Asian Human Rights Organizations
The Australian Human Rights Commission’s vision is “human rights: everyone, everywhere, everyday.” Their mission is “leading the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia by: making human rights values part of everyday life and language; empowering all people to understand and exercise their human rights; working with individuals, community, business and government to inspire action; keeping government accountable to national and international human rights standards; and securing an Australian charter of rights.”
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea (ECCC) was created jointly by the Cambodian government and the United Nations in 2001, but it operates independently from the United Nations. The ECCC is unique because it invited international participation but the trials are held in Cambodia with a Cambodian staff and judges with foreign personnel. The purpose of the ECCC is to establish a “trial to prosecute the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge.”
The Human Rights Commission of New Zealand was created to “provide better protection of human rights in New Zealand,” and works for a “fair, safe and just society, where diversity is valued, human rights are respected, and everyone is able to live free from prejudice and unlawful discrimination.” The job of the Human Rights Commission is to “advocate and promote respect for human rights in New Zealand; encourage harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in New Zealand; lead, evaluate, monitor and advise on employment opportunities; and, provide information to the public about discrimination and to help resolve complaints about discrimination.”
The National Human Rights Commission of India is an “expression of India’s concern for the protection and promotion of human rights.” It is located in New Delhi, India and has been in existence since October of 1993.
The New Zealand Immigration Service is the official governmental site of immigration services for New Zealand. It provides a number of documents, information and sources for immigrants, employers, immigrant advisers, education and settlement providers and airline and medical professionals.
The Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), Australia and the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) work to “provide correct and preferable decisions for visa applicants and sponsors through independent, fair, just, economical, informal and quick merits review of migration and refugee decisions.”
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has the mandate to “prosecute persons responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 resulting in the death of the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and in the death or injury of other persons” (22 others died). This tribunal is unique in the fact that it excluded the penalties of death and forced labor, which are applicable under the Lebanese law.
Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC) Bangladesh is a non-profit organization and a coalition of 15 other NGOs working in Bangladesh for “prevention of trafficking in children and women and their sexual exploitation.” ATSEC “facilitates advocacy, creates awareness and social mobilization, provides technical support, initiates research and programme support activities at the grassroots, sub-national, national and regional levels to resist inhumane and heinous offences” like the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.
The Afghan Women’s Mission Organization works with RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) to “support health, education, and other programs for Afghan women.”
Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR) is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-religious human rights organization founded by human rights activists, intellectuals and North Korean defectors, who aim to “protect the lives and human rights of North Koreans in a spirit of brotherhood, to bridge the gap and reconcile the division between the people, and to support the reunification of the two Koreas.” NKHR works to “collect and publicize facts and other information on the current North Korean human rights situation, particularly regarding political prison camps; garner support for the international community to condemn and bring an end to the systematic violation of human rights in North Korea, particularly with respect to forced labor of political prisoners; protect the lives and human rights of North Korean refugees; assist North Korean new settlers in South Korea with a focus on youth education; and coordinate efforts with other human rights organizations.”
The Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) is an independent grassroots Israeli NGO that works to “promote and protect the political, civil, economic and cultural rights of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel from an international human rights perspective.”
The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) is a NGO that calls for the “respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens and residents of the Arab world; defend any individual whose human rights are subjected to violations which are contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights; endeavor, regardless of political considerations, to obtain release of detained or imprisoned persons, and seek relief and assistance for persons whose freedom is restricted in any way or who are subject to coercion of any kind because of their beliefs and political convictions, or for reasons of race, sex, colour or language; protest in cases where a fair trial is not guaranteed; provide legal assistance where necessary and possible; call for improvements in conditions of prisoners of conscience; work for amnesty of persons sentenced for political reasons.”
The Asia Monitor Resource Center (AMRC) is an independent NGO, which focuses on Asian labor concerns. AMRC supports a “democratic and independent labor movement promoting the principles of labor rights, gender consciousness, and active workers’ participation in work-related issues.”
The Asian Center for Human Rights (ACHR) is a NGO “dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Asian region by: providing accurate and timely information and complaints to the National Human Rights Institutions, the United Nations bodies and mechanisms as appropriate; conducting investigations, research, campaigning and lobbying on country situations or individual cases; increasing the capacity of human rights defenders and civil society group through relevant training on the use of national and international human rights procedures; providing input into international standard-setting processes on human rights; providing legal, political and practical advice according to the needs of human rights defenders and civil society groups; and by securing the economic, social and cultural rights through rights-based approaches to development.”
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is an independent, non-governmental body which “seeks to promote greater awareness and realization of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilize Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.” The AHRC promotes civil and political rights, in addition to economic, social and cultural rights.
The Asian Migrant Center (AMC) is a Hong Kong based “learning and knowledge center based on communities of practice.” It works to ensure the human rights of the migrant workers of Asia.
