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Human Rights Violations in Asia

September 29, 2019

Map of signatories to International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Author IdiotSavant (PD)

The following is excerpted form “Healing wounds one story at a time” by Maria-Pia Negro Chin, published in the August 2019 edition of Maryknoll Magazine.

“One morning a man wakes up, hugs his children and kisses his wife goodbye before walking to work.  But, he does not come back home.  His wife calls her husband’s job and hospitals…Finally, the family goes to the police.  Then they start an uncertain journey, fearing they will never see him again.

Maryknoll Sister Marya Zaborowski [who is 86] says the families of people like this man often struggle to find answers as they desperately search for their loved ones.  ‘The government does not know who took him.  You don’t know whether they were taken as a slave, they are being tortured or if they were killed,’ says Sister Zaborowski…

Once she started working for the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), an independent non-governmental organization based in Hong Kong, Sister Zaborowski realized that the situation described above was an all too-common reality.  According to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, countries in Asia account for over 25,000 outstanding cases of disappearances, about half of the disappearances worldwide.”

“Enforced disappearances — which typically…[involve] the arrest, detention or abduction of a person by agents of the state, after which the person’s fate or whereabouts are concealed — and torture are two major issues AHRC works on.  The organization…advocates for victims of human rights violations in 11 Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines…

AHRC also publishes books and reports detailing the state of human rights in Asia and collaborates with other human rights defenders…AHRC has educated hundreds of lawyers and activists on the principles of fair trial and the rule of law…

But there is much more to do…

‘I pray that people become more conscious of human rights and how they are denigrated within societies’ [Sister Zaborowski]…says.  ‘Ordinary people are being oppressed by unjust systems.  I see (our) work as [a] mission to people who really need a helping hand.’ ”

“‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me‘ ” (Matt. 25: 36).


  1. I am afraid that there is so much more of this happening all over the world that we could hardly believe the size and scope of it. It is not at all uncommon to read of this happening here in Florida, with the working poor the primary targets.

    It is very troubling to me that such injustices rarely draw the attention they deserve. It would seem that human rights violations fall into the category of “it doesn’t impact me, therefore it is not my problem”. Yet another example of why it is so critical that God’s children speak up for those who have no voice.

  2. Matthew 25 is an excellent moral code if any of us would follow it. Excellent post!

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