international, comparative Asian, public, constitutional, and human rights), as well as to readers in international relations, political science, Asian studies, and human rights.
Table of Contents
VOLUME I: The Contexts of Human Rights in Asia and the Pacific
Part 1: History, Culture, Values, Politics, Religion, and Economics
1.1: ‘Asian Values’
1. Bilahari Kausikan, ‘Asia’s Different Standard’, Foreign Policy, 1993, 92, 24–41.
2. Joseph Chan ‘The Asian Challenge to Human Rights: A Philosophical Appraisal’, in James T. H. Tang (ed.), Human Rights and International Relations in the Asia Pacific (Pinter, 1995), pp. 25–39.
3. Jack Donnelly, ‘Human Rights and Asian Values: A Defense of "Western" Universalism’, in Joanne R. Bauer and Daniel A. Bell (eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 60–87.
4. Hsien-Li Tan, ‘Where was Asia in the Making of International Human Rights Law? Possible Roots of ASEAN States’ Aversion to Human Rights’, The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: Institutionalising Human Rights in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 60–71.
1.2: Pacific Perspectives
5. Konai Helu Thaman, ‘A Pacific Island Perspective of Collective Human Rights’, in Nin Tomas (ed.), Collective Human Rights of Pacific Peoples (International Research Unit for Maori and Indigenous Education, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1998), pp. 1–9.
6. New Zealand Law Reform Commission, Converging Currents: Custom and Human Rights in Pacific (Study Paper No. 17, 2006), pp. 48–59, 73–84, 87–102, 113–30.
7. Unasa L. F. Vaá, ‘Samoan Custom and Human Rights: An Indigenous View’, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 2009, 40, 237–50.
8. Miranda Forsyth, ‘Banishment and Freedom of Movement in Samoa: Leituala v. Mauga, Kilfifi et al.  WSSC 9’, Journal of South Pacific Law, 2004, 8, 2.
1.3: Religion and Human Rights
9. Abdullah Saeed, ‘Muslim Debates on Human Rights and Religion’, in Thomas David and Brian Galligan (eds.), Human Rights in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2011), pp. 25–36.
10. Surya Subedi, ‘Are the Principles of Human Rights "Western" Ideas? An Analysis of the Claim of the "Asian" Concept of Human Rights from the Perspectives of Hinduism’, California Western International Law Journal, 1999, 30, 45–69.
11. Charles Keyes, ‘Buddhism, Human Rights, and Non-Buddhist Minorities’, in Thomas Banchoff and Robert Wuthnow (eds.), Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 157–90.
1.4: Economics and Human Rights
12. Yash Ghai, ‘Rights, Social Justice, and Globalization in East Asia’, in Joanne R. Bauer and Daniel A. Bell (eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 241–63.
13. Edward Wu, ‘Human Rights: China’s Historical Perspectives in Context’, Journal of the History of International Law, 2002, 4, 335–73.
14. Randall Peerenboom, ‘Show Me the Money: The Dominance of Wealth in Determining Rights Performance in Asia’, Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, 2004, 15, 75–81, 91–133.
VOLUME II: International and Regional Protection of Human Rights in Asia and the Pacific
Part 2: International Human Rights Treaties and United Nations Human Rights Institutions
15. Ivan Shearer and Naomi Hart, ‘The Engagement of Asia-Pacific States with the UN Human Rights Committee: Reporting and Individual Petitions’, in Hitoshi Nasu and Ben Saul (eds.), Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Towards Institution Building (Routledge-Cavendish, 2011), pp. 17–36.
16. Suzannah Linton, ‘ASEAN States, their Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Proposed ASEAN Commission on Women and Children’, Human Rights Quarterly, 2008, 30, 436–43, 460–89.
17. Natalie Baird, ‘To Ratify or Not to Ratify: An Assessment of the Case for Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties in the Pacific’, Melbourne Journal of International Law, 2011, 12, 249–89.
18. Ming Wan, ‘Human Rights Lawmaking in China: Domestic Politics, International Law, and International Politics’, Human Rights Quarterly, 2007, 29, 727–53.