Assistance Associate for Political Prisoners (AAPP) was established by former political prisoners of Burma in order to assist fellow political prisoners through the assistance of political prisoners’ families to visit them, providing food and medicine, monitoring conditions in prisoners, publicize the arrests, conditions and stories of the prisoners, advocate and provide information for human rights groups, and assist former prisoners with their mental and physical rehabilitation. AAPP also works to publicize the Burmese military regime’s oppression, encourage support of international governments and organizations to pressure the Burmese military to put a stop to the persecution of political prisoners, secure prisoner’s basic human rights, protection and help them start a new lives.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization that fights global poverty. CARE is unique because “women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources.”
The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) “works to promote social justice through human rights.” They seek “to hold governments and other actors accountable to their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill economic and social rights, as well as civil and political rights.”
The Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Center (CWIN-Nepal) works for the “advocacy, protection and promotion of the rights of the child through lobbying, campaigning and social concientisation.” CWIN works “for children, with children.”
Child Wise is a Australian based organization that is “dedicated to protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation in Australia and overseas by: providing direct assistance and support; raising awareness and educating the community; building the capacity of communities to protect children; responding to new risks to children; and, reducing the impact of child sexual abuse and exploitation.”
The Concerned for Working Children (CWC), Karnataka state, India is an organization that centers itself around the concern for children who are working. Ultimately, the CWC goal is to not have working children, but until that goal is reached, they work to empower working children so that they may be “their own first line of defense and participate in an informed manner in all decisions concerning themselves.”
EarthRights is a non-profit human rights, environment and government accountability organization located in the U.S. and in Southeast Asia. It works to document human rights and environmental abuses, organize the human rights and environmental activists worldwide, litigate in U.S. courts, teach others about their “earth rights and remedies,” and advocate and fight for better “earth rights protections.”
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network/U.S. (ETAN) is a U.S. based “grassroots organization working in solidarity with the peoples of East Timor and Indonesia” to educate, organize and advocate for “human rights, women’s rights, societal and economic justice, democracy and genuine self-determination in East Timor.” ETAN works for “justice for historical and ongoing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and human rights violations in East Timor and Indonesia.”
Electronic Frontiers Australia is a non-profit national (Australia) organization “representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms and rights.” It’s main objective is to “protect and promote the civil liberties of users and operators of computer based communication systems such as the Internet, to advocate the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere (both current and proposed) with restrict free speech and to educate the community at large about the social, political, and civil liberties issues involved in the use of computer based communications systems.”
Global Youth Connects (whose motto is “acting together for compassion, human rights, and responsibility”) has this Bhutanese Refugees program which works to help the Bhutanese refugees.
The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM) is an independent organization that aims to “promote better human rights protection in Hong Kong, both in terms of law and of practical daily life.”
HRCBM (Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities) is a worldwide campaigning movement “dedicated to protecting the human rights of people in Bangladesh.” HRCBM is a U.S. based NGO in Special Consultative status with ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) of the United Nations.
The Human Rights Council of Australia is a private, NGO which “promotes understanding of and respect for human rights for all persons without discrimination through adherence to the International Bill of Rights, an other human rights instruments, internationally and within Australia.”
HRSF is “dedicated to protecting and defending human rights in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with Islamic teaching.” They stand for “applying the rule of law, freedoms of expression and association, and abolishing all discrimination in Saudi society on the basis of gender or religious belief,” and will use peaceful means to advocate.
The HumanTrafficking.org website was created to bring government and NGOs in East Asia and Pacific together to “cooperate and learn from each others’ experiences in their efforts to combat human trafficking.” The site contains country-specific information, such as national laws and action plans, and contact information to useful government agencies.
The International Labor Organization in Tokyo, Japan is one of the original offices of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which is a specialized agency within the United Nations. The ILO Japan works for “promotion for ratification of the ILO Conventions by Japan; assistance in realizing decent work in view of changing patterns of work; assistance in promotion of social dialogue; resource mobilization; and, strengthening the information activities including through more knowledge-based reporting on Japan’s labor and social trends and networking of experts.”
The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), is an international, non-profit, non-governmental human rights organization “devoted to eliminating discrimination and racism, forging international solidarity among discriminated minorities and advancing the international human rights system. Although original founded by Japan’s largest minority, the Buraku people, IMADR is now a “global network of concerned individuals and minority groups with regional committees and partners in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.” IMADR is in consultative status with the Untied Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) is a British based independent, non-political project “committed to the protection of the human rights of all persons within the Kurdish regions, irrespective of race, religion, sex, political persuasion or other belief or opinion.” KHRP’s goals are to “combine its extensive expertise of international human rights law with local knowledge to: raise awareness of the human rights situation in the Kurdish regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus; bring an end to the violation of the rights of everybody who lives in the Kurdish regions; promote the protection of the rights of Kurdish people wherever they may live; and eradicate torture both in the Kurdish regions and across the globe.”
NKnet is a Seoul based non-profit, founded by citizens who “wish to alleviate the suffering of the people of North Korea and to realize universal values by promoting human rights and democracy in North Korea.”
