Human rights in East Asia

The situation of human rights in East Asia varies between the region's countries, which differ in history and political orientation, as well as between contexts within each country. Issues such as refugees fleeing East Timor, the Cambodian killing fields and freedom of speech in Singapore are just a few of the well-known human rights conflicts that have arisen in East Asian countries. The subject of human rights in East Asia is still highly topical at the present time.


Pre 1948

To completely understand Eastern Asia’s early history, in relation to human rights, it is important to establish context. Academic experts have argued that it could be said Asia has no early history of ‘human rights’, as the term was created by western civilization.[1] When western civilization’s approach issues surrounding human rights, these rights are applicable to all individuals within all groups of people in society, and equal treatment is considered fundamental, regardless of socioeconomic status or relationship with the state. It is fair to say that most western people consider themselves entitled to human rights, while in Eastern Asian countries, there is no such expectation of these entitlements.[2] The significant difference appears to stem from Eastern Asian countries focusing more on a person’s basic duties than basic rights. The basic duties of an individual tend to rise from that persons socio-economic status.

1948 – present

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was implemented on 10 December 1948 by the United Nations. Therefore, we have officially witnessed 68 years of the United Nations approaching human rights issues on a global scale. The declaration was created after the end of World War II and was the first worldwide acknowledgement of the rights each individual human being is entitled to.[3] When the UDHR was first created the United Nations was only made up of 51 member states, but after the surge of decolonisation’s, beginning in the late 1940s, the UN is now made up of 193 nations. Since 1948, many Eastern Asian countries who were formally colonised have since achieved independence and have joined the UN, therefore acknowledging the UDHR and other major human rights treaties.[4] There is currently no human rights body governing the Eastern Asian region, however the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012.

ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

The first five articles of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration refer specifically to rights of individual people, and especially support the idea of human rights being an expectation to "women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and vulnerable and marginalised groups[5]". It is also noteworthy that Article 10 the declaration directly affirms the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[6] However, although this initially appeared to be a positive move by the ASEAN, the commission has recently come under criticism from international human rights groups due to a lack of action from the ASEAN governments when it comes to enacting the declaration. It has even been suggested the declaration was made with no genuine intentions behind it for true endorsement.[7]

Asian Human Rights Commission

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was founded in 1984 and continues to be an active, outspoken group who intend to promote human rights throughout Asia. The group is particularly interesting as it is completely independent from any state, and acts with the sole intention of promoting awareness on topical human rights issues within Asia.[8] AHRC have stated "Many Asian states have guarantees of human rights in their constitutions, and many of them have ratified international instruments on human rights. However, there continues to be a wide gap between rights enshrined in these documents and the abject reality that denies people their rights. Asian states must take urgent action to implement the human rights of their citizens and residents.[9]"

Human Rights Controversy in Asia

Differences to Western Civilization

When looking at the different approaches western and eastern civilizations take to human rights, a former senior minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew said this: "The Confucianist view of order between subject and ruler helps in the rapid transformation of society ... in other words, you fit yourself into society – the exact opposite of the American rights of the individual. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy. Democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions.[10]" Generally speaking, western people are more suspicious of their powerful government officials. Selfless, uncorrupted government officials are considered a rarity rather than norm and theories of people in power being involved in bribery or fraud are all too often proven true. Western civilization has a political history based around the people overcoming struggles to take their freedom, which is considered by most to be an innate right of human beings.[11] Eastern Civilization’s tend to take a different approach to their relationship with the state, with the people holding their state officials in a higher esteem. Leaders in East Asian countries are generally believed to be honourable and of superior intellect to the majority of the population. Historically speaking, even some of the most autocratic leaders of Eastern countries have been voted back into office by their own people.[12] This holds true with the concept that western people are more concerned with their own rights, whilst eastern civilization focuses more on their duties to the state. Individuals in Eastern Asian countries may complain about their leaders in private, but mass protests are uncommon and the sense of trust is their governments usually remains intact. It could be said that East Asia promotes the concept that individual independences may need to be sacrificed in order for the country to maintain a state of prosperity and order. Advocacy groups, international establishments, and Western governments tended to emphasize civil and political rights, such as freedoms of speech, assembly, and the press, exactly the types of rights most likely to create political hostilities. Demands for human rights protections were often made simultaneously with demands for democratization. Asian governments pushed back by emphasising the united economic, social, and cultural rights such as entitlements to education, health, and decent standards of living.[13]

