What They're Saying

Diverse voices from the frontlines on the state of democracy and human rights in Asia

The Chinese government may use as many strategies as they want, but they cannot succeed in erasing the faith and loyalty that Tibetans have for His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Pema Gyal
Researcher, Tibet Watch London

This is a huge insult to our lolas (grandmothers). And that’s what they (grandmothers) are also thinking, that what happened before may (be repeated).

Clydelle Jorgio
Philippine youth volunteer, Lila Pilipina (an organization of Filipino comfort women who were used as sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II)

The IFJ condemns the violent assault of Md Nahid Hasan, and calls for a swift and thorough investigation into the incident. The rise in attacks on journalists and media workers by the BCL [Bangladesh Chhatra League] and other political groups is deeply alarming...

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

If the flood will cut us off, we will miss the nature of this village, our neighbors and relatives.

Tehzeeb Jamil
15, a resident of Hassanabad village, in Hunza Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan region (dubbed the land of glaciers), in northern Pakistan

Brokers take the Rohingya refugees in small boats going between the maritime boundaries of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Then they take the refugees to larger vessels far out to the sea.

Unnamed Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh

What he and his colleagues at The Kashmir Walla actually did was to report widely and honestly about events in Kashmir, where journalists operate in an increasingly oppressive and hostile atmosphere.

Mark Sappenfield
Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

Despite sustained international and national pressure and countless campaigns, the families of the murdered civilians still await full justice....

International Federation of Journalists

By taking control of the Broadcasting Council, the military regime eliminates one of the last obstacles to its complete control over the media.

Cédric Alviani
Asia-Pacific Bureau Director, Reporters Without Borders

It was a special feeling when I could make something delicious, but my legs and back ache now, and understanding the revised law is difficult. I just can't do it anymore.

Unnamed 85-year-old daikon pickle farme from Sannai district in Yokote, Akita Prefecture, Japan

(T)he so-called ‘war on drugs’ has militarized drug control efforts.. alongside evidence of multiple and serious human rights violations in some cases.

Volker Türk
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

With over six million people already internally displaced throughout the country, Afghans returning from Pakistan face a precarious, uncertain future.

International Organization for Migration

I don't know if government agencies care about these people as much as the support center does.

Yang Mo-min
50, Naturalized citizen from Bangladesh, who works as a counselor at the Uijeongbu Support Center for Foreign Workers, in the city of Uijeongbu in northern Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

The reported incident apparently indicates that the authorities, who are the lawful guardians of the inmates in their custody, have failed to protect the juveniles.

National Human Rights Commission India
On the reported sexual abuse of two juveniles by fellow wards in a child protection home in Mukherjee Nagar in northern Delhi

The Executive Yuan must take action on the issue which should include improving work conditions, increasing salaries, clarifying legal responsibilities...

Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠)
Member, Control Yuan

Australian officials should publicly and clearly call on the Lao government to respect freedom of expression and association, and end the cruel practice of forcibly disappearing its critics.

Daniela Gavshon
Australia Director, Human Rights Watch

Amidst rapidly changing circumstances on the ground, it is imperative that all parties strictly respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law, particularly to protect civilians.

Jeremy Laurence
Spokesperson, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

We see problems in the country and fight for change, and to gain freedom and equality. That is not an offence. I do not have to plead guilty, and this is not an admission of guilt even if I have to be punished.

Anon Nampa
Human Rights Lawyer in Thailand

We won't be able to go back; we won't be able to report on the ground, and that really limits you as a journalist in a huge way.

Shibani Mahtani
Co-Author, "Among the Braves," a recently published book on the protest movement in Hong Kong

Ongoing mass political arrests, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killings, and torture of political opponents and critics make the Bangladesh government’s commitments to ‘protecting human rights for all’ meaningless.

Julia Bleckner
Senior Asia Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of criminal incidents in this region [the Golden Triangle], including the kidnapping and imprisonment of our [South Korean] nationals to force them to commit illegal acts in exchange for lucrative rewards.