Part 3: Regional Human Rights Institutions
19. Vitit Muntarbhorn, ‘Human Rights Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific Region’, in Gudmundur Alfredsson, Jonas Grimheden, Bertrand G. Ramcharan, and Alfred de Zayas (eds.), International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms: Essays in Honour of Jakob Th. Moller, 2nd edn. (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009), pp. 641–8.
20. Yuval Ginbar, ‘Human Rights in ASEAN: Setting Sail or Treading Water?’, Human Rights Law Review, 2010, 10, 504–18.
21. Catherine Renshaw, ‘The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration 2012’, Human Rights Law Review, 2013, 13, 557–79.
22. P. Imrana Jalal, ‘Why do we Need a Pacific Regional Human Rights Commission?’, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 2010, 40, 177–94.
Part 4: Transnational and Bilateral Influences and Impacts on Human Rights
23. Maria-Gabriela Manea, ‘Human Rights and the Interregional Dialogue Between Asia and Europe: ASEAN–EU Relations and ASEM’, The Pacific Review, 2008, 21, 369–96.
24. Ann Kent, ‘States Monitoring States: The United States, Australia, and China’s Human Rights, 1990–2001’, Human Rights Quarterly, 2001, 23, 583–624.
25. Ben Saul, ‘Throwing Stones at Streetlights or Cuckolding Dictators? Australian Foreign Policy and Human Rights in the Developing World’, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 2011, 100, 409–25.
26. Timothy Webster, ‘China’s Human Rights Footprint in Africa’, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, 2013, 51, 626–63.
Part 5: Civil Society and Human Rights
27. Dinah PoKempner, ‘Asia’s Activists and the Future of Human Rights’, Fordham Law Review, 1997, 66, 677–86.
28. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, ‘Recoding Resistance: Social Movements and the Challenge to International Law’, International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 245–62.
29. Surya Deva, ‘The Sangam of Foreign Investment, Multinational Corporations and Human Rights: An Indian Perspective for a Developing Asia’, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, 2004, 305–27.
VOLUME III: National Protection of Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific
Part 6: National Human Rights Institutions in Asia and the Pacific
30. Catherine Renshaw and Kieren Fitzpatrick, ‘National Human Rights Institutions in the Asia Pacific Region: Change Agents under Conditions of Uncertainty’, in Ryan Goodman and Thomas Pegram (eds.), Human Rights, State Compliance, and Social Change: Assessing National Human Rights Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 150–80.
31. Joy Liddicoat, National Human Rights Institutions: Pathways for Pacific States (Pacific Human Rights Issues Series 1, New Zealand Human Rights Commission and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, 2007).
32. Andrew Harding, ‘Thailand’s Reforms: Human Rights and the National Commission’, Journal of Comparative Law, 2006, 1, 88–99.
Part 7: Constitutional, Legislative, and Judicial Protection of Human Rights
33. Jennifer Corrin and Don Paterson, ‘Constitutional Law’, South Pacific Law, 2nd edn. (Routledge-Cavendish, 2007), pp. 82–7.
34. Mahendra P. Singh and Surya Deva, ‘The Constitution of India: Symbol of Unity in Diversity’, Jahrbuch des Offentlichen Rechts der Gegenwart (Yearbook of Public Law (Germany)), 2005, 53, 649–86.
35. Simon Butt and Tim Lindsay, ‘Human Rights’, The Constitution of Indonesia: A Contextual Analysis (Hart, 2012), pp. 189–222.
36. Albert H. Y. Chen, ‘International Human Rights Law and Domestic Constitutional Law: Internationalisation of Constitutional Law in Hong Kong’, National Taiwan University Law Review, 2009, 4, 237–75.
37. Surya P. Subedi, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia (United Nations Human Rights Council (15th Session), UN Doc. A/HRC/15/46, 16 September 2010), pp. 1–20.
38. Raul C. Pangalangan, ‘Human Rights Discourse in Post-Marcos Philippines’, in Thomas David and Brian Galligan (eds.), Human Rights in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2011), pp. 56–69.
39. Kenneth J. Keith, ‘The New Zealand Bill of Rights Experience: Lessons for Australia’, Australian Journal of Human Rights, 2003, 9, 119–34.
Part 8: Accountability for Serious Human Rights Violations
40. Neil Boister and Robert Cryer, ‘The Functions and Legacies of the Tokyo IMT’, The Tokyo International Military Tribunal: A Reappraisal (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 301–27.