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is unfortunately on the increase in Asian countries. Women and children appear to be the most vulnerable to become the victims of this black market trade. They are generally trafficked with the intention of being used for commercial sex, domestic work, and construction work. Children are also in demand for factory or farm work or in the entertainment sector. Trafficking amounts to a severe breach of human rights, victims are obviously forced into situations unwillingly, suffer physical and mental abuse and social stigmatization. Traffickers target families who are socioeconomically poor.[14] Human trafficking in the area of Eastern Asia is a very serious problem, especially in Southeast Asia, and one of the region’s biggest human rights issues. Human trafficking is not just a problem in the Asian region, it appears to grow as a black market sector in areas that suffer from poverty, yet are also affected by globalisation, meaning many areas of the world are being affected by a rise in the trade.[15] A mix of disadvantaged individuals placed underprivileged situations and manipulative people in a position of wealth and power create an environment for trafficking to develop. Many eastern nationals have attempted to take measures to end trafficking within their country by increasing security measures and imposing harsher penalties on traffickers, but so far attempts have been largely unsuccessful.[16] In 2014 a study was conducted which established approximately two thirds of the victims of human trafficking were from the Asian region.[17]

Women's Human Rights in Asia

Introduced over twenty years ago, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of the United Nations (Women's Convention) is the first and most extensive international treaty addressing the human rights of women. The implementation of the Women’s Convention by the UN General Assembly in 1979 signifies a crucial breakthrough in the international acknowledgement of the cause of women’s rights. Many Asian nations, developed or third world, have consistently breached women’s rights. These include, "trafficking of prostitutes, bride burning, crimes against women and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases."[18] Some states that have acknowledged and ratified the convention are still failing to conduct themselves in accordance with the regulations, often due to Cultural relativism. Women's groups in Eastern Asia appear to be facing an unfavorable struggle in their battle against the discrimination, mainly due to lack of public awareness that the Women's Convention is applicable in their home country. Many Asian women are not aware of the possible protection they could seek under international human rights law. This also relates to many other gender identity human rights issues faced by individuals in Asian countries.[19] While it does appear that progress is being made, many Eastern Asian countries still are falling short of what is required by the 1979 Women's Convention.

See the following for more details on each country:

See also


  1. ^ Mackie, Vera (September 2013). "Ways of Knowing about Human Rights in Asia". Asian Studies Review. Taylor & Francis Ltd. 37 (3): 293. ISSN 1035-7823.
  2. ^ Bell, Daniel A. (2000). East meets West : human rights and democracy in East Asia ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 344. ISBN 9780691005072.
  3. ^ "Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World".
  4. ^ Christie, Kenneth; Roy, Denny (2001). The politics of human rights in East Asia (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Pluto Press. p. 11. ISBN 0745314198.
  5. ^ "ASEAN Human Rights Declaration". Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law. 13 (2): 74–81. 1 January 2013. doi:10.1163/138819012X13323234710260.
  7. ^ Doyle, Nicholas (18 November 2013). "THE ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF RECENT SOUTHEAST ASIAN INITIATIVES IN HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTION-BUILDING AND STANDARD-SETTING". International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 63 (01): 67–101. doi:10.1017/S0020589313000390.
  8. ^ WOLMAN, Andrew (30 November 2012). "National Human Rights Commissions and Asian Human Rights Norms". Asian Journal of International Law. 3 (01): 77–99. doi:10.1017/S2044251312000306.
  9. ^ "Asian Human Rights Commission".
  10. ^ Christie, Kenneth; Roy, Denny (2001). The politics of human rights in East Asia (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Pluto Press. ISBN 0745314198.
  11. ^ Esolen, Anthony (2008). The politically incorrect guide to western civilization. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub. p. 212. ISBN 9781596980594.
  12. ^ Eldridge, Philip J. (2002). The politics of human rights in Southeast Asia. London [u.a.]: Routledge. ISBN 0415214297.
  13. ^ Ciorciari, John D. (2012). "Institutionalizing Human Rights in Southeast Asia". Human Rights Quarterly. 34 (3): 695–725. doi:10.1353/hrq.2012.0055.
  14. ^ Thilagaraj, R. (2 November 2012). "Human Trafficking in Asia". Handbook of Asian Criminology: 129.
  15. ^ Holmes, edited by Leslie (2010). Trafficking and human rights European and Asia-Pacific perspectives. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. p. 14. ISBN 9781849806800.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Munro, Peter (22 May 2012). "Harbouring the illicit: borderlands and human trafficking in South East Asia". Crime, Law and Social Change. 58 (2): 159–177. doi:10.1007/s10611-012-9378-x.
  17. ^ "Nearly Two-Thirds of Human Trafficking Victims Are from Asia". The Daily Signal. 20 November 2014.
  18. ^ Tang, Kwong-Leung; Cheung, Jacqueline Tak-York. "Realizing Women's Human Rights in Asia: The UN Women's Convention and the Optional Protocol". Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 9 (4): 9–37. doi:10.1080/12259276.2003.11665957.
  19. ^ al.], edited by Anne-Marie Hilsdon ... [et (2005). Human Rights and Gender Politics Asia-Pacific Perspectives. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 9780203645413.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs (DRL) is a bureau within the United States Department of State. The bureau is under the purview of the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.