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Cambodian authorities cruelly uprooted families who have lived in Angkor for several generations, forcing them to live hand to mouth at ill-prepared relocation sites.

Montse Ferrer
Interim Deputy Regional Director for Research, Amnesty International

We expect much out of the robot now that labor is in such short supply.

Takeshi Yoshida
Head, Takamiya No Aisai Farm

The need for legal aid in the country is very large because people really need help from lawyers, especially in cases of land grabbing and disputes. There are many disputes, complaints and denunciations.

Vo An Don
Activist lawyer who left Vietnam to seek political asylum in the United States

The HRCP is especially alarmed by rights violations against vulnerable groups.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

If the children are not being educated or are not skilled enough, there’s going to be intergenerational poverty.

Manoj Dhar
Founder, Integrated Brilliant Education Limited (IBEL)

Women described fainting, being hospitalized with dehydration, or being otherwise sickened by heat while pregnant.... Some women described exhausted despair while hand-fanning hot and uncomfortable babies hour after hour without electricity to run a fan.

Skye Wheeler
Women's Rights Division Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch

The new place is also too far away from the city, markets, and schools… There is no land to farm. It’s just a house in which we can sleep. We can’t do anything else.

Unnamed resident
Na Teuy resettlement village, Luang Namtha Province, Laos

There is no place for such cruelty and oppression in a territory that claims to uphold the rule of law and respect the right to freedom of expression.

Catholic Church Leaders

It was a time when we witnessed the depth of human suffering and the height of human compassion... [where I found] countless acts of kindness.

Alren Beronio
Photographer from Eastern Samar in the Eastern Visayas region, Philippines

Parents often endure physical and psychological stress when caring for premature babies, with some of them struggling to pay medical bills. Government-funded subsidies would be a great help to first-time parents with premature infants.

Huang Hsiung-fang (黃秀芳)
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator in Taiwan

This week, we learned that a source of funding that we had been counting on was no longer going to come through, and we have had to make the difficult decision to close down.

Jeremy Goldkorn
Editor-in-Chief, The China Project, one of the few independently funded English-language publications covering China for Western audiences

The health repercussions of air pollution in cities are extensive and multifaceted. These bustling urban areas, besieged by elevated air pollution levels, confront a spectrum of health issues that affect people of all age groups.

Abdul Waheed Bhutto
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, in Karachi, Pakistan

The parties to the conflict & the international community face an immediate & fundamental responsibility: Stop this inhuman collective suffering & dramatically expand humanitarian aid.

António Guterres
U.N. Secretary-General

(W)e must recognize and treasure the presence, identity, tradition, and culture of Indigenous peoples in the Asian Church. The ministries should include them in all kinds of services, not only as beneficiaries but also providers of services

Sister Magdalen Bui
Missionary Nun, Good Shepherd, Vietnam

If doctors are unconditionally exempted from criminal punishment, that will threaten patients' safety.

Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice
A civil society group in South Korea

The Indian authorities have weaponized laws to crack down on the human rights work by HRDs [human rights defenders], activists, and non-profit organizations in the country.

Aakar Patel
Chairperson, Amnesty International India

The decision... is bad news for Awyu Indigenous People, who are struggling to defend their customary land.

Coalition to Save Papuan Customary Forests

We hope victims will feel safe and can consult without hesitation.

Ayuko Kato
Minister of State for Policies Related to Children

We make expensive clothes; they get sold at higher prices abroad.They make good money. But we don't get a wage in accordance with that. Why can't they pay us a higher wage, if they can sell the clothes at higher prices?

Garment worker in Bangladesh

Where is democracy? [We are] people [just] walking on the streets who speak their mind but they outlaw us and the authorities are resorting to violence and unethical behavior.

Ream SreyMech Rathana
Environmental Activist

Bangladesh should be ashamed of its treatment of women.

