Governments, have signed this Convention.
DONE at Kathmandu on this Fifth Day of January Two Thousand and Two, in nine originals, in the
English Language, all texts being equally authentic.
ضمیمه شماره (۹)
Asian Human Rights Charter (A Peoples’ Charter)
For long, especially during the colonial period, the peoples of Asia suffered from gross violations of their rights and freedoms. Today large sections of our people continue to be exploited and oppressed and many of our societies are torn apart by hatred and intolerance. Increasingly the people realize that peace and dignity are possible only when the equal and inalienable rights of all persons and groups are recognised and protected. They are determined to secure peace and justice for themselves and the coming generations through the struggle for human rights and freedoms. Towards that end they adopt this Charter as an affirmation of the desire and aspirations of the peoples of Asia to live in peace and dignity.
Background to the Charter
۱٫۱ The Asian struggle for rights and freedoms has deep historical roots, in the fight against oppression in civil society and the political oppression of colonialism, and subsequently for the establishment or restoration of democracy. The reaffirmation of rights is necessary now more than ever before. Asia is passing through a period of rapid change, which affects social structures, political institutions and the economy. Traditional values are under threat from new forms of development and technologies, as well as political authorities and economic organizations that manage these changes.
۱٫۲ In particular the marketization and globalization of economies are changing the balance between the private and the public, the state and the international community, and worsening the situation of the poor and the disadvantaged. These changes threaten many valued aspects of life, the result of the dehumanizing effects of technology, the material orientation of the market, and the destruction of the community. People have decreasing control over their lives and environment, and some communities do not have protection even against eviction from their traditional homes and grounds. There is a massive exploitation of workers, with wages that are frequently inadequate for even bare subsistence and low safety standards that put the lives of workers in constant danger. Even the most elementary of labour rights and laws are seldom enforced.
۱٫۳ Asian development is full of contradictions. There is massive and deepening poverty in the midst of growing affluence of some sections of the people. Levels of health, nutrition and education of large numbers of our people are appalling, denying the dignity of human life. At the same time valuable resources are wasted on armaments, Asia being the largest purchaser of arms of all regions. Our governments claim to be pursuing development directed at increasing levels of production and welfare but our natural resources are being depleted most irresponsibly and the environment is so degraded that the quality of life has worsened immeasurably, even for the better off among us. Building of golf courses has a higher priority than the care of the poor and the disadvantaged.
۱٫۴ Asians have in recent decades suffered from various forms of conflict and violence, arising from ultra-nationalism, perverted ideologies, ethnic differences, and fundamentalism of all religions. Violence emanates from both the state and sections of civil society. For large masses, there is little security of person, property or community. There is massive displacement of communities and there are an increasing number of refugees.
۱٫۵ Governments have arrogated enormous powers to themselves. They have enacted legislation to suppress people’s rights and freedoms and colluded with foreign firms and groups in the plunder of national resources. Corruption and nepotism are rampant and there is little accountability of those holding public or private power. Authoritarianism has in many states been raised to the level of national ideology, with the deprivation of the rights and freedoms of their citizens, which are denounced as foreign ideas inappropriate to the religious and cultural traditions of Asia. Instead there is the exhortation of spurious theories of ‘Asian Values’ which are a thin disguise for their authoritarianism. Not surprisingly, Asia, of all the major regions of the world, is without a regional official charter or other regional arrangements for the protection of rights and freedoms.
۱٫۶ In contrast to the official disregard or contempt of human rights in many Asian states, there is increasing awareness among their peoples of the importance of rights and freedoms. They realize the connections between their poverty and political powerlessness and the denial to them of these rights and freedoms. They believe that political and economic systems have to operate within a framework of human rights and freedoms to ensure economic justice, political participation and accountability, and social peace. There are many social movements that have taken up the fight to secure for the people their rights and freedoms.
۱٫۷ Our commitment to rights is not due to any abstract ideological reasons. We believe that respect for human rights provides the basis for a just, humane and caring society. A regime of rights is premised on the belief that we are all inherently equal and have an equal right to live in dignity. It is based on our right to determine our destiny through participation in policy making and administration. It enables us to develop and enjoy our culture and to give expression to our artistic impulses. It respects diversity. It recognizes our obligations to future generations and the environment they will inherit. It establishes standards for assessing the worth and legitimacy of our institutions and policies.
۲٫۱ It is possible from specific rights and the institutions and procedures for their protection to draw some general principles which underlie these rights and whose acceptance and implementation facilitates their full enjoyment. The principles, which are discussed below, should provide the broad framework for public policies within which we believe rights would be promoted.
