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Event: Experts Call for Immediate Action to Protect the Right to Health of Women, Children and Others Affected by the Nuclear Accident in Fukushima


For immediate release:

CONTACT: Human Rights Now NY,

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Alfred Meyer, 202-215-8208 

Experts call for immediate action to protect the right to health of women, children and others affected by the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

March 13, Wednesday, 10:30AM to Noon, at the UN Church Center, NYC

Human Rights Now, Physicians for Social Responsibility, & Peace Boat US present:

WHAT:  Since the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, individuals and communities in Japan continue to be exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity. There are serious concerns about consequent health effects for pregnant women, mothers, children and others in contaminated areas. Residents have a right to live in a safe and healthy environment, however, sufficient protective measures and support are not being provided. The right to access medical treatment and the medical data about one's own body are being seriously denied.

A human rights expert from Japan, a medical doctor from Japan, and a medical doctor from the U.S. will speak about how the lives and health of local women, children and others in the Fukushima area are being affected after the disaster and what should be done to provide immediate relief. The actions called for in the December 15, 2012 Human Rights Now "Civil Society Statement" to immediately implement the recent recommendations by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health will be highlighted.

A Q&A session will follow the presentations.

WHERE: UN Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10017

(44th Street & First Ave.)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 13, 2012, 10:30-noon

WHO:Professor Hiroko Goto, Human Rights Now, Japan

Dr. Hisako Sakiyama, M.D., Japan

Dr. Maureen McCue, M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility, USA

Admission is free. UN pass is NOT required.

Please pre-register at


Professor Hiroko Goto, Professor of Chiba University School of Law in Japan; Vice President of Human Rights Now; Board member of Japan Association of Gender and Law; Board member of Japanese Association of Victimology; Member of Science Council of Japan; and as a former expert member on violence against women for the Gender Equality Bureau was involved in the Basic Plan for Gender Equality in Japan. After receiving her LL.B. and LL.M. degrees from Keio University in Tokyo, where she also completed her Ph.D. studies in criminal law, Professor Goto became a leading expert on Japanese juvenile law and gender law. She has published many works in both English and Japanese on these topics. She is also the chief of the Human Rights Now's Earthquake Relief Project whose activities include fact-finding missions, policy proposals, lobbying activity, and seminars to raise awareness on the human rights situation in Fukushima and other areas affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011.

Dr. Hisako Sakiyama, M.D., Ph.D., Member of the Takagi School of Alternative Scientists, a Japanese NGO established in 1998 to study the environment, nuclear issues, human rights, and other issues of modern society from the perspective of citizens and to create ways that scientists and prospective scientists can link their specialized expertise and capabilities with citizen movements; Former Research Associate at the MIT; Specialized in cancer cell biology as Former Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan; and, Former member of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) which is a commission established by the Diet of Japan in 2011. She will be talking about how radiation related issues are taught in Japanese communities, collusion between International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) members and Japanese industries, and her findings as a member of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigative Commission.

Dr. Maureen McCue, M.D., Ph.D.,  Founding member, faculty, and former Director of the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program; Founding member, faculty and executive committee member of the University Center for Human Rights; Medical Director for the Emma Goldman Feminist Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa; Coordinator of the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility for 10 years; Board member of national Physicians for Social Responsibility; has traveled and worked extensively as a peacemaker, researcher, and physician. In 2000 she was instrumental in organizing a Global Assembly on the Right to Health calling for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health; elements of this proposal helped the UN Commission on Human Rights establish this position in April 2002. She recently traveled to Japan where she met with medical representatives and health activists from Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Fukushima.


HUMAN RIGHTS NOW: Human Rights Now (HRN), an international NGO in consultative status with the ECOSOC, is based in Tokyo with several hundred members composed of lawyers, scholars, journalists and concerned citizens. In July 2011, on behalf of a coalition of civil society groups in Japan, Human Rights Now requested the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation after the disaster. In response to the request, Mr. Anand Grover, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, visited Japan in November 2012. Recently, HRN submitted a joint statement, signed by more than 70 civil societies in Japan and worldwide, urging the IAEA and the Japanese government to take a rights-based approach in response to the nuclear disaster based on the recent preliminary findings and recommendations issued by Mr. Grover in November. To raise awareness of the situation in Fukushima after the nuclear accident, HRN NY has organized human rights seminars and a press conference to inform the international community about the ongoing crisis. (

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) advocates for sound public health policies regarding exposure to radioactive and other toxic materials, and is the medical and public health voice working to prevent the use or spread of nuclear weapons, to slow, stop and reverse global warming and the toxic degradation of the environment. Fukushima presents an immediate challenge to protect those individuals most endangered by exposure to dangerous levels of radioactivity, and to adequately and openly track the health consequences of the ongoing irradiation of populations. PSR was founded in 1961 and succeeded in achieving the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that ended the global radioactive contamination produced by atmospheric nuclear bomb testing. PSR shared in the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), for building public pressure to push their governments to end the nuclear arms race. (

PEACE BOAT US: Peace Boat US is a civil society, non-profit organization working to promote peace, human rights, equitable and sustainable development, and respect for the environment throughout the United States and the world. These goals are pursued through peace education programs, including onboard conferences, workshops, face-to-face encounters and field studies. Peace Boat US upholds The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, including the promotion of the non-violent prevention and resolution of conflict among nations and peoples, and the development of a culture of peace. (