Syed Mohammad Saikh Imtiaz
Professor, Women and Gender Studies, Dhaka University

This latest attack on independent media in Myanmar is representative of the junta’s systematic campaign against dissent.

Myanmar Journalists Network

The Hong Kong Government’s increasing belligerent and authoritarian behaviour which includes the recent targeting of Australian citizens and Hong Kong activists with arrest warrants and bounties, reflect why it is wholly unsuited to join RCEP.

Kevin Andrews
Former Defense Minister and Former Member of Parliament in Australia

House rents have also spiked. The only thing that has not increased is salaries.

Al Kamran
Union Leader in Ashulia, Bangladesh

Delhi is facing the worst pollution levels of this season and the situation is unlikely to improve for the next few days.

Senior Official
Ministry of Earth Sciences, India

We just want to know the fundamental reasons why on Oct. 29, 2022, thousands of people fell, 159 of them died and thousands of others were injured or ended up living with trauma.

Families of the Victims of the Itaewon Crush in South Korea

Police and armed ruling party cadres attacked our peaceful rally.

Zahir Uddin Swapan
Spokesman, Bangladesh Nationalist Party

Air pollution in Pakistan and across South Asia is a grave concern, significantly reducing life expectancy and adversely impact­ing the overall quality of life.

Shamsha Nadil
Karachi (Pakistan) resident

If the authorities focus their energy on the matter, two years is definitely sufficient … They don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Jerome Yau Ming-lock
Co-founder, Hong Kong Marriage Equality

We are afraid to drive to the farm; the trucks do not give us the space to drive… We are worried that trucks will hit our children when they go to school.

San Sun
Resident of Rik Reay commune in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

It is extremely disappointing that I will have to delay changing gender because that was not allowed by the latest ruling.

Takakito Usui
A transgender man

We are a Christian people whose pastors are being murdered and whose churches and faith-based schools are being destroyed in a systematic campaign by junta forces.

Salai Za Uk Ling
Deputy Executive Director, Chin Human Rights Organization, and one of the five Myanmar nationals who filed a landmark complaint against 10 members of his country's military junta in Philippine courts on Oct. 25, based on the principle of “universal jurisdiction” in international law for the prosecution of war crimes

Our question is: How can Member States increase accountability for the ongoing abuses faced by vulnerable populations in Afghanistan?

David Johnson
Senior Adviser for South and Central Asia in the United States

The presidential office and all the government officials who exercised tangible and intangible pressure on the sale process will be held judicially accountable.

Yoon Chang-hyun
Head, National Union of Media Workers

We’re hoping that they don’t do the bidding of a government that is trying to withhold the funds of citizens who want to leave that city.

Katherine Leung
Policy Adviser for Canada, Hong Kong Watch

Military courts do not meet the standards of fair trial, nor are such trials likely to be impartial or independent ... (I)t is imperative that civilian institutions are upheld and strengthened, not undermined, by the use of military courts.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

I would definitely say it’s a whitewash. Look at this report, it is very shallow.

Tan Ei Ein
Landslide survivor in Malaysia

The government has to do positive things for us if they want our vote. We vote, right? So we also have rights, we also have demands, we’re also human.

Siddhant Roy
Queer activist

With the beginning of the war, a good number of faithful are participating in all religious activities and sharing with me their anxieties and fear daily.

Father Chrisantha Sri Lal Fernando
Who is serving the Sri Lankan Catholic community in Israel

We are calling upon the government, civil society and public and private sector partners to commit, communicate and take collective action to better support mental health and promote the well-being of all children, adolescents and caregivers.

Will Parks
UNICEF Representative to Cambodia

They’re already in prison and have already been arrested… So they continue to torture our comrades psychologically. This only shows the brutality of the military dictators

Shin Thant
Member, Monywa People’s Strike Committee

The Taliban’s philosophy is nothing to do with Islam, it is a draconian subversive philosophy which is against different people and different communities and as we know against women and girls.

