Monday, November 15, 2010

Books on Human Rights in Asia

This is a selection of books on human rights in Asia:
  • Gender-Based Violence During the Khmer Rouge Regime: Stories of Survivors from the Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) by Kasumi Nakagawa. This publication is based on findings from research into gender crimes during the Khmer Rouge regime, first conducted in 2006 by the Cambodian Defenders Project, a human rights NGO based in Phnom Penh. This second edition includes additional information collected by 200 Cambodian students as part of a Gender Studies course at Pannasastra University of Cambodia. The text is organised according to: Forced Marriage and Marital Rape; Rape; and Other Sexual Assaults.
  • Human Rights Constitutionalism in Japan and Asia: The Writings of Lawrence W. Beer by Lawrence W. Beer. Lawrence Ward Beer (b. 1932) has been a close observer of Asian linkages among law, politics, culture, and national security issues over fifty years. His perspectives have been refined during long residence in Asia, especially Japan, by substantial friendly interactions with Asian legal scholars, judges, and attorneys involved in the world of human rights constitutional law. This volume brings together a selection of Lawrence W. Beer's many works previously published in diverse venues, but no longer easily accessible. The collection opens with a review of constitutionalism in Asia, and the United States and concludes with a recent examination of Japan's rejection of war: "Japan's Constitutional Discourse and Performance". By way of Afterword, the author offers an in-depth review of "Globalization of Human Rights in the 21st Century".
  • 20 Years Defending Human Rights by Kua Kia Soong. Suara Rakyat Malaysia, usually known as SUARAM has since 1989 worked to promote human rights in Malaysia. This is a careful account of its aims and activities. Included are details of: the early years 1989-94; the 1995 Stop Bakun Dam campaign; the 1996 Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor; the Asia Pacific People's Assembly 1998; Save the Sungai Selangor, Police the Malaysian Police and anti-ISA campaigns; and efforts to promote refugee needs and local democracy. Annual Reports 1988-2009 are summarised and present challenges discussed.
  • Tortured Beginnings: Police Violence and the Beginnings of Impunity in East Timor by Human Rights Watch. This Human Rights Watch report documents instances of police abuses against detainees and members of the public in East Timor since 2002. The non-accountability in discipline and inadequate training of the new police force is made evident. The report stresses the urgent need for appropriate remedial action before abuses are institutionalised. Urgent recommendations are made to the local authorities, the United Nations, Australia and Britain as well as other concerned parties and donors regarding the need for training, well-understood codes of conduct, and disciplinary and accountability procedures without which impunity will take over peace.
  • China: The Truth About Its Human Rights Record by Frank Ching. A small, fact-filled and incisive book of information about China's human rights record by a senior China- experienced analyst. Degrees of progress as well as great grimness are noted.

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