Posts Tagged Asia

Bringing Awareness of Archives & Human Rights to China

Simon Chu, a Government Archivist in China and former Director of the Government Records Service, has been trying to bring archives legislation to Hong Kong to empower the records service.  As a member of the Archives Action Group, Chu has long advocated for this cause.  In an article he’s written for Human Rights in China, he cites the Guatemala case of the 2005 discovery of the Secret Police Archive as an example of the function of creating and managing records to keep archives.  Currently the records service is equipped with guidelines on how public servants are to manage their records.  Without appropriate legislation, records officers and archivists have no authority to enforce the proper management of records.  This, Chu states, has lead to the arbitrary destruction of “six million pieces of records”.

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Impunity at Stake in Timor Leste – the Role of Outreach

Earlier this month it was reported that judicial processes in Timor Leste to bring justice to the victims of human rights abuses in 1999 were blocked.  After a 24 year occupation by Indonesia, marked by political unrest, armed resistance, forced displacement, torture, and arbitrary detention, Timor-Leste gained its independence in a 1999 referendum.  The human rights abuses of the years prior, however, only intensified coming up to the vote and pro-independence groups and individuals were targeted.  Recently the parliament has delayed the passing of two laws intended to implement recommendations of Timor-Leste’s two truth commissions, the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF).

In a publication released this week by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Impunity in Timor Leste: Can the Serious Crimes Investigation Team Make a Difference?, the ICTJ highlights this lack of political will to bring justice and accountability to victims.  The report presents a study of the current measures taken by the UN Serious Crimes Investigation Team (SCIT), formed in 2006.  Section 5 of the report presents efforts to raise awareness of SCIT’s work among the victims, mostly in rural areas.  The SCIT is assisted in this capacity in part by the Public Information Office of the UN Integrated Mission for Timor-Leste.

The partnership has allowed advocacy work in the sphere of victim outreach through the release and distribution of newsletters regarding the work of the SCIT in the region.  As a result, victims’ support networks in villages and collaborations with local NGOs are on the rise.  Despite the failing of the parliamentary government to establish in force the mechanisms required to carry out justice, the role of outreach and other civil society groups cannot be undermined.

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UNESCO Publishes “ICT Transforming Education: a Regional Guide”

This rough guide is published by UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.  The publication specifically targets education practices in the Asia-Pacific region.  As the preface states, as advances have been made in e-learning and Web 2.0 technologies, educators are capitalizing on these readily available technology applications to redesign learning in the classroom.

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