Lord Ahmad
United Kingdom Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia

Actions must be taken to make sure that foreign workers are not discriminated (against) in the area beyond our legal framework.

Lee Joo-hwan
Member, South Korean People Power Party

There is hopelessness for the queers in India.

Midi, 28
LGBT student in New Delhi

The Sheikh Hasina regime has long established a pattern of silencing dissidents and the opposition using the judiciary that has been massively infiltrated with her political loyalists.

Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman
Consultant, Capital Punishment Justice Project

We don’t want to move because this is our Malay way of life. If we leave, our identity will be lost.

63, resident of Rempang island in Indonesia's Riau province

There is no room for opposition, and things are likely to get more repressive in the education sector.

Political cartoonist in Hong Kong

In this case, the tragedy is compounded by Vietnam’s use of the death penalty, which is a cruel, unusual, and absolutely irreversible punishment that blatantly violates international human rights.

Phil Robertson
Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch

We cannot escape this situation. And nobody is protecting us from these dangers

Rohingya refugee in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

The world must wake up to the horror unfolding daily in Myanmar.

Matthew Wells
Director, Crisis Response Programme, Amnesty International

Our government is expecting these women to seek help on their own. How can people expect them to take the initiative to help themselves when they are already surrounded by all kinds of difficulties and stressful issues?

Chen Hsiu-pao (陳秀寶)
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator, Taiwan

The Bangladeshi government and local authorities must do more to combat the current disturbing rise of media rights violations in Bangladesh to ensure press freedom is upheld.

International Federation of Journalists

Despite international sanctions against the military junta… others – third-party countries like Indonesia – are still lending support to the military junta... Profits must never come at the expense of the people.

Civil society organizations, including FORUM-ASIA and the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Myanmar (Burma Solidarity)

Governments should denounce China’s latest returns and call for an end to future forced returns.

Lina Yoon
Asia Division Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch

This conviction highlights a worrying trend of suppressing free expression within academic institutions and undermines the right to expression and the right to protest.

Nalini Elumalai
Senior Malaysia Programme Officer, Article 19

The government should declare suicide as a national disaster and put in all-out efforts to fight it.

Baek Jong-hean
Lawmaker, South Korea

We know climate change disproportionately affects women and is not gender neutral so there is a need to address those gaps and impacts.

Angela Baschieri
Adviser on Population and Development, U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA)

One in five young people are struggling with mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, or panic.

Minal Mahtani
Chief Executive Officer, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Support Hong Kong

It is crucial that all assistance prioritizes the most vulnerable groups ... including women, children, older individuals, and people with disabilities.

Zaman Sultani
Regional Researcher for South Asia, Amnesty International

It's not so much the Thai gun laws that have to change... it’s the institutions themselves that don’t really ... want to reform their firearms regulations.

Michael Picard
onsultant on the small arms trade for HALO Trust and Transparency International

Young people are not afraid to quit without a job waiting these days because there are so many ways for them to monetize their skills.

Vivek Iyyani
Millennial Minds, a Singapore-based recruitment firm

I was able to successfully obtain political asylum in Canada. This kindness... will never be forgotten.

Chen Siming
a Chinese activist who fled to Taiwan last month en route to seek political asylum in the United States or Canada

As a matter of principle it is critical that no refugees be sent back without it being a voluntary and dignified return.

Stephane Dujarric
Spokesperson, United Nations

We need to mobilize all our investigation efforts to root out drug distribution and sales organizations and improve the drug management system in more detail by age group.

Jang Dong-hyeok
South Korean Lawmaker

We submitted our letter to inform the Indonesian government and urging them to hopefully take action on the matter. We cannot keep going back to having haze as something normal.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Malaysia

The desire to work overseas and gain international experience is not new ... but it’s concerning to see such a large percentage of Hong Kong professionals considering leaving the city.

