Human Rights Watch has named Burma and North Korea among the most repressive governments in Asia, and says conditions are worsening in Thailand and Vietnam.
The authors of the annual report criticized the house arrest of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention since May 2003. They noted Burma has more child soldiers than anywhere else in the world.
The report also called human rights conditions in North Korea abysmal, saying basic services such as health care are doled out according to people's loyalty to the government.
Majority-Buddhist Thailand was criticized for its handling of sectarian violence in the southern, Muslim-dominated provinces, and the report said Vietnam is becoming less tolerant of political dissent.
Information for this treport is provided by AP.