Access to Justice
The Asia Foundation Supports Legal Aid in Laos
August 24, 2020
On August 14, 2020, The Asia Foundation provided a grant to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) in Laos to further implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Access to Justice and Legal Aid Support for January 2020 to May 2023. The ministry plans to open legal aid offices in all provinces and districts of Laos, and the Foundation will provide support t… Read more
Alternative Dispute Resolution Gains Traction in Pakistan
December 18, 2019
Pakistan’s courts are overloaded. Civil litigation can often span decades, sometimes outliving the litigants. But with new legislation and support from The Asia Foundation, alternative dispute resolution is quickly becoming an accepted alternative that can speed the delivery of justice.
Water, Gender, and Poverty in Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Watershed
December 4, 2019
Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Watershed is one of the world’s most productive ecosystems, but it is also among Cambodia’s poorest regions, where inequalities of gender and poverty can make water for drinking and agriculture scarce or unavailable.
On the Anniversary of Independence, How Secure Is Timor-Leste?
September 25, 2019
Last month, Dili played host to visiting government officials from more than 20 countries, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Timor-Leste’s vote for independence on August 30, 1999. As the excitement and gravitas of the nationwide festivities taper off, and the dry-season dust resettles o… Read more
A Long Road: Access to Justice in Laos
June 19, 2019
When her father died suddenly last year, the family of Mrs. Somleuthai (her name has been changed for privacy) started to break apart. Her father, a small farmer, had left an inheritance, 2.5 hectares of land in the rural district of Xayabouly. Her mother and each of her six siblings insisted that they had the rights to all of it. The fighting went… Read more
Tackling the Backlog in Pakistan’s Courts
August 29, 2018
In his old age, a longstanding property dispute became the bane of Abdul Hamid Khan’s existence. The father of four sons and three daughters in Punjab’s Rahimyar district, Khan had been left, like Shakespeare’s King Lear, without a roof over his head. It was a dispute over land inheritance. In 2010, Khan transferred all his property, some 16 acres,… Read more
Seven Questions to Consider When Promoting Gender Justice in Sri Lanka
June 6, 2018
In October 2016, The Asia Foundation’s Sri Lanka office began a project to make that country’s formal justice system more responsive to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Seventeen months later, and after five decades of working with security and justice institutions and promoting women’s rights in Sri Lanka, here are our insights… Read more
Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Paradigm Shift in Pakistan’s Justice System?
July 26, 2017
According to the World Justice Project’s latest Rule of Law Index, Pakistan ranks near the bottom in its ability to ensure protection of fundamental rights and advancing civil and criminal justice. Beyond the impact that this has on citizens, the challenges facing Pakistan’s justice system also impede economic development and drive inequality. Now… Read more
Reforming Security in Timor-Leste: Can a Plural Justice System Work?
April 13, 2016
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
Where Are India’s Working Women?
March 9, 2016
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…
Responding to Conflict in Asia: Why Good Data is Needed
December 16, 2015
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.
Social Media Ignites Disability Movement in Indonesia
December 9, 2015
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
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…
Reversing the Legacy of Injustice in Thailand’s Conflict-Ravaged South
January 21, 2015
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…
Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads
December 23, 2014
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.
Survey Reveals What Myanmar’s Citizens Think about Government, Reforms, and 2015 Elections
December 17, 2014
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…
Using Evidence to Improve Development Assistance
December 10, 2014
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…
Firing of Foreign Judges in Timor-Leste Threatens Justice System
October 29, 2014
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…
Indonesian Lawsuit Pushes Local Government to Regulate Massive Coal Mining Industry
October 15, 2014
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…
Polling Shows Encouraging Climate of Opinion for Mindanao Peace Negotiations
October 8, 2014
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…
Khmer Rouge Sentence a Milestone, but Cambodia’s Justice System Remains Fragile
September 3, 2014
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…
Minorities within the Minority: Indigenous Communities in the Bangsamoro
August 6, 2014
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…
Photo Blog: Myanmar Parliamentary Study Tour to Korea
May 14, 2014
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…
Photo Blog: Legal Aid Delivers Justice in Indonesia
May 7, 2014
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.
Human Rights Protection in Modern Cambodia: Building on Unstable Grounds
April 23, 2014
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.
Access to Justice Constraints Fuel Conflict in Southern Thailand
April 23, 2014
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…
A New Face of Policing in Timor-Leste
April 23, 2014
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.
Philippines Mobilizes for a Disability-Inclusive 2016 Presidential Election
April 23, 2014
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…
Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Access to Justice & Human Rights
April 23, 2014
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
Prejudice at the Polling Booth: Disabled Indonesians Face Barriers in Voting
April 9, 2014
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…
Asia Foundation’s 18 Country Reps Convene in D.C. to Discuss Asia’s Critical Issues
March 12, 2014
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.
New Report Examines Impunity and Political Accountability in Nepal
March 12, 2014
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…