Universality and Indivisibility of Rights
۲٫۲ We endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments for the protection of rights and freedoms. We believe that rights are universal, every person being entitled to them by virtue of being a human being. Cultural traditions affect the way in which a society organizes relationships within itself, but they do not detract from the universalism of rights which are primarily concerned with the relationship of citizens with the state and the inherent dignity of persons and groups. We also believe that rights and freedoms are indivisible and it is a fallacy to suppose that some types of rights can be suppressed in the name of other rights. Human beings have social, cultural and economic needs and aspirations that cannot be fragmented or compartmentalised, but are mutually dependent. Civil, political and cultural rights have little meaning unless there are the economic resources to exercise and enjoy them. Equally, the pursuit and acquisition of material wealth is sterile and self-defeating without political freedoms, the opportunity to develop and express one’s personality and to engage in cultural and other discourses.
۲٫۳ Notwithstanding their universality and indivisibility, the enjoyment and the salience of rights depend on social, economic and cultural c
ontexts. Rights are not abstractions, but foundations for action and policy. Consequently we must move from abstract formulations of rights to their concretization in the Asian context by examining the circumstances of specific groups whose situation is defined by massive violations of their rights. It is only by relating rights and their implementation to the specificity of the Asian situation that the enjoyment of rights will be possible. Only in this way will Asia be able to contribute to the world-wide movement for the protection of rights.
۲٫۴ Widespread poverty, even in states which have achieved a high rate of economic development, is a principal cause of the violation of rights. Poverty deprives individuals, families, and communities of their rights and promotes prostitution, child labour, slavery, sale of human organs, and the mutilation of the body to enhance the capacity to beg. A life of dignity is impossible in the midst of poverty. Asian states must direct their development policies towards the elimination of poverty through more equitable forms of development.
The Responsibility for the Protection of Human Rights
۲٫۵The responsibility for the protection of rights is both international and domestic. The international community has agreed upon norms and institutions that should govern the practice of human rights. The peoples of Asia support international measures for the protection of rights. State sovereignty cannot be used as an excuse to evade international norms or ignore international institutions. The claim of state sovereignty is justified only when a state fully protects the rights of its citizens.
۲٫۶ On the other hand, international responsibility cannot be used for the selective chastisement or punishment of particular states; or for the privileging of one set of rights over others. Some fundamental causes of the violation of human rights lie in the inequities of the international world economic and political order. The radical transformation and democratization of the world order is a necessary condition for the global enjoyment of human rights. The logic of the universalism and equality of rights is the responsibility of the international community for the social and economic welfare of all people throughout the world, and consequently the obligation to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities across the world.
۲٫۷ The primary responsibility for the promotion of human rights rests with states. The rights of states and peoples to just economic, social, political and cultural development must not be negated by global processes. States must establish open political processes in which rights and obligations of different groups are acknowledged and the balance between the interests of individuals and the community is achieved. Democratic and accountable governments are the key to the promotion and protection of rights.
۲٫۸ The capacity of the international community and states to promote and protect rights has been weakened by processes of globalization as more and more power over economic and social policy and activities has moved from states to business corporations. States are increasingly held hostage by financial and other corporations to implement narrow and short sighted economic policies which cause so much misery to so many people, while increasing the wealth of the few. Business corporations are responsible for numerous violations of rights, particularly those of workers, women and indigenous peoples. It is necessary to strengthen the regime of rights by making corporations liable for the violation of rights.
Sustainable Development and the Protection of the Environment
۲٫۹ Economic development must be sustainable. We must protect the environment against the avarice and depredations of commercial enterprises to ensure that the quality of life does not decline just as the gross national product increases. Technology must liberate, not enslave human beings. Natural resources must be used in a manner consistent with our obligation to future generations. We must never forget that we are merely temporary custodians of the resources of nature. Nor should we forget that these resources are given to all human kind, and consequently we have a joint responsibility for their responsible, fair and equitable use.
۳٫۱ We endorse all the rights that are contained in international instruments. It is unnecessary to restate them here. We believe that these rights need to be seen in a holistic manner and that individual rights are best pursued through a broader conceptualization which forms the basis of the following section.
The Right to Life
۳٫۲ Foremost among rights is the right to life, from which flow other rights and freedoms. The right to life is not confined to mere physical or animal existence but includes the right to every limb or faculty through which life is enjoyed. It signifies the right to live with basic human dignity, the right to livelihood, the right to a habitat or home, the right to education and the right to a clean and healthy environment for without these there can be no real and effective exercise or enjoyment of the right to life. The state must also take all possible measures to prevent infant mortality, eliminate malnutrition and epidemics, and increase life expectancy through a clean and healthy environment and adequate preventative as well as curative medical facilities. It must make primary education free and compulsory.
۳٫۳ Yet in many parts of Asia, wars, ethnic conflicts, cultural and religious oppression, corruption of politics, environmental pollution, disappearances, torture, state or private terrorism, violence against women, and other acts of mass violence continue to be a scourge to humanity resulting in the loss of thousands of innocent human lives.
۳٫۴ To ensure the right to life, propagation of war or ethnic conflict or incitement to hatred and violence in all spheres of individual or societal or national or international life should be prohibited.
۳٫۵ The state has the responsibility to thoroughly investigate cases of torture, disappearances and custodial deaths, rapes and sexual abuses and to bring culprits to justice.
Governments, have signed this Convention.