The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was founded in 1986 by a prominent group of jurists and human rights activists in Asia. The AHRC is an independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realisation of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilise Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations. AHRC promotes civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights.
AHRC endeavours to achieve the following objectives stated in the Asian Charter "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."
Objectives of the AHRC
The AHRC seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- Protect and promote human rights by monitoring, investigation, advocacy, and taking solidarity actions;
- Work towards social equality, with particular emphasis on social groups who have suffered discrimination in the past, such as women and children and minorities, including Dalits;
- Develop a speedy communication system using modern communication techniques to encourage quicker actions to protect human rights, redress wrongs and prevent violations in future;
- Develop appropriate modes of human rights education and especially promote the folk school approach;
- Promote appropriate legal and administrative reforms, particularly judicial and police reforms;
- Develop close links with the victims of human rights violations to promote solidarity with victims, to preserve the memory of the victims and to organize significant commemorations linking large sections of people for the purpose of eliminating human rights violations;
- Participate in peace making, reconciliation, conflict resolution, truth commissions and international tribunals;
- Develop cultural and religious programmes for the promotion of human rights;
- Encourage ratification of UN instruments and development of local legislation, law enforcement and judicial practices in keeping with such instruments, and assist the formation and functioning of national human rights commissions;
- Promote the United Nations, particularly its human rights agencies and assist organisations and persons in Asia to utilize these agencies for better promotion and protection of human rights in Asia;
- Work towards the development of regional human rights mechanisms and encourage people''''s participation in this process by promoting the Asian Human Rights Charter.