Access to Justice

A community police officer from Becora station walks through town talking to school students. In 2015, three out of four victims of crimes ended up at the police for assistance. Photo/Conor Ashleigh 

Reforming Security in Timor-Leste: Can a Plural Justice System Work?

April 13, 2016

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Three and a half years after the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission from Timor-Leste, The Asia Foundation’s new survey on community police perceptions finds that Timorese people are optimistic about the security situation in their country, feelings of insecurity are at their lowest levels in a decade, and there is greater trust in the police… Read more

MenIndiaTrainStation 

Where Are India’s Working Women?

March 9, 2016

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India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a significant segment of its 1.2 billion population in the age group of 20-35. By 2020, it is estimated that the average age in the country will be 29. For an economy that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent…

ThailandConflict 

Responding to Conflict in Asia: Why Good Data is Needed

December 16, 2015

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The new set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals includes for the first time a target that specifically sets out to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, marking an increase in awareness that peace and security is critical for sustainable development.

Promoting-an-Inclusive-Media 

Social Media Ignites Disability Movement in Indonesia

December 9, 2015

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In Indonesia, stigma around people with disabilities often comes from those closest to them. In many cases, families hide away their disabled family members, communities shun them, and government services and policies…

 

Can Transitional Justice Bring Peace to Thailand’s Deep South?

February 25, 2015

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The conflict in Thailand’s Deep South, which has killed almost 7,000 people since 2004, is currently Southeast Asia’s most deadly. So what role might transitional justice play in nudging the South toward peace? Transitional justice (TJ) is a set of temporary mechanisms, such as prosecutions or tribunals…

ThailandForensics 

Reversing the Legacy of Injustice in Thailand’s Conflict-Ravaged South

January 21, 2015

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In the book, Voices of Hope: Stories of Women in Peace Process, Kamnung Chamnankij, whose husband and son had been charged in 2007 with the possession of chemicals associated with explosive devices and were subsequently arrested, recalled: “I had to sell my house, my only two cows, my husband’s fishing boat…

2014BESTOF 

Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads

December 23, 2014

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Season’s Greetings! On behalf of In Asia’s editorial board and bloggers, we thank you for your engagement and continued readership throughout the year. We’ll be taking a short break, but will return on January 7. In the meantime, catch up on our must-read pieces and highlights on the most pressing events and issues in Asia throughout 2014.

MyanmarDailyLife 

Survey Reveals What Myanmar’s Citizens Think about Government, Reforms, and 2015 Elections

December 17, 2014

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Myanmar’s recent transition to a quasi-civilian government in 2011 under President Thein Sein has brought about many social, economic, and political reforms, but 2014 has also seen rising concern both inside and outside of the country that the reform process has stalled…

SriLankaStreetScene 

Using Evidence to Improve Development Assistance

December 10, 2014

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Development assistance is founded on countless theories about how foreign taxpayers’ money can be harnessed to instigate and catalyze economic and social development and provide humanitarian benefits abroad. Basic arguments for how positive change can be achieved…

AfghanMarket 

The Need for Evidence-Based Narratives Around Afghanistan’s Youth

November 19, 2014

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Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress reduced its development assistance to Afghanistan by half. This still leaves over a billion U.S. dollars. Indeed, since 2001, the country’s economy has relied heavily on foreign aid, including its nascent institutions which now face a number of challenges: to do more with less money, battle the resilient insurgency, and create employment opportunities…

TimorLesteParliament 

Firing of Foreign Judges in Timor-Leste Threatens Justice System

October 29, 2014

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In a dramatic challenge to the principles of democracy, on Friday night, the parliament of Timor-Leste decided in a closed session to fire all foreign judges and advisers in its justice system. The National Parliament passed Resolution No. 11/2014, calling on the government to audit the justice sector…

GSMPlantiff 

Indonesian Lawsuit Pushes Local Government to Regulate Massive Coal Mining Industry

October 15, 2014

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In last week’s In Asia, I examined the growing environmental and social costs that the coal mining industry is having on Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, home to 28 percent of Indonesia’s total coal reserves. Already, 6.6 million hectares have been allocated for mining across the province, and in the provincial capital…

Marawicity 

Polling Shows Encouraging Climate of Opinion for Mindanao Peace Negotiations

October 8, 2014

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On September 10, Philippine President Benigno Aquino personally turned over the draft Basic Law based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to Congress after months of revisions and refinement. The move continues the roadmap set forth in negotiations…

KhmerRougeTrial 

Khmer Rouge Sentence a Milestone, but Cambodia’s Justice System Remains Fragile

September 3, 2014

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The Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia last month sentenced two former senior Khmer Rouge leaders to life in prison for crimes against humanity. The Khmer Rouge’s 88-year-old chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, Nuon Chea, and its 83-year-old former head-of-state, Kheiu Samphan…

PhilippinesARMM 

Minorities within the Minority: Indigenous Communities in the Bangsamoro

August 6, 2014

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In March this year, a major milestone passed in the 40-year effort to end hostilities in the Philippines between the national government and Muslim separatist fronts. The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a Comprehensive…

MyanmarParliament1 

Photo Blog: Myanmar Parliamentary Study Tour to Korea

May 14, 2014

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The first session of the Myanmar’s Parliament was held in January 2011, but the legislative body has been extraordinarily busy catching up on a long list of laws that need to be updated, revised, or established anew to meet the country’s democratic transition…

Indonesia4 

Photo Blog: Legal Aid Delivers Justice in Indonesia

May 7, 2014

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Millions of poor and marginalized Indonesians live without the full protection of the law. Securing access to justice for these citizens is a vital component of reducing poverty and vulnerability and delivering democratic governance.

