“Asian values” and their role in the development of the sub-regional human rights protection system in Asia

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Author: Tigran Oganesian

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2019-1-81-92

Keywords: Asian values; protection of human rights; АСЕАН


The role and position of Asia in the international system of human rights protection is clearly changing. The scope of international law has been broadened by the adoption of many treaties and customary international law. This article explores the conceptual features of the standards of human rights protection in Asia and identifies a number of principles of Asian society, on the basis of which a special legal culture and attitude to human rights is developing in the region. The author attempts to identify the reasons for the distrustful attitude of Asian countries to international law, the lack of universality of political freedoms and civil rights, as well as an attempt to analyze “Asian values” in the context of human rights protection. It is noted that the concept of “Asian values” is politicized by authoritarian leaders and used as a tool for legitimizing the current regime and the rule of law. The article notes that the external control of human rights by Asian states is perceived as an infringement of the sovereign rights of states. The article examines the consequences of the emergence of a human rights function in ASEAN, as well as the shortcomings of the existing ASEAN mechanism in the field of human rights protection. The author points out that attempts to “promote” human rights in ASEAN member states will be ineffective as long as the governments of these states use “Asian values” for political purposes and violate political rights. The final part of the article notes the role of the interpenetration of national and international systems as a factor for improving the mechanism of human rights protection in Asia.

About the author: Tigran Oganesian – Candidate of Science (Ph.D.) in Law, Lecturer, North-Caucasus branch of the Russian State University of Justice, Krasnodar, Russia.

Citation: Oganesian T. (2019) Sistema zashchity prav cheloveka v ASEAN: perenos kontseptsii «aziatskikh tsennostey» na subregional'nuyu pochvu [ASEAN human rights protection system: transferring the concept of “Asian values” to sub-regional grounds], Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.9, no.1, pp.81–92. (In Russian).


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