Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region
Towards Institution Building
Edited by Hitoshi Nasu, Ben Saul
Routledge – 2011 – 274 pages
The Asia-Pacific is known for having the least developed regional mechanisms for protecting human rights. This edited collection makes a timely and distinctive contribution to contemporary debates about building institutions for human rights protection in the Asia-Pacific region, in the wake of ASEAN’s establishment in 2009 of a sub-regional human rights commission.
Drawing together leading scholarly voices, the book focuses on the systemic issue of institutionalising human rights protection in the Asia-Pacific. It critically examines the prospects for deepening and widening human rights institutions in the region, challenging the orthodox scepticism about whether the Asia-Pacific is "ready" for stronger human rights institutions and exploring the variety of possible forms that regional and sub-regional institutions might take. The volume also analyses the impediments to new institutions, whilst questioning the justifications for them. The collection provides a range of perspectives on the issues and many of the chapters bring interdisciplinary insights to bear. As such, the collection will be of interest to scholarly, practitioner, and student audiences in law, as well as to readers in international relations, political science, Asian studies, and human rights.
Introduction: Regional Integration and Human Rights Monitoring Institutions, Hitoshi Nasu Part 1: International Institutions 1. The Engagement of Asia-Pacific States with the UN Human Rights Committee: Reporting and Individual Petitions, Ivan Shearer and Naomi Hart 2. Human Rights Monitoring Institutions and Multiculturalism, Nisuke Ando 3. Challenges to a Human Rights Mechanism in the Asia-Pacific Region: The Experience of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council, Shigeki Sakamoto 4. Innovations in Institution-Building and Fresh Challenges: The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Sarah McCosker 5. Chinese Practice in UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies: Principled Sovereignty and Slow Appreciation, Wim Muller Part 2: Regional Institutions – Evolving Mechanisms 6. Resistance to Regional Human Rights Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific: Demythologizing Regional Exceptionalism by Learning from The Americas, Europe, and Africa, Ben Saul, Jacqueline Mowbray and Irene Baghoomians 7. Persistent Engagement and Insistent Persuasion: The Role of the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism in Institutionalising Human Rights in the Region, Tan Hsien-Li 8. ASEAN: Setting the Agenda for the Rights of Migrant Workers?, Susan Kneebone 9. Challenges for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms: The Case of Lao PDR from a Gender Perspective, Irene Pietropaoli Part 3: Transnational And National Institutions 10. The Role of Networks in the Implementation of Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region, Catherine Renshaw 11. Human Rights Commissions in Times of Trouble and Transition: The Case of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, Andrea Durbach 12. Corporate Human Rights Abuses: What Role for the National Human Rights Institutions?, Surya Deva 13. Rethinking Human Rights in China: Towards a Receptor Framework, Mimi Zou and Tom Zwart
Dr Hitoshi Nasu is a lecturer in law at The Australian National University and a deputy director of The Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL). He is the author of International Law on Peacekeeping (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009).
Associate Professor Ben Saul is Co-Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law at the Faculty of Law, The University of Sydney, and a barrister specialising in human rights law. He is the author of Defining Terrorism in International Law (Oxford, 2006).