Human Rights Institutions As Medium: National Human Rights Institutions (Nhris) And Regional Human Rights Institutions (Rhris) In Asian Human Rights Context
Baek, Buhm Suk
The purpose of my dissertation is to examine whether and how national human rights institutions (NHRIs) can be a driving force for the establishment of regional human rights institutions (RHRIs) in the Asia-Pacific region, which remains the only region without such institutions in contrast to Europe, the Americas, and Africa. I first explore the issue of whether RHRIs are desirable in this region, and argue that such a system is desirable. Then I examine the reasons why RHRIs have not emerged in this region. I located these reasons in part by examining the reception of human rights in Asia and issues like the emergence of international human rights law from the Western cultural heritage, and the problematic question of what the Asian way of human rights means. The analysis of the obstacles that have hampered the creation of RHRIs leads me to focus on NHRIs. By reviewing the role that NHRIs can play in addressing the concerns and inhibitions of Asian states, while furthering the aims of international human rights law, I maintain that the way in which NHRIs collaborate demonstrates that they can be eminent actors toward the establishment of RHRIs. Further, I suggest four specific ways to realize this goal. Lastly, I explore the broader literature on the role that human rights NGOs can play in the relationship with RHRIs and NHRIs, thus illuminating their particular role in the Asian human rights context. I conclude that we need a new actor which can strengthen the human rights system at the national level, change a government's human rights policies, and ultimately lead to the creation of RHRIs in this region. It should be a channeling institution that can mediate between the national interest and international norms, similarly to RHRIs that can work as intermediaries to reflect the regional specificity and meet international human rights standards. At the same time, this new actor should gradually raise public awareness of human rights through an active cooperation with civil society. Overall, NHRIs can play such a role as a driving force for establishing RHRIs in the Asia-Pacific region.
International Human Rights Law; National Human Rights Institutions; Asia-Pacific Region
Ndulo, Muna Baron
Tarrow, Sidney G; Ohlin, Jens David
Doctor of Science of Law
dissertation or thesis
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