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  • Author: Simon Lester
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Most Americans will agree that the Chinese government has behaved badly in a number of ways, although they may not agree on exactly which Chinese government behavior is a problem. Perhaps it’s the treatment of ethnic or religious minorities, such as the Uighurs or Tibetans or Christians; maybe it’s the crackdown on protests in Hong Kong and failure to uphold the “one country, two systems” principle; or assertiveness in territorial disputes; or censorship; or protectionist trade practices; or intellectual property theft; or cyber‐​hacking; or spying; or most recently, being slow to disclose the emergence of the coronavirus and engaging in a propaganda war regarding who is at fault. It’s a long list, and everyone has their own priorities. But while there is loose agreement on the existence of a problem, there is great difficulty in coming up with an appropriate response. What can or should the United States government do about any of this? Is it possible to change the behavior of other governments? Is the U.S. government in a position to do it? Is it appropriate to do so?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Myunghee Lee, Emir Yazici
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In early 2017, the Chinese Communist Party changed its internal security strategy in Xinjiang, escalating collective detention, ideological re-education, and pressure on Uyghur diaspora networks. This strategy shift was likely catalyzed by changing perceptions of Uyghur involvement in transnational Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, heightening perceived domestic vulnerability to terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Minorities, Counter-terrorism, Repression
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Xinjiang
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: About 80 percent of the estimated 70,000 to 200,000 ”comfort women” Japan took by coercion from 1932 to 1945 were Korean. The issue was long neglected by both countries for pragmatic reasons. When Korean women raised the issue around 1990 and the former comfort woman Kim Hak-sun came out in 1991, it emerged as a point of dispute. Solidarity organizations in both countries have contributed to raise the visibility of the issue. Museums in Seoul and Tokyo educate the public on victims’ suffering. However, increased awareness has not succeeded in producing a solution to the issue that satisfies both countries given their fixed positions. Japan has given no official apology to the victims. The crucial issue of legal responsibility remains unresolved. On December 28, 2015, Japan expressed an apology and agreed to provide $8.3 million for a foundation to be established by South Korea to support the victims. However, the issue remains unresolved since the victims were not consulted in advance of the agreement, as well as disagreement also on other issues.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Women, History , Memory, Sexual Violence, Comfort Women
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Mikael Barfod
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Controversies have abounded, including Palestine and Israel within the UN's Human Rights Council, lack of US support for the International Law of the Sea (since 1994), and the International Criminal Court (since 2002). Collectively, the European Union and its Member States remain by far the largest financial contributor to the UN, providing 30% of all contributions to the budget and 31% of peace-keeping activities in addition to substantial contributions towards project-based funding. 4. Some may object that the European Union has been hampered by the lack of a common position among EU Member States on the future of the UN Security Council (UNSC), where two member-states, UK and France, currently have permanent seats and one, Germany, is desperate to get one.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Human Rights, European Union, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Israel, Asia, France, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Swe Zin Linn Phyu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Review of Human Rights
  • Institution: Society of Social Science Academics (SSSA)
  • Abstract: In many non-Western societies there are still challenges to the legibility, and hence applicability, of international human rights law. This is partly due to the gap between Western legal regime and local cultural contexts. However, with the process of vernacularization some of this gap has been bridged, especially in issues of relating to women rights. This paper explores how NGOs and Human Rights defenders in Bangkok have adopted the process of vernacularization to enhance disability rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Disability, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Bangkok
  • Author: Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Review of Human Rights
  • Institution: Society of Social Science Academics (SSSA)
  • Abstract: In the run-up to the 2018 general elections, the Cambodian government severely restricted political and human rights, including dissolving the primary opposition party—the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Supporters of the government have articulated defenses of these restrictions, including a line of argument, which echoes the long-standing Asian values debate. This article will examine the purge of political and human rights in Cambodia in 2016-17, and will also assess the justifications for these restrictions.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Roberta Cohen
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: When a typhoon struck North Korea’s northeast in September 2016, it flooded not only schools, health clinics, roads and agricultural lands, but also a reeducation through labor camp housing political prisoners. This presented a challenge to United Nations humanitarian agencies: should they overlook the plight of those in the flooded camp in the interests of working cooperatively with the government, or should they seek to gain entry to all disaster victims in line with the UN’s humanitarian principles? Their decision to ignore the imprisoned victims highlights the need for better integration of human rights concerns into humanitarian action through strengthened cooperation between human rights and humanitarian actors, backup from senior UN officials, and the application of the UN Human Rights Up Front approach to North Korea.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Political Prisoners
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Robert Collins
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Rescuing inmates from North Korea's vast political prison system presents significant challenges for American and South Korean political and military leaders. The lives of prisoners would be immediately threatened in the event of war or the collapse of the Kim Family Regime, as former camp guards who defected to the Republic of Korea have testified to this effect. The events that would threaten the prisoners' lives would occur at a time when the military assets needed for their rescue are in most demand. Defending Seoul and treating civilian casualties will remain priorities for military commanders, who will find it difficult to divert the specially trained troops, air support and logistical resources required to neutralize camp guards, secure the prisons, and provide immediate aid to the inmates. Yet, rescuing the inmates would provide benefits, including gaining the support from a wary North Korean population and legitimizing post-crisis reunification efforts. Because of the strategic implications of this decision, only the American and South Korean presidents could authorize such a mission.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regime Change, Prisons/Penal Systems, Political Prisoners