DRL's responsibilities include promoting democracy around the world, formulating U.S. human rights policies, and coordinating policy in human rights-related labor issues. The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism is a separate agency included in the Bureau.

The Bureau is responsible for producing annual reports on the countries of the world with regard to religious freedom through its Office of International Religious Freedom and human rights.

It also administers the U.S. Human Rights and Democracy Fund.

The head of the Bureau is the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

The bureau was formerly known as the Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, but was reorganized and renamed in 1994, to reflect both a broader sweep and a more focused approach to the interlocking issues of human rights, worker rights, and democracy.

Censorship by country

Censorship by country collects information on censorship, Internet censorship, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of speech, and Human Rights by country and presents it in a sortable table, together with links to articles with more information. In addition to countries, the table includes information on former countries, disputed countries, political sub-units within countries, and regional organizations.

East Asia

East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan. People indigenous to the region are called East Asians. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere.The region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, and the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China largely influenced East Asia (as it was principally the leading civilization in the region), exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Historically, societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. The Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from. Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana Buddhism which came via trade routes from India.), Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Ancestral worship, and Chinese folk religion in Greater China, Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan, and Christianity, Buddhism, and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is also prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus.East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is very sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state. The overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi), about three times the world average of 45/km2 (120/sq mi).

East Asian Bureau of Economic Research

The East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) is a forum for economic research and analysis of the major issues facing the economies of East Asia.

Based at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, it coordinates a network of think tanks and research institutions throughout the region including representatives from Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

EABER's primary role is the coordination of collaborative research projects on topics relating to the Asian economy. Recent projects have focused on the Asian Century, the impact of Chinese ODI and the role of the G20 in Asia. Bringing together expertise from across the region, EABER also hosts a series of academic conferences and public policy events to share and disseminate ideas on the Asian economy. The East Asia Forum - an EABER-run online publication - provides a platform for the latest research, accessible to policymakers, the wider academic community, and members of the public.

East Asian people

East Asian people (East Asians, Northeast Asians, or Orientals) is a racial classification specifier used for ethnic groups and subgroups that are indigenous to East Asia, which consists of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. The major ethnic groups that form the core of East Asia are the Han, Korean, and Yamato. Other ethnic groups of East Asia include the Bai, Hui, Tibetans, Manchus, Ryukyuan, Ainu, Zhuang, and Mongols.

East Asian religions

In the study of comparative religion, the East Asian religions or Taoic religions form a subset of the Eastern religions. This group includes Chinese religion overall, which further includes Ancestral Worship, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and so-called popular salvationist organisations (such as Yiguandao and Weixinism), as well as elements drawn from Mahayana Buddhism that form the core of Chinese Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism at large. The group also includes Japanese Shintoism and Korean Sindoism (both meaning "Ways of Gods" and identifying the indigenous shamanic religion and ancestor worship of such peoples), which have received influences from Chinese religions throughout the centuries. Chinese salvationist religions have influenced the rise of Korean and Japanese new religions—for instance, respectively, Jeungsanism, and Tenriism; these movements draw upon indigenous traditions but are heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy and theology.