John Mullally
Managing Director, Robert Walters Hong Kong (consultancy firm)

Journalists must be free to report without fear of retribution. The IFJ urges Pakistani authorities to intervene in the arrests and illegal detentions of journalists, including Muhammad Khalid Jamil's, and ensure that press freedom is upheld.

International Federation of Journalists

We will not ask the victims to bear responsibility to prove the damage that was inflicted upon them…. (W)e want to make sure not to overlook anything in recognizing the abuses and providing relief to victims.

Hiroshi Kimeda
awyer, Johnny & Associates, Inc. a male talent agency in Japan

I think my concern is around the degree to which the government will be open and honest about what it plans to do around cannabis and not ending up with only a few elite, or large, powerful corporations able to profit from it.

Gloria Lai
Asia Regional Director for International Drug Policy Consortium

I want the world and humanitarian organizations to never forget about the Uighur people, they are still suffering,

Akeda Pulati
Daughter of leading Uyghur scholar Rahile Dawut

We gather today because we believe that Singapore must take stronger and swifter action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer robust support to communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Organizers of a climate rally at Hong Lim Park in Singapore on Sept. 23

I've received countless written and verbal threats for trying to organize workers and demand due payments, severances and better working conditions....

Dolly Akhtar
Labor activist and union organizer in Bangladesh

135 victims died and hundreds were injured. Yet, no justice [was] fully given. They were victims of the excessive use of force and they still seek justice from the Indonesian Government until this day.

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan)

While trying hard to avoid onsite accidents, shipbreaking workers inhale asbestos, many toxic metals, and other substances to die from sooner or later...

Abdul Hannan
Cutter at a shipbreaking yard in Foujdarhat, in the city Chattogram (also known as Chittagong), southeast Bangladesh

How can the Philippines take on the task of international peace and safety when it is much of an epic fail on the domestic front? Killings, disappearances, trumped-up charges happen day in, day out. Aggression on our seas conducted by foreign vessels is a regular occurrence.

Kristina Conti
National Union of People’s Lawyers

Discrimination should end as it is not good for the future of students.

Fr. Antonysamy Solomon
Secretary, Education Commission, Tamil Nadu Bishops Council

We have to speak out because our family members have been locked up despite being innocent.

Akida Polat
Daughter of Imprisoned Uyghur folklorist Rahile Dawut, who was recently confirmed to be serving a life sentence in Xinjiang, northwest China

Despite knowing in detail that Le Van Manh’s case was mired in serious irregularities and violations of the right to a fair trial, authorities in Viet Nam executed him days after informing his family to make arrangements for his remains. It’s sickening.

Chiara Sangiorgio
Death Penalty Expert, Amnesty International

Adequate sentencing for criminals will make potential offenders fear the criminal justice system, but now it seems things are working in the opposite way.

Dr Lee Chang-hyun
Professor, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Law School

Only people who have lost their freedom know how precious it is – like the air we breathe.

Lee Meng-chu
Taiwanese businessman

The military could tell that [the group of women and children] were not combatants. And they still shot them....

Nopinanus Kogoya
West Papuan relative of young torture victim

The new mechanism arbitrarily denies access to protection for millions of migrant workers .... and allows for the blanket disqualification of otherwise eligible candidates on the broad grounds of ‘national security’.

Patrick Phongsathorn
Senior Advocacy Specialist, Fortify Rights

(O)ne in three countries around the world is now at high risk of a fiscal crisis. Over 40% of people living in extreme poverty are in countries with severe debt challenges.

António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations

(The ratio) shows that for sex crimes, including those involving pornography, the main targets are children.

Siti Kamsiah Hassan
Principal Assistant Director, Royal Malaysia Police's Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division

I am willing to wait for months, because I feel safe in Taiwan.... But security is not my first option in where I settle. I have a lot of work to do in the U.S.

Chen Siming
Chinese dissident who regularly commemorates the Tiananmen Square massacre

Families increasingly fear that their unmarried daughters will face assault and abuse in the camps. To avoid the personal and cultural impacts associated with (sexual and gender-based violence), families see child marriage as one of the only routes available to safeguard their daughters....

Youth Congress Rohingya
a refugee-led civil society organization

I love and cherish the monarchy, but I believe it is better to know than not knowing. Every person has their own opinion... Not listening to them doesn’t make their viewpoints or opinions disappear.

Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse
Estranged son of Thai King Vajiralongkorn

The project is going to make poor villagers even poorer because we will no longer be able to use boats to trade along the Mekong and we won’t have any fish to catch.

Unnamed Villager from Pak Beng District in northernwestern Laos

The government’s announcement that it will monitor the media and the internet from all directions and sort out and strictly regulate fake news … is both antidemocratic and unconstitutional and carries the risk of abuse for the purpose of suppressing anti-governmental public opinion.

Open Net
An information rights group

We all know the worrying situation of women and girls in Afghanistan.... The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Retno LP Marsudi
Foreign Minister of Indonesia

We should never silently endure (the harassment).

Unnamed Japanese public official

I asked them why my husband was disciplined, how long he would be disciplined and when my family would be able to see him again. They did not provide any more information.

Le Thanh Lam
Wife of Vietnamese political prisoner Bui Tuan Lam

We have been consistently fighting for it and I am very happy. Democracy is all about widening and expanding representation.

Subhashini Ali
Former Parliamentarian, Communist Party of India

Airstrikes targeting civilians, not military targets are war crimes and crimes against humanity. If they attended the conference knowing of this situation it would encourage violence.

Sithu Maung
Spokesperson, Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw

It is time for the (Bangladeshi) Government to put an end to this travesty of justice.

Agnès Callamard
Secretary General, Amnesty International

This latest commission seems to be aimed at deflecting international pressure over continuing impunity, rather than revealing the fate of the disappeared or bringing those responsible to justice.

Meenakshi Ganguly
Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW)

This is actual political persecution and a blatant violation of religious freedom and international conventions.

Unnamed source in China

This generation faces a worsening climate catastrophe, with devastating consequences for human rights, but too many leaders in positions of power today are doing too little to avert this disaster, and even reneging on existing promises.

Agnès Callamard
Secretary General, Amnesty International

Most of these refugees are likely poor, vulnerable individuals.... Their status as unauthorized refugees does not mean they are not entitled to protection, nor should they bear the brunt of Pakistan's security concerns.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)

The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) vehemently condemns the recent sentencing of Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan, activists attached to the Odhikar human rights organization in Bangladesh. Their unjust imprisonment on trumped-up charges is a grave violation of their fundamental rights and an alarming attack on the principles of democracy and justice.


This decision by the Philippine courts is a rare and important win for press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines.

Prof. Saleemul Huq
Director of Advocacy, International Press Institute

The United States, one of the world’s most powerful and influential countries, could do much more to hold perpetrators in Myanmar accountable on the international stage.

Fortify Rights

It’s a learning-by-doing process. Experts from Harvard cannot come and tell our farmers what to do, our farmers will tell us what to do.

Prof. Saleemul Huq
Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development

This policy, implemented under the guise of 'Second Generation Bilingual Education,' is widely regarded by Mongolians worldwide as a form of cultural genocide.

Enghebatu Togochog
Director, New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center

Governments around the world must urgently address the senseless killings of those who stand up for our planet....

Shruti Suresh
Co-director of Campaigns, Global Witness

Every day, the market inflation is so high that it makes our workers, average people, live in difficult conditions and without enough money left over to save.

Yang Sophorn
President, Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions

Since casual harassment and microaggressions can escalate into more serious crimes like stalking and sexual violence, we must come up with more effective approaches to address these issues at a fundamental level.

Gapjil 119
A non-profit dedicated to addressing workplace abuse

We have collected compelling evidence of the widespread burning of Rohingya villages and the assaults and killings of civilians. I have been particularly horrified by the numerous accounts of sexual crimes that we have collected.