The Pacific Basin Economic Council’s (PBEC) mission is to “be the voice of business in the Asia Pacific region; and to actively engage in the process of promoting a business environment in the region that ensures open trade and investment and encourages competitiveness based on the capabilities of individual companies; providing information, networking for, and service to members that increase their business opportunities; supporting cooperative business efforts to address the economic well-being of citizens in the region; advising governments in order to improve their business environment; generating foreign investment flows to support economic development objectives; reducing administrative barriers to international trade in the region; stimulating the development and accelerating the implementation of new technologies; and balancing economic development with the need for a clean environment.”
This organization was founded to “promote the study and development of democracy in Palestine and in the region.” It focuses on “contributing to the process of democratic transformation in Palestinian society,” through networking and activism, research and publication, etc.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) is an independent, non-profit media agency that focuses on investigative reporting. PCIJ believes that the media plays and important role in the scrutinizing and strengthening of democratic intuitions, and that the media should “be a catalyst for social debate and consensus that would redound to the promotion of public welfare.”
The Refugee Council of Australia is a non-profit NGO that provides “information on and advocacy for refugees and humanitarian entrants into Australia.”
The South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP) is the “largest website on terrorism and low intensity warfare in South Asia, and creates the database and analytical context for research and analysis of all extremist movements in the region.” SATP “establishes a comprehensive, searchable and continuously updated database on all available information relating to terrorism, low intensity warfare and ethnic/communal/sectarian strife in South Asia.”
Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR) is a NGO “committed to securing and protecting human rights form all forms of violation,” and believes that “human rights, rule of law, and democracy and indivisible and interdependent.” TAHR’s campaigns aim to encourage grassroots support and advocacy and focus on “investigating individual human rights cases and assisting victims, monitoring the government’s policy-making and development, proposing legal and constitutional amendments so as to meet international human rights standards, and promoting human rights consciousness and education.”
The Tibet Justice Center, formally known as the International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, is a U.S.-based NGO that advocates human rights and self-determination for the people of Tibet.
The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is a worldwide organization with over 13,000 members and 47 branches. TWA’s main objective is to “raise public awareness of the abuses faced by Tibetan women in Chinese-occupied Tibet.”
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) was the “first Tibetan non-governmental human rights organization to be established in exile in India,” and its mission is to “promote and protect human rights of the Tibetan people in Tibet” and to “educate the exile Tibetan community on human rights principles and democratic concepts.” TCHRD conducts regular, systematic investigations of the human rights situation in Tibet, monitors the human right policies of China, and then publishes reports and profiles for the public. Additionally, TCHRD organizes workshops, talks, and public and UN discussion regarding the human rights situation in Tibet.
The Arab Charter of Human Rights (adopted by the League of Arab States) affirms the principles regarding human rights found in the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.
The Australian Human Rights Centre (AHRC) is an inter-disciplinary research and teaching institute based at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. It aims to “increase public awareness about human rights procedures, standards and issues within Australia and the international community.”
The Australian Human Rights and Civil Rights Index was created to provide “reasonable access to papers and web-sties relating to human rights.” It is a great source for Australian specific links and papers, but also has international resources.
This database provides links to fourteen Australian or international women’s studies, research and policy organizations or educational programs.
The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is an independent center at the University of Minnesota. It is a “resource for information and teaching about the Holocaust and contemporary aspects of genocide as defined by the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (1948).” It contains links to hundreds of genocide topics (such as antisemitism, Armenian genocide, Asian genocide, genocide in Darfur, East Timor and the former Yugoslavia).
IndiaRights Online is an online archive on “social conflict (communal, caste, gender, ethnic, and identities), human rights and peace initiatives in India.” The archive has over 400,000 documents and 1,000 new documents added every week.
This web page (from the International Confederation of Free Trade Union’s website) contains the International Recognized Core Labor Standards in Australia in the form of a WTO report presented on June 30 and July 2, 1998.
The Institute of Human Rights Studies at Kansai University in Japan was established in order to “contribute to research dealing with fundamental human rights issues within Japan and overseas.” Their primary research is on “problems faced by the Buraku, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and women.”
This link provides domestic (Hong Kong) legislation on human rights, such as the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984), the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (1991), and others. Also, it provides links to the international human rights instruments, United Nations Agreement on Human Rights and the Hong Kong and U.N. Agreements (Law-on-Line).
The Network Against the Politics of National Symbols is a network for the trans-nationalization of the protest against the Hinomaru-Kimigayo Legislation in Japan. The legislation would legalize the Hinomaru as the Japanese national flag (the Hinomaru is used but it is not the “legal flag”) and the Kimigayo as the Japanese national anthem, and to many it is worth protesting because the Hinomaru and Kimigayo are symbols of the military and colonial aggression of Japan’s history.
This website is an archive of the two World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (August 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden and Yokohama, Japan in December 2001).