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Human Rights in Asia Essay

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Updated: Aug 9th, 2019

These are fundamental rights and freedoms accorded to every individual irrespective of his or her gender, religion, color, race, language or ethnic group. Under human rights, there is no discrimination as the rights are mutually dependent, interconnected and undividable. For example, every human being has the right to live and express opinions freely; and right to social and economic rights including food accessibility, the right to labor and the right to acquire education.

In order to ensure these rights and freedoms receive the required recognition, countries have enacted them in their constitutions and many of them are now international laws and treaties. The standard for universality of human rights forms the foundation of global human rights. The debate on human rights started in 1948 during the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since then, the subject of human rights has been inalienable (Amnesty International USA, 2010, p.1).

Are Human Rights a Western Concept which is imposed on Asia?

Depending on one’s culture, human rights can be an imposition concept of the west. For example, inhabitants of South East Asia argue that although the notion of human rights is universal both in ideology and in theory, it has so many obstacles due to socio-economic concerns, cultural dissimilarities and the patriarchal scenery of Asian society.

Premised on ground of morality and ethics, universal human rights focus on creating an equal society without regarding cultural backgrounds. Many Asian countries apply a communitarian ethic that regards societies more than individuals do. Thus, it is difficult to have universal human rights in Asia. In western countries, marriage is a contract, while in Asia marriage is an alliance between lineages.

Thus, it is not possible to accept women rights in Asia. In many western countries, gay marriage is acceptable but polygamy scorned. On the other hand, these countries denounce infanticide but allow abortion terming it human rights. The cultural and religious background in Asia does not allow this hence, making human rights a concept of the west (Shashi, 2002, p.1).

What is globalization and how does it affect Asia?

Globalization is the propensity of technologies, businesses and philosophies extending to all parts of the world due to economic integration brought about by the movement of goods, people, resources and ideas. Globalization has affected Asia’s security for example, due to economic integration; Southeast Asia is now in peace.

On the other hand, Asia has witnessed a rise in transnational threats and weakened regional institutions. Due to enhanced economic growth, there have been shifts in balance of power leading to economic stagnation in Japan and China. Moreover, globalization has strengthened national power although previously seen as a threat to sovereignty. In Indonesia and China, globalization has brought political and economic changes.

Many countries in Asia initially administered under authoritarianism are now democratic courtesy of globalization. Although globalization poses negative effects like migration, food scarcity, growing foreign debts, energy concerns and organized crimes, its benefits outweigh these negative effects (Rakesh, 2002, p.1).


Aharon, D., 2005. Web.

Amnesty International USA., 2010. Human Rights Web.

Keswick, M., 2003. The Chinese garden: history, art and architecture. Harvard University Press.

Nuvich, A., 1998. Dangdut thrives in SE Asia-Malaysia embraces genre. Billboard, 110.

Rakesh, P., 2002. Globalization: Effects in Asia and Beyond Web.

Shashi, T., 2002. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Human Rights in Asia." August 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-rights-5/.


IvyPanda. "Human Rights in Asia." August 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-rights-5/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Human Rights in Asia." August 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-rights-5/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Human Rights in Asia'. 9 August.

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