Basic Human Rights
I. Executive Summary
II. Policy Recommendations (Target specific bodies)
III. Specific Events
a. Key Factors
3000 words (12 pages)
The objective of this paper is to write a brief policy report on a topic related to democracy in East and Southeast Asia. Policy reports are different from academic papers in their structure, how they are written, and their focus. Most of the time, they are focused on a very precise “issue” that is significant for the policy objective of the group or organization. In this case, since democracy is the key theme for the paper, the “issues” relate to various aspects of democratic promotion (in areas that are lacking), or with respect to improving certain aspects of democracy (where it has been established). Once an issue has been selected, the policy report generally seeks to provide some background to the problem, recent relevant events relating to the issue, establishes how the international community might be involved, and then submits some policy recommendations. Policy reports are meant to be brief, to the point, and are designed to have impact. Their structure reflects these objectives.
Structure of the essay: at minimum, the policy report should have the following sections:
Executive Summary and Policy Recommendations: as specified, it is a brief summary of the report, and then has a selection of recommendations. These should be realistic and the targets should be spelled out (are they recommendations for major international donors, major countries in Europe/North America, major powers in Asia (such as China), or governments of countries addressed? Are they recommendations for international NGOs?
Background: This general section gives as much history or general background about the issue in the chosen country for someone who does not know the specific country to understand what the specific issue is about. Specific Events: This section focuses on the specific topic and its recent relevance. What are the events that justify why we need to look at this issue now? “Now” can be specific to a major event that happened (a mass riot, violent event, etc…) or can be broader (degeneration of human rights in the last two years; sudden rise in corruption in the last year or so, etc…). The time frame is more limited than the background. It should be specified and the events summarized. Then you develop the issue.
***this section can be separated into several sections, if it is useful to understand the issue. For instance, in the example on Burma, the report had several sections relating to the new constitution, to make it clearer.
ALSO: note that occasionally, point form might be used to outline a list of important points to make or factors of explanation. It is important in a policy report to use such strategies to draw attention to very important points. However, it is not meant to be a short-hand to avoid development.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN)
Human rights are a fundamental part of development
Human rights policies must be linked to stability, prosperity and security.
Dialogue between UN and China. Refugees. Chinese officials are reluctant.
1951 UN Refugee Convention/1967 Protocol
United Nations High Commissioner
Refugees not granted refugee status in China, face death when forced back to noth korea. China refuses to grant refugee status, continue to label them as economic migrants rather than the political/social refugees that they are.
Widespread use of torture and political camps.
Extensive use of death penalty
restriction of freedoms, thought, assembly, religion,…