All these religious traditions, more or less, share core Chinese concepts of spirituality, divinity and world order, including Tao 道 ("Way"; pinyin dào, Japanese tō or dō, and Korean do) and Tian 天 ("Heaven"; Japanese ten, and Korean cheon).

Early Chinese philosophies defined the Tao and advocated cultivating the de, "virtue", which arises from the knowledge of such Tao. Some ancient schools merged into traditions with different names or became extinct, such as Mohism (and many others of the Hundred Schools of Thought), which was largely absorbed into Taoism. East Asian religions include many theological stances, including polytheism, nontheism, henotheism, monotheism, pantheism, panentheism and agnosticism. East Asian religions have many Western adherents, though their interpretations may differ significantly from traditional East Asian religious thought and culture.

The place of Taoic religions among major religious groups is comparable to the Abrahamic religions found in Europe and the Western World as well as across the Middle East and the Muslim World and Dharmic religions across South Asia.

Economy of East Asia

The Economy of East Asia comprises more than 1.6 billion people (22% of the world population) living in 6 different countries. It is home to one of the most economically dynamic places in the world. The region is the site to some of the world's longest modern economic booms, starting from the Japanese economic miracle (1950–1990), Miracle on the Han River (1961–1996) in South Korea, the Taiwan miracle in Taiwan (1960–1996) and the economic boom (1978–2015) in Mainland China. The region is home of some of the world's largest and most prosperous economies: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. As East Asia's economic prominence has grown, so has its importance and influence in the world economy. It has emerged as an increasingly prominent region in the Asian continent and in the global economy and international politics as a whole. East Asia now boasts an expanding cosmopolitan middle class, where its members are linked to the global communications grid that are identifying with its Western counterparts across the world making it a significant force to be reckoned with in the global economy. The region's economic success has led to it being dubbed "An East Asian Renaissance" by the World Bank in 2007.At the turn of the twentieth century, three of the five world's largest economies were in East Asia, with Mainland China and Japan both being the second and third largest respectively. Since the middle of the twentieth century, capitalism has blended tremendously well with the Confucian nature of Oriental East Asia. In defiance of an array of sociopolitical challenges has the East Asian economies turned into a modern economic miracle. Sustained efforts of veering East Asia into a capitalist direction has created remarkable outcomes in terms of resilience, dynamism, growth, and economic prosperity. Even as late as the mid-twentieth century, East Asia remained nonindustrial, poverty-stricken, and torn by the ravages of World War II. Since the 1960s, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China have all achieved a modern economic takeoff leaving the economic rise of modern East Asia to become one of most important economic success stories in modern world history. In spite of decades of setbacks and turmoil, East Asia is now one of the most prosperous and technologically advanced regions in the world.Driven by rapid modernization and specialization in advanced cutting edge high technology has allowed the East Asia to register high economic growth with the region being home to among some the most affluent nations with highest standards of living across the world. Japan was the first to rise from the ashes of World War II, rapidly re-modernizing itself during the 1950s and early 1960s and eventually dominating the global marketplaces with its innovative automobiles and advanced consumer electronics while securing its position as the world's third-largest economy after the United States and Mainland China. The rise of the East Asian Tigers, which includes South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, all overcame the ravages war and poverty to achieve unprecedented impressive growth rates during the 1970s-1980s, placing themselves among the world's richest and dynamic economies. Mainland China's integration into the world economy through its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 has made the country a major driving force in the economy of East Asia propelling itself as a major player in the world economy. In addition, South Korea and Taiwan are among the world leaders in manufacturing consumer technology, while Hong Kong remains a leading major financial center in the world.

