Report on Human Rights Violations in South Asia

8 Aug

According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights South Asia Human Rights Index 2008, Sri Lanka ranks as the worst in perpetuating human rights violations as compared to the other 6 countries which has been studied in this report.The other countries which are ranked in descending order (from bad to better) are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal and India.

The index is compiled based on a ranking system dependent on ‘political freedom, right to life, judiciary and administration of justice, status or effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions, press freedom, violence against women, violations of the rights of the child, violations of the rights of the minorities and indigenous/tribal peoples and repression on human rights defenders’ (Asian Centre for Human Rights 2008).

There are two apparent drawbacks of the report. First, the omission of Afghanistan, which is not included in the ranking, as its ‘security is ensured by international forces over which the government of Afghanistan has no mechanism to establish accountability – a necessary condition for indexing’. Given that human rights violations are rampant in Afghanistan, an alternative system of indexing for the country may be warranted.

At the 12 June 2008 International Afghanistan Support Conference, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch ( Amnesty International 2008 & Human Rights Watch 2008 ) both voiced concerns on various human rights issues including reforming the judiciary, protecting freedom of expression and women rights. Human Rights Watch also questioned the status of international military presence in Afghanistan through a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which ‘operates in a legal vacuum’.

The other apparent shortcoming was also acknowledged in the report – that it did not include other violations such as ‘prison conditions, refugees, internally displaced persons…’ (Asian Centre for Human Rights 2008).

Nevertheless, it is still a useful document for NGOs, researchers, journalists and policy makers as a point of reference.

– Works Cited –

Asian Centre for Human Rights 2008, South Asia Human Rights Index 2008, accessed 7 August 2008.

Amnesty International 2008, Afghanistan: No more empty promises in Paris Briefing Paper, accessed 8 August 2008.

Human Rights Watch 2008, Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June 12, 2008, accessed 8 August 2008.


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