Why Asian legal institutions fail to protect the human rights of the vulnerable

Authored by: Nick Cheesman , Basil Fernando

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:

10.4324/9781315720180-2

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Abstract

Why do Asian legal institutions fail to protect the human rights of the vulnerable? Drawing on cases from across South and Southeast Asia, we argue that Asian legal institutions generally lack an institutionalised notion of ‘task responsibility’ to protect vulnerable persons’ human rights. We track this absence along six routes to failure: non-complaint, failed complaint, absence of authority, inaction, inadequate action and non-enforcement. We call for an approach to human rights work that develops accounts of the structural and ideational characteristics of Asian legal institutions that contribute to failure, going beyond questions of capacity, to questions of strategy and intent.

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