Fukushima: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health is now in Japan
Fukushima: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health is now in Japan conducting an investigation on “the right to health” of people affected by radiation released by the nuclear plant accident.
Although one and a half years have passed since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, serious concerns remain, such as whether the health of people living in the area around the power plant, is properly protected; and whether the government is taking effective policies to prevent serious health hazards against the expected risks of radiation.
Human Rights Now,in collaboration with other civil society organizations, sent a request to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur to conduct a fact-finding mission. As a result, it was decided that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr. Anand Grover would come to Japan and conduct a fact-finding mission from November 15th -26th, 2012, to investigate the current situation surrounding “the right to health” of people affected by radiation, including children, released from the nuclear power plant. The Special Rapporteur is scheduled to hold various interviews in Tokyo and Fukushima.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health is an independent specialist selected by the UN Human Rights Council, in accordance with the special procedures began in 2002 with the adoption of a United Nations Resolution. The Special Rapporteur conducts fact-finding missions and makes recommendations on issues and violations of the right to health around the world. The Special Rapporteur is here in Japan to investigate the situation surrounding people’s health after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at the nuclear power plant. It is expected that the Special Rapporteur will formulate recommendations after the investigation is finished.
Although the detailed schedule has not been announced, the Special Rapporteur is interviewing governmental institutions and authorities from the Fukushima prefecture. At the same time, he will also be requesting to meet with people living in Fukushima, evacuees (including self-evacuees), and members of civil society.
Human Rights Now has been criticizing the policies taken by the government and the prefecture authorities following the accident as insufficient compared to accepted international standards, the procedures are delayed, and people are suffering from health concerns and it is proving hard for them to have their voices heard. Human Rights Now has been requesting an improvement on these issues. Human Rights Now hopes that through this investigation, appropriate recommendations based on international standards will be proposed by the UN and the current situation will improve.
The UN investigation is independent and neutral, but Human Rights Now will play a role in connecting the Special Rapporteur with Japanese civil society and the affected victims. We will also provide information on the availability of interviews by media throughout the investigation process, and the schