The Asian and Latin American Lawyers' Conference is the
first endeavor of its kind that has brought together legal practitioners
and human rights defenders from two geographically separated and
culturally divergent continents. banded by the common experience of social
dislocation and involuntary disappearance, the participants sought to
forge a collective and global response against this malady through the
various legal instruments at both the national and international levels.
Beginning with country situations in selected regions
in Asia, the book also features the various ways by which countries such
as Sri Lanka, Chile, Argentina and El Salvador prosecute criminal
complaints involving disappearance and the different draft and
pre-existing regional and international instruments that are available in
the fight against injustice and impunity.
Among other things, the input presentations underscore
the global character of enforced disappearance and the need for
establishing not only inter-country but inter-regional cooperation among
lawyers, survivors and victims' families.
A special section was also devoted to nine-point
resolutions that were adopted during the Conference as both immediate and
long-term demands designed to correct the ills of the past and thwart
their possible recurrence in the future. A summary of these include: 
the enactment of national and international legislation criminalizing
enforced or involuntary disappearance;  the establishment of an Asian
Regional Tribunal;  the ratification of the Rome Statue for the
establishment of the International Criminal Court;  the payment of
reparation to all victims of involuntary disappearances and their
dependents by their respective States; and  a call for a more vigorous
approach in eradicating enforced disappearance in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and
Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir.
With the right to truth as the core philosophy of the
Conference, the book also urges all peoples to join the human rights
crusade and challenges all governments, whether despotic or democratic, to
accord abiding respect for basic liberties and citizens' participation.
Humbly dedicated to the memory of our beloved
desaparecidos, this chronicle is, most of all, a reminder to all of
the sacrifices that were offered for us to gain whatever freedom we have
right now. Indeed, this book is a monument of paper and ink, and a bulwark
of hope against those who thrive in the drak.