Gongsun Hong

Gongsun Hong (公孫弘; Wade–Giles: Kung-sun Hung; 200 – 121 BCE), born Zichuan, Kingdom of Lu (part of present-day Shandong province), was a Chinese statesman in the Western Han dynasty under Emperor Wu. Together with the more famous Confucian scholar Dong Zhongshu, Gongsun was one of the earliest proponents of Confucianism, setting in motion its emergence under the Han court. The ideals both promoted, together with Gongsun's decrees, would come to be seen as values-in-themselves, becoming the "basic elements, or even hallmarks" of Confucianism. While first proposed and more ardently promoted by Dong, the national academy (then considered radical) and Imperial examination did not come into existence until they were supported by the more successful Gongsun. Their establishment set a precedent that would last into the twentieth century.Beginning his political career at age sixty, Gongsun rapidly advanced from commoner to attain a senior appointment in 130BC when he was seventy, becoming grand secretary in 126 and chancellor in 124. One of the Three Dukes, in recognition of canonical mastery he was probably the first Han Confucian to be appointed to high office, the first commoner and first (and only, out of twelve of the time) Confucian to be made chancellor, as well as the first chancellor to be made marquis. He set a precedent for Confucianism as interpreter of portents.

Han Taiwanese

Han Taiwanese or Taiwanese Hans (Chinese: 臺灣漢人) are a subgroup of Han Chinese. According to the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China, they comprise 95 to 97 percent of the Taiwanese population, which also includes Austronesians and other non-Han people. Major waves of Han Chinese immigration occurred since the 17th century to the end of Chinese Civil War in 1949, with the exception of the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Han Taiwanese mainly speak three varieties of Chinese: Mandarin, Hokkien and Hakka.

Horizontal and vertical writing in East Asian scripts

Many East Asian scripts can be written horizontally or vertically. Chinese, Japanese and Korean scripts can be oriented in either direction, as they consist mainly of disconnected logographic or syllabic units, each occupying a square block of space, thus allowing for flexibility for which direction texts can be written, be it horizontally from left-to-right, horizontally from right-to-left, vertically from top-to-bottom, and even vertically from bottom-to-top.

Horizontal writing is known in Chinese as hengpai (simplified Chinese: 横排; traditional Chinese: 橫排; pinyin: héngpái; literally: 'horizontal alignment'), in Japanese as yokogaki (横書き, "horizontal writing", also yokogumi, 横組み), and in Korean as garosseugi (가로쓰기) or hoengseo (횡서; 橫書).

Vertical writing is known respectively as zongpai (simplified Chinese: 纵排; traditional Chinese: 縱排; pinyin: zōngpái; literally: 'vertical alignment'), tategaki (縦書き, "vertical writing", also tategumi, 縦組み), or serosseugi (세로쓰기) or jongseo (종서; 縱書).

Traditionally, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are written vertically in columns going from top to bottom and ordered from right to left, with each new column starting to the left of the preceding one. The stroke order and stroke direction of Chinese characters (hanzi in Chinese, kanji in Japanese, hanja in Korean), Japanese kana, and Korean Hangul all facilitate writing in this manner. In addition, writing in vertical columns from right to left facilitated writing with a brush in the right hand while continually unrolling the sheet of paper or scroll with the left. Since the nineteenth century, it has become increasingly common for these languages to be written horizontally, from left to right, with successive rows going from top to bottom, under the influence of European languages such as English, although vertical writing is still frequently used in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Korea, and Taiwan.

Horses in East Asian warfare

Horses in East Asian warfare are inextricably linked with the strategic and tactical evolution of armed conflict. A warrior on horseback or horse-drawn chariot changed the balance of power between civilizations.

When people with horses clashed with those without, horses provided a huge advantage. When both sides had horses, battles turned on the strength and strategy of their mounted horsemen, or cavalry. Military tactics were refined in terms of the use of horses (cavalry tactics).

As in most cultures, a war horse in East Asia was trained to be controlled with limited use of reins, responding primarily to the rider's legs and weight. Horses were significant factors in the Han-Hun Wars and Wuhu incursions against past kingdoms of China, and the Mongol conquest of much of Eurasia and into Europe; and they played a part in military conflicts on a smaller, more localized scale.

Human rights in Asia

The topic of Human Rights in Asia is one that encompasses an immense number of states, international governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. All these institutions contribute a variety of services and perspectives towards human rights, covering topics including the enforcement, monitoring, and criticisms of human rights in Asia. There is no single body that covers all of human rights in Asia, as such a diverse and widespread region requires a number of institutions to properly monitor the multitude of elements that fall under the scope of human rights. There have historically been numerous criticisms of human rights in Asia, but a variety of new treaties and conventions now strive to accomplish a level of human rights as they are known on the international stage.

Human rights in Asia are monitored by many organizations (both governmental and non-governmental), a few examples being the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and Human Rights Watch. Tolerance of these organizations varies from state to state, with voluntary intergovernmental programs (i.e. ASEAN) often seeing more state-cooperation than neutral non-governmental organizations would typically receive.

The number of criticisms towards Asian states has dramatically increased in recent decades, with many human rights advocates calling for increased transparency and greater international pressure upon Asian states to refrain from any human rights infractions. Aforementioned calls for international pressure have gone unanswered, however, as most of the international community finds it increasingly difficult to challenge the actions of the growing Asian powers: particularly China. While states have put forward somewhat muted complaints in recent years, non-governmental organizations continue to 'name and shame' states that have shown themselves to be guilty of human rights infractions.

Human rights in Central Asia

The situation of human rights in Central Asia varies little between the region's countries, but are often reported to be a cause of concern among many outsider observers, governmental and non-governmental. Some of the legacy of human rights in the region derives from its history as part of the Soviet Union.

Human rights in Europe

Human rights in Europe are generally upheld. However, several human rights infringements exist, ranging from the treatment of asylum seekers to police brutality. The 2012 Amnesty International Annual Report points to problems in several European countries. One of the most accused is Belarus, the only country in Europe that, according to The Economist, has an authoritarian government. All other European countries are considered to have "some form of democratic government", having either the "full democracy", "flawed democracy", or a "hybrid regime".Unlike its member states, the European Union itself has not yet joined the Convention on Human Rights as of 2011.

Human rights in the Middle East

Human rights in the Middle East have been shaped by the legal and political development of international human rights law after the Second World War, and their application to the Middle East. The 2004 United Nations Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) claimed that although Arab-Islamic tradition does hold unique importance for ideas of human welfare, History has proven that "they were not sufficiently prevalent in society to foster a culture based on a political contract, and allow for the legitimacy of differences of opinion, dialogue and transfer of power."

Issues of the validity of democracy in the region and human rights are at the very centre of the challenges facing Middle Eastern society today.

Japanese people

Japanese people (Japanese: 日本人, Hepburn: nihonjin) are an ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.5% of the total population. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin (日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to mainland Japanese people, specifically Yamato people. Japanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.

Journal of East Asian Studies

The Journal of East Asian Studies is a peer-reviewed academic journal published triannually by Lynne Rienner Publishers. It was established in 2001 and is abstracted and indexed by Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, and Social Sciences Citation Index. As of 2012 the editor-in-chief is Stephan Haggard.


Koreans (Korean: 한민족, 한국인, 한국사람; Hanja: 韓民族, 韓國人, 韓國사람; RR: Hanminjok, Hanguk-in, Hanguksaram in South Korean; alternatively Korean: 조선민족, 조선인, 조선사람; Hanja: 朝鮮民族, 朝鮮人, 朝鮮사람; RR: Joseonminjok, Joseonin, Joseonsaram in North Korean, lit. "Korean race"; see names of Korea) are an East Asian ethnic group native to Korea and southwestern Manchuria.Koreans mainly live in the two Korean states: North Korea and South Korea (collectively and simply referred to as Korea). They are also an officially recognized ethnic minority in China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, plus in a number of Post-Soviet states, such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Over the course of the 20th century, significant Korean communities have formed in the Americas (especially in the United States and Canada) and Oceania.

As of 2017, there were an estimated 7.4 million ethnic Koreans residing outside Korea.


The Mongols (Mongolian: Монголчууд, ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯᠴᠤᠳ, Mongolchuud, [ˈmɔŋ.ɢɔɮ.t͡ʃʊːt]) are a Mongolic ethnic group native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regions of China (e.g. Xinjiang), as well as in Russia. Mongolian people belonging to the Buryat and Kalmyk subgroups live predominantly in the Russian federal subjects of Buryatia and Kalmykia.

The Mongols are bound together by a common heritage and ethnic identity. Their indigenous dialects are collectively known as the Mongolian language. The ancestors of the modern-day Mongols are referred to as Proto-Mongols.

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