41. Carmen M. Argibay, ‘Sexual Slavery and the "Comfort Women" of World War II’, Berkeley Journal of International Law, 2003, 21, 375–89.
42. Larissa van den Herik, ‘Addressing "Colonial Crimes" Through Reparations?: Adjudicating Dutch Atrocities Committed in Indonesia’, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 2012, 10, 693–705.
43. Republic of Indonesia, National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Declaration Regarding the Investigation into Serious Human Rights Violations Related to the Events of 1965–1966 (unofficial translation by Martha Meijer) (2012).
44. Sarah Williams, ‘Genocide: The Cambodian Experience’, International Criminal Law Review, 2005, 5, 447–62.
45. Sylvia de Bertodano, ‘East Timor: Trials and Tribulations’, in Cesare P. R. Romano, André Nollkaemper, and Jann K. Kleffner (eds.), Internationalized Criminal Courts: Sierra Leone, East Timor, Kosovo and Cambodia (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 79–97.
46. Rosemary Foot, ‘Collateral Damage: Human Rights Consequences of Counterterrorist Action in the Asia–Pacific’, International Affairs, 2005, 81, 411–25.
VOLUME IV: Selected Thematic Human Rights Issues in Asia and the Pacific
Part 9: Self-Determination; Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
47. Anonymous, ‘China and the Principle of Self-Determination of Peoples’, St Antony’s International Review, 2010, 6, 79–102.
48. Benedict Kingsbury, ‘The Applicability of the International Legal Concept of "Indigenous People" in Asia’, in Joanne R. Bauer and Daniel A. Bell, The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 336–77.
49. Alexandra Xanthaki, ‘Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples in South-East Asia’, Melbourne Journal of International Law, 2003, 4, 467–96.
50. Ben Saul ‘Cultural Nationalism, Self-Determination and Human Rights in Bhutan’, International Journal of Refugee Law, 2000, 12, 321–53.
Part 10: Minority Rights and Cultural Rights
51. Will Kymlicka, ‘Liberal Multiculturalism: Western Models, Global Trends, and Asian Debates’, in Will Kymlicka and Baogang He, Multiculturalism in Asia (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 22–54.
52. Rohan Edrisinha, ‘Multination Federalism and Minority Rights in Sri Lanka’, in Will Kymlicka and Baogang He, Multiculturalism in Asia (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 244–61.
53. Clifford Bob, ‘"Dalit Rights are Human Rights": Caste Discrimination, International Activism, and the Construction of a New Human Rights Issue’, Human Rights Quarterly, 2007, 29, 167–93.
Part 11: Socio-Economic Rights
54. Jessie M. Hohmann, ‘Visions of Social Transformation and the Invocation of Human Rights in Mumbai: The Struggle for the Right to Housing’, Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, 2010, 13, 135–84.
55. Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis and S. Vivek, ‘The Rights-Based Approach to Development: Lessons from the Right to Food Movement in India’ , in Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, Shabd S. Acharya, and Benjamin Davis (eds.), Food Insecurity, Vulnerability and Human Rights Failure (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 308–27.
56. David Kinley and Hai Thanh Nguyen, Viet Nam, Human Rights and Trade: Implications of Viet Nam’s Accession to the WTO. Dialogue on Globalization (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Occasional Paper Series, Working Paper No. 39, 2008), pp. 1–43.
Part 12: Rights of Refugees and Migrants
57. Sara Davies, ‘The Asian Rejection? International Refugee Law in Asia’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 2006, 52, 562–75.
58. W. Courtland Robinson, ‘The Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees, 1989–1997: Sharing the Burden and Passing the Buck’, Journal of Refugee Studies, 2004, 17, 319–33.
59. Mely Caballero-Anthony, ‘Human Trafficking and Human Rights in Asia: Trends, Issues and Challenges’, in G. S. Cheema, C. A. McNally, and V. Popovski (eds.), Cross-border Governance in Asia: Regional Issues and Mechanisms (United Nations University Press, 2011), pp. 219–66.
Edited and with a new introduction by Ben Saul and Catherine Renshaw, both of the University of Sydney, Australia