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

Available in Russian

Price 100 rub.

Author: Tigran Oganesian

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

Keywords: Asian values; protection of human rights; АСЕАН

Abstract

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).

References

Amartya K.S. (1999). Democracy as a Universal Value. Journal of Democracy, vol.10, no.3, pp.3–17.

Aviel J.F. (2006) Placing Human Rights and Environmental Issues on ASEAN’s Agenda: The Role of Non-governmental Organizations. Asian Journal of Political Science, vol.8, no.2, pp.17–34.

Chesterman S. (2017) Asia’s Ambivalence About International Law & Institutions: Past, Present, and Futures. European Journal of International Law, vol.27, no.4, pp.945–978.

Chiu H. (1966) Communist China’s Attitude toward International Law. The American Journal of International Law, vol.60, no.2, pp.245–267.

Ciorciari J.D. (2012) Institutionalizing Human Rights in Southeast Asia. Human Rights Quarterly, vol.34, no.3, pp.695–725.

Davies M. (2014) States of Compliance? Global Human Rights Treaties and ASEAN Member States. Journal of Human Rights, vol.13, no.4, pp.414–433.

Fromm E. (2017) Imet' ili byt'? [To have or to be?], E.Telyatnikova (transl.), Moscow: AST. (In Russian).

Ghai Y. Understanding Human Rights in Asia. In: Krause C., Scheinin M. (eds.) (2012) International Protection of Human Rights: A Textbook, Turku: Åbo Akademi University, Institute for Human Rights, pp.547–574.

Hathaway O.A. (2002) Do human rights treaties make a difference? Yale Law Journal, vol.111, no.8, pp.1935–2042.

Hewison K., Rodan G. (1996) A “Clash of Cultures” or the Convergence of Political Ideology? In: R.Robinson (ed.) Pathways to Asia: The Politics of Engagement, St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, pp.29–55.

Higgins R. (1989) The United Nations: Still a Force for Peace. Modern Law Review, vol.52, no.1, pp.1–21.

Hoon C.Y. (2004) Revisiting the «Asian Values» Argument Used by Asian Political Leaders and Its Validity. Indonesian Quarterly, vol.32, no.2, pp.154–174.

Huntington S. (2009) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York: Simon & Schuster.

Ispolinov A.S. (2017) Evolutsiya i puti razvitiya sovremennogo mezhduna­rodnogo pravosudiya [The evolution and development paths of modern international justice]. Lex Russica, no.10, pp.58–87. (In Russian).

Kausikan B. (1993) Asia’s Different Standard. Foreign Policy, vol.92, pp.24–41.

Kent A. (2011) China’s Human Rights in the “Asian Century”. In: Davis Th. and Galligan B. Human Rights in Asia, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.187–211.

Kim D. (1994) Is Culture Destiny? The Myths of Asia’s Anti-Democratic Values. Foreign Affairs, vol.73, no.6, pp.189–194.

Kraar L. (1999) What Pacific Century? Fortune, vol.140, no.10, pp.197–198.

Linton S. (2008) ASEAN States, Their Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Proposed ASEAN Commission on Women and Children. Human Rights Quarterly, vol.30, no.2, pp.436–493.

Manea M.G. (2008) Human rights and the interregional dialogue between Asia and Europe: ASEAN–EU relations and ASEM. Pacific Review, vol.21, no.3, pp.369–396.

Maznah M. (2002) Towards a human rights regime in Southeast Asia: Charting the course of state commitment. Contemporary Southeast Asia, vol.24, no.2, pp.230–251.

Nagy B. (2016) Human Rights and the “ASEAN Way”: Political Barriers to Progress. November 16, 2016. Available at: https://www.e-ir.info/2016/11/16/human-rights-and-the-asean-way-political-barriers-to-progress/ (accessed: 10.09.2018).

Rodan G. (2011) Political Accountability and Human Rights in Singapore. In: Davis Th., Galligan B. (eds.) Human Rights in Asia, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.70–90.

Staggs Kelsall M. (2009) The New ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: Toothless Tiger or Tentative First Step? Asia-Pacific Issues, no.90.

Sukma R. (2011) ASEAN’s Human Rights Agenda: Modest Beginning, Reasonable Prospects – and How the West Can Help. Asia Paper Series. The German Marshall Fund of the United States. Available at: https://ru.scribd.com/document/49799161/ASEAN-s-Human-Rights-Agenda-Modest-Beginning-Reasonable-Prospects-and-How-the-West-Can-Help (accessed: 27.03.2018).

Wai-Teng Leong L. (2008) From “Asian Values” to Singapore Exceptionalism. In: Avonius L., Kingsbury D. (eds.) (2008) Human Rights in Asia: A Reassessment of the Asian Values Debate, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp.121–140.

Welzel C. (2011) The Asian Values Thesis Revisited: Evidence from the World Values Surveys. Japanese Journal of Political Science, vol.12, no.1, pp.1–31.

Zakaria F. (1994) Culture Is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew. Foreign Affairs, vol.73, no.2. pp.109–126.