Nicholas Koumjian
Head, Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar

So, over the years, I think a lot of things have been done, yet there are still cases (of cyberbullying) that crop up.

Sonam Phuntsho
Principal, Changzamtog Middle Secondary School, in Thimpu, Bhutan's capital

We need fully inclusive education systems that give refugees the same access and rights as host-country learners.

Filippo Grandi
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

Despite the continuous progress of mine-clearing operations in the ASEAN region with the joint efforts of all parties, the mine situation is still grim.

Ma Shengkun
Deputy Director-General, ASEAN Arms Control Department

In all my years working in and on #HongKong, I’ve never seen floods like this. It’s a direct result of the irresponsible, negligent, repressive #CCP misrule.

Benedict Rogers
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Hong Kong Watch

Every child has the right to health and the right to finish their education and reach their dreams. Without government intervention, early and unintended pregnancies most often upend these rights

Romeo Dongeto
Convenor, Child Rights Network and Executive Director, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc.

Overall, more than 3,000 trees will be destroyed, with more than 500 of those estimated to be over 100 years of age.

International Council on Monuments and Sites

Over the last seven decades, the situation in Tibet has been deteriorating to the extent that it is now facing imminent threat of cultural genocide and total annihilation of Tibetan identity.

Yeshi Dolma
Exiled Tibetan Lawmaker

His sentencing is yet another indication that freedom of the press has been completely quashed under the military junta’s rule, and shows the hefty price independent journalists in Myanmar must pay for their professional work.

Swe Win
Editor-in-chief, Myanmar Now

You could craft the most airtight legal system on paper, but if the political will is impaired to implement it, then nothing's going to happen.

William Schulte
Policy and Legal Advisor for Mekong Region, EarthRights International

We have learnt how big and deep the wounds our teachers have suffered and how great a crisis our schools and classrooms are facing.

Lee Ju-ho
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education in South Korea

By legitimizing this criminal junta and providing direct support to them, ASEAN, the USA, and other dialogue partners are enabling them to continue waging a terror campaign against Myanmar people.

Khin Ohmar
Chair, Progressive Voice

The governing council of the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan ... has expressed immense concern over the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming general #election.

Human Rights Commission in Pakistan

Enforced disappearances have left a painful scar on the nation’s history and continue to shape the lives of thousands of Sri Lankans who exist in a state of ambiguity, where their loved ones are neither present nor definitively absent.

Marc-André Franche
U.N. Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka

The situation in Xinjiang remains of concern. Laws and policies assessed in our report are still in place ... Our 2022 assessment was clear on the need for accountability. We continue to stand by that, publicly and bilaterally.

Ravina Shamdasani
Spokesperson, U.N. Rights Office

The government must really pay attention to agriculture. Else, only landowners and proprietors, not farmers and farm workers, will benefit.

Marcelino Cruz Lucas
65, Filipino farmer

The city government gets involved in stuff it shouldn't, indiscriminately. They have destroyed the legacy left by our ancestors.

Jiang Jiawen
Resident, Liaoning Province in China

Enforced disappearance is a serious human rights violation that has frequently been used to spread terror.

United Nations

Whenever a batch of prisoners is sent to a labour camp, it is common to see one or two political prisoners among them.

Unnamed former inmate in Obo Prison in the city of Mandalay in Myanmar

Every day, a Dalit person is killed or attacked. Dalit women are stripped, raped and murdered.

Father Vijay Kumar Nayak
Secretary, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India Office for Dalits and Lower Classes

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis.

Will Parks
UNICEF representative in Cambodia

I have decided, with the guidance of legal counsel, to cease all operations of the Societas Linguistica Hongkongensis, effective immediately, in order to ensure the safety of my family and former members.

Andrew Chan
Founder and Convenor, Societas Linguistica Hongkongensis, which was set up to safeguard linguistic rights and uphold the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong

Rohingya refugees continue to tell us they want to return to Myanmar when it is safe for them to do so voluntarily.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

Fighting for LGBT rights in the Muslim dominated south, especially in the Bangsamoro region, has always been very challenging because we risk our lives every time we travel to armed-conflict areas.