CambodiaStreet 

Human Rights Protection in Modern Cambodia: Building on Unstable Grounds

April 23, 2014

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On January 3, ongoing street protests by garment workers in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, turned violent. Government troops opened fire into a crowd of civilians, killing four and leaving one person missing. A total of 23 civilians were arrested and 21 are still detained without bail.

ThailandForensics 

Access to Justice Constraints Fuel Conflict in Southern Thailand

April 23, 2014

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Access to justice, security, and human rights protection rank among the core issues that fuel the protracted subnational conflict in southern Thailand and are central to the prospect of its future resolution. For the last decade, the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani have faced a resurgence of an indigenous…

TimorCommunityPolice 

A New Face of Policing in Timor-Leste

April 23, 2014

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On March 27, the national police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) celebrated their 14th anniversary with full pomp and circumstance. For 24 years until 1999, the police in Timor were under the command of the Indonesia military. Now, it seems that memories of countrywide conflict and instability in this small tropical nation are receding.

FANDay 

Philippines Mobilizes for a Disability-Inclusive 2016 Presidential Election

April 23, 2014

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In his 4th State of the Nation Address in June 2013, Philippine President Aquino praised a 30-year-old Makati resident Nino Aguirre who has no legs, but had laboriously climbed four floors to reach his polling station and cast his vote in the May 2013 midterm elections. While Mr. Aguirre’s feat demonstrated laudable…

CriticalIssues2 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Access to Justice & Human Rights

April 23, 2014

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Weak legal institutions and poorly functioning systems of justice pose challenges to citizens throughout Asia in resolving disputes, enforcing their rights, and accessing benefits to which they are legally entitled. This photo blog examines issues of access to justice and human rights through the lens of three countries

IndonesiaElections2 

Prejudice at the Polling Booth: Disabled Indonesians Face Barriers in Voting

April 9, 2014

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Millions of Indonesians voted in legislative elections on Wednesday, their ink-stained fingers marking another important moment in the consolidation of Indonesian democracy. Sixteen years after the fall of the Suharto regime, elections are largely considered free and fair…

AsianPerspectivesMarch12 

Asia Foundation’s 18 Country Reps Convene in D.C. to Discuss Asia’s Critical Issues

March 12, 2014

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This year, The Asia Foundation is commemorating its 60th anniversary. Drawing on the expertise of local partners and our own development experts in the 18 countries where we work, we’re initiating a year-long, global conversation on six critical issues facing Asia.

NepalImpunityReport 

New Report Examines Impunity and Political Accountability in Nepal

March 12, 2014

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Public disenchantment with Nepal’s political parties has been on the rise since the end of the decade-long conflict in 2006. Discussions about impunity have increased correspondingly, mirroring the growing frustration with the political process. A newspaper uncovers an instance of high-level corruption…

 

Women’s Experiences of Local Justice: Community Mediation in Sri Lanka

February 12, 2014

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“Informal” justice is increasingly on the international development agenda (for example see here and here), based on the recognition that in many parts of the world, “formal” justice systems are far from the first port of call for citizens with a grievance or dispute.

Forensics2 

On Patrol with Forensic Police in Thailand’s Deep South

January 29, 2014

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While headlines focus on Bangkok as another round of ongoing political protests shut down the capital this week, a long-running, deadly conflict continues to simmer in Thailand’s southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, and four neighboring districts…

A construction site in Kathmandu. Nepal's capital has  experienc 

The Critical Issues Affecting Asia

January 22, 2014

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More than half of the planet lives in Asia. Six of the 10 largest nations in the world are in the Asia Pacific, and the region is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, international security, and the world’s collective efforts to advance human development. The dynamism of Asian economies contributed greatly to the global economic recovery, simultaneously lifting more than half a billion people out of poverty. Glittering cities and bustling ports bear testament to the so-called “Asian miracle” that has become the dominant narrative in economic and political analysis of recent years.

BangkokProtests 

In Thailand and Cambodia, a Culture of Impunity Still Holds

November 13, 2013

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In November 1979, I attended a benefit concert in Bangkok given by Joan Baez to help raise funds for the humanitarian relief of Cambodian refugees who fled to the Thai border to escape the heinous rule of the Khmer Rouge. An estimated two million people were murdered by Pol Pot and his henchmen.

PrisonDatabaseRegistration 

How an Electronic Database is Dramatically Reforming Indonesia’s Prisons

April 3, 2013

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Kiki, a registrations clerk at Cipinang Prison in Jakarta, glanced at his pile of paperwork with a degree of resignation. It was April 2009, and he was responding to three summons letters from the prosecutor’s office and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for 92 inmates to appear in court the next day.

ThaiForensics 

Forensic Science Enhances Access to Justice and Human Rights Protection in Thailand

February 27, 2013

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Among the array of international television series aired by cable networks in Thailand, “CSI,” “Bones,” and other dramas that highlight the work of forensic pathologists are especially popular. While Thai audiences are exposed to the dramatized investigative techniques applied by forensic specialists working in cooperation with law enforcement agencies…

 

The Filipino Child is Not Dispensable

December 5, 2012

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This week, the Senate prepares to vote on House Bill No. 6052 which will lower the age of criminal liability in the nation from 15 to 12 years old. With the absence of a juvenile justice system, this means that children in conflict with the law…

Legal Aid Clinic Pakse 

Bringing Legal Aid to the Poor in Laos

September 28, 2011

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During my recent visit to Laos, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of newspaper headlines proclaiming the country’s economic success stories. Firm phrases such as “World Bank predicts Lao economic growth at 8.6 percent,” “Vietnam & Laos boost rubber cooperation,” and “New Laos airline preparing for takeoff,” stood out at stands…