The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), as the Secretariat of the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI), humbly presents the publication of the 2014 ANNI Report on the Performance and Establishment of National Human Rights Institutions in Asia. Our sincere appreciation goes to all 31 ANNI member organisations from across 18 countries in Asia for their participation and commitment to ANNI and continued advocacy towards the strengthening and establishment of NHRIs in Asia. Similarly, we would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) that have contributed valuable inputs and feeback to the concerned country reports. This year, the ANNI Secretariat is heartened at the level of engagement and interaction between ANNI members and their respective NHRIs in the course of the reportwriting process.
ANNI also expresses its thanks and appreciation to the Asia-Pacific Forum (APF) for its continued engagement with ANNI at various levels- most recently at the 7th ANNI Regional Consultation in Taiwan where joint advocacy action with national groups towards the establishment of an independent NHRI took place. At the same time, ANNI welcomes the engagement, for the first time, with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (Afghanistan).
Reports submitted by organisations representing 14 countries consider the developments that took place in respective countries over the course of 2013 and significant events in the first quarter of 2014. As in previous years, the country reports have been researched and structured in accordance with ANNI Reporting Guidelines that were collectively formulated by the ANNI members at its 7th Regional Consultation in April 2014. The Report primarily focuses on issues of independence and effectiveness of the NHRIs and their engagement with other stakeholders such as civil society. Moreover, it is supplemented by inclusion of thematic issues such as 1) protection of human rights defenders and shrinking civil society space and 2) the NHRIs’ implementation of the References by the Advisory Council of Jurists (ACJ). We believe that this annual report will continue to serve its purposes as an advocacy tool to enhance the effective work and functioning of NHRIs so that they can continue to play their role as public defenders and protectors of human rights on the ground.
FORUM-ASIA would like to acknowledge the contribution of everyone who has dedicated their time and effort to the publication of this Report; namely Aklima Ferdows Lisa, Shahindha Ismail, Karan Aingkaran, Astor Chan, Eunji Kang and the research team at Korean House for International Solidarity, Shoko Fukui, Enkhtsetseg Baljinnyam, Waranyakorn Fakthong and Chalida Tajaroensuk, Jose Pereira, Khin Ohmar, Alex James, Henri Tiphagne, Bijaya Raj Gautam, Chi-Hsun Tsai, Putri Kanesia and Poengky Indarti, and Hassan Ali Faiz. Our sincere thanks extend to the Country Programme team of FORUM-ASIA who has assisted throughout the process. ANNI would also like to convey its deep gratitude to Balasingham Skanthakumar for his expertise and guidance in editing the Report for a successive year. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in the publication of this Report.
We hope that this publication will be beneficial for all stakeholders involved in the strengthening and establishment of NHRIs in the region.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Secretariat of ANNI