Rhadem Musawah
Leader, Mujer LGBTQ+, an independent gender rights advocacy group working in Mindanao in southern Philippines

There are so many criminal acts involving weapons that people are afraid to even speak face to face.

Unnamed resident of North Hamgyong province in North Korea

#Today, the Taliban group prevented the flight of 37 girls to study in the United Arab Emirates.... Under their rule, girls are prohibited from continuing their education outside of Afghanistan.

Maryam Marof Arwin
Leader and Founder, Afghanistan Women’s and Children Strengthen Welfare Organiztion

The Yoon administration practically acted as a spokesperson for Japan, even as it was going to pollute our waters with radioactive waste.

Lee Jae-myung
Head, Democratic Party of Korea

I worry it’s more difficult for young people to know the truth… I don’t know how long we can exist. We will continue to sell books as long as possible.

Leanne Liu
Store Manager, Boundary Bookstore

If villagers violate concession rights, they should answer to Lao authorities, not the investors. This country has laws to protect Lao people.

Unnamed Lao social commentator

A peaceful world can only be achieved by someone willing to change the world, that's why we are here.

Momo Nagato
16-year-old resident of Hiroshima and one of a group of high school students from Japan

This is very unfair as heterosexual couples can get visas as long as they can get by financially, but same-sex couples cannot.

Ariel Ling-chun Liu
Taiwanese spouse of Masahiro Shibaguchi, an openly gay assemblyman from Aichi Prefecture in Japan

It's always a risk going out in drag.... They see us as sexual deviants or sinners.

Carmen Rose
Veteran drag queen in Malaysia

India's persistent detention of human rights defender GN Saibaba is an inhumane and senseless act.... It bears all the hallmarks of a State seeking to silence a critical voice.

Mary Lawlor
U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

This isn’t about relaxation, but human rights – the right to live and the right to health.

Emily Lau Wai-hing
Former Lawmaker, Hong Kong’s Democratic Party

It's unacceptable and points to a larger, more worrying pattern of state-sanctioned violence against people exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

We keep on saying we have to create jobs. And here we are among the government bureaucracy itself, we have 240,000 unfilled positions.

Wilter Palma
Congressional Representative in the Philippines

Freedom, independence and justice are ideals that are never attained without sacrifice. The people of East Turkistan have borne a heavy burden in pursuit of these ideals.

Abdulhakim Idris
Executive Director, Center of Uyghur Studies in Virginia, U.S.

What on earth is the UN thinking?

Scot Marciel
Former U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar

It reflects in the current society that restrictions from the government on citizens’ freedom of speech and expression are tight, which makes freedom of speech limited, and some people no longer dare to speak.

Ly Sreysrors
Member, Young Analyst Group

Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry for justice and action from law enforcement ...

Bishop Azad Marshall
President of the Church of Pakistan

My major in university is in environmental design, but with the rise of AI, I don’t have much hope in the design industry.

Li Nuojun
18, University student in China

Although our income has not increased, commodity prices never decline. It is not easy to get a meal if you don’t earn 10,000 kyats a day.

Unnamed housewife in Myanmar

They are utterly terrified of Gao Zhisheng. They're afraid that he will shine his light across the whole of China, and the Chinese Communist Party fears that more than anything.

Jie Lijian
Overseas-Based Youth Leader, China Democracy Party

It proves that he [Xi Jinping] is firmly in control, a manifestation of arrogant power. He's not even willing to stage-manage [relief and rescue efforts].

Lin Shengliang
Chinese dissident based in the Netherlands

I am very disappointed, the sentence is so light compared to what happened to me. They should have felt what I feel.

Siti Khotimah
Domestic worker in Jakarta, Indonesia, Who suffered physical abuse at the hands of her employer

Features and Analysis