10/19/2005, 00.00
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Tsunami survivors hit by human rights abuses

NGOs reveal post-tsunami sexual abuse and arbitrary arrest in report. Incompetence and corruption are widespread among officials in charge of reconstruction.

Los Angeles (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Survivors of last year's tsunami in Asia are suffering human rights abuses including sex assaults and arbitrary arrests as corrupt or incompetent officials mismanage relief, this according to a report released by the Berkeley Human Rights Centre and the East-West Centre in Hawaii.

Researchers from both institutions visited India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Thailand in March and April of this year. They found that the "tsunami exposed groups already suffering from discrimination and other human rights abuses to greater harm".

"Vulnerable groups, such as women, children and migrant workers, have suffered violations of human rights, including sexual violence and arbitrary arrest."

"Children living in conflict zones have been forced into armed groups. In some areas, government officials have refused to allow people access to aid in order to secure military goals," it added.

They discovered what they termed "widespread inequities" in aid distribution on the part of some government agencies as a result of favouritism, political influence, red tape, incompetence and caste affiliation.

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See also
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NGO cries foul as Paris Club set to penalise tsunami-stricken countries
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Treating mental disorders among Nias tsunami survivors
Reconstruction progress amid tsunami fears


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