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Greg Scarlatoiu
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea officially dispatches over 60,000 workers to a minimum of 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The regime confiscates much of the USD 200 million earned by these workers annually. Despite the known exploitation and hardship, North Koreans continue to covet these positions, which provide rare opportunities to spend time outside the world’s most isolated dictatorial regime and send small amounts of money to their families at home. Only those deemed loyal to the regime as measured by North Korea’s songbun system have access to these jobs. Even those with “good songbun” frequently bribe government officials to secure one of the few positions available. Once overseas, workers labor under harsh and dangerous conditions that border on slavery. North Korea’s pervasive security apparatus continues to survey all activities while spouses and children serve as de facto hostages to prevent defections. The Kim Family Regime’s dispatch of workers amounts to exporting its subjects as a commodity. Efforts to address this issue must be based on applicable international standards. Governments bound by international agreements should first seek redress, as difficult as it may be, before terminating the contracts that cover North Korea’s overseas workers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Economy, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Emily E. Fox, Richard Aidoo, Marten Brienen, Carlos de la Torre, Alexander B. Makulilo, Joel Martinez
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: For the Journal’s 19th issue, we explore modern populism across the world. Richard Aidoo looks at the landscape of anti-Chinese populism in the context of Africa’s resource scramble, while Alexander B. Makulilo takes an in depth look at the siren song of populism in Tanzania. Marten Brienen and Carlos de la Torre hone in on populism in Latin America, exploring its early 21st Century evolution and its relationship with democracy respectively. Additionally, the Journal is proud to publish an interview with Ron Boquier and Raul Castillo, both of whom are active supporters of human rights in Venezuela, a county was a harbinger of recent global populist sentiment. Outgoing editor Joel Martinez speaks with Boquier and Castillo on the roles of the United Nations and United States in helping to advance democratic reform in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Politics, Natural Resources, Law, Democracy, Populism, Multilateralism, Capital Flows
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Latin America, Tanzania
  • Author: William J. Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: The signing of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012 supposedly provides a long awaited triumph for human rights in the region and a measure by which regional human rights can finally prevail in parallel with the new ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. It is my argument that there are two primary challenges to realizing universal regional human rights standards; ASEAN’s constitutive norms/identity and fragmentation of human rights understandings in national legal interpretations of international human rights instruments. To substantiate this I will analyze treaty ratification behavior of ASEAN states to find out what are interests and preferences of ASEAN states in terms of human rights by analyzing treaties and reservations/ declaration/statements which are attached to international human rights instruments that ASEAN states sign/accede to. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that treaty ratification behavior of ASEAN states is consistent with two strains of regional thought: sovereignty fears and cultural resistance to human rights norms and standards.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sadia Rafique, Khalid Manzoor Butt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Socio, economic and political involvement of women as half of the total populace is important to reinforce society and state. In every sphere of life, women have been found under-represented one way or the other. The women of Iran are not exempted from this. This paper evaluates women‟s position in two different periods in the history of Iran, i.e., during the rule of the Pahlavi Dynasty, and during the period of the post Islamic Republic. The objective of the paper is, first, to highlight the treatment meted out to women in Iran and shed light on various spheres of social life while comparing the two periods. Secondly, to examine factors that have affected the position of women in Iran
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, History, Governance, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea has been board member of the UN Commission on Human Rights and member of the UN Human Rights Council serving as Chairman of the latter in 2016. Both organizations have been characterized by politicization, which undermines their work. However, no such example was found related to their work on human rights in North Korea. Although South Korea’s position on North Korean human rights issues had been inconsistent previously, Seoul has consistently supported UN resolutions since 2008. North Korea has rejected criticism from the UN of its human rights record. Work by the UN and South Korea on the North Korean human rights issue has failed to improve the situation. Regardless, these efforts have increased global awareness of North Korea rights violations and exerted some pressure on Pyongyang to address the situation. South Korea strengthened its commitment in this area when the National Assembly enacted the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2016. Realists’ and liberals’ views of international cooperation form the theoretical framework of the study.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, United Nations, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Greg Scarlatoiu
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was a great admirer of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, attempting to duplicate the personality cult, national-Communism and other aspects of the North Korean dynastic totalitarian regime. Systematic human rights violations were common in both countries. Despite the relentless repression, indoctrination and surveillance, there are several factors that could potentially erode the Kim Family Regime’s grip on power, including informal marketization and increased information inflow from the outside world. As such, Romania provides an important precedent for the current situation in North Korea. Of particular note, understanding those factors that conferred legitimacy on the Romanian military enables a deeper appreciation of the military’s role in the anti-communist revolution and turbulent times that followed. Kim Jong-il learned from the Romanian experience, adopting a military first policy in North Korea. In contrast, Kim Jong-un has attempted to return some power to the Korean Workers Party. Kim Jong-un’s success in gaining the support of the country’s elites would be a key factor in avoiding a Romanian-style revolution and obliteration of the top leadership.
  • Topic: Human Rights, History, Regime Change, Authoritarianism, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Romania