The rights of the marginalised in Asia

Increasing protection or vulnerability?

Authored by: Fernand de Varennes

Routledge Handbook of Human Rights in Asia

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138855700
eBook ISBN: 9781315720180
Adobe ISBN:


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Although Asia remains the only part of the world without a regional human rights protections system, human rights are not necessarily less recognised in the region, nor are countries in Asia particularly unreceptive environments. Even by simply considering the relative rate of support for the UN’s main human rights treaties dealing with some of the more vulnerable or marginalised segments of society, Asian states do not deviate significantly in terms of ratification. Unfortunately, ratification of human rights instruments does not automatically equate with compliance: there were always going to be tremendous human rights challenges facing a continent vastly more populated and heterogeneous than any other part of the world, yet there is no denying the disproportionate scale of the vulnerability of some segments of society in many parts of Asia. While the marginalisation of migrants, minorities, children and women is not unique to the region, the need for the recognition and protection of universal human rights in relation to the more vulnerable and marginalised in many Asian societies is particularly important since they are most susceptible to egregious levels of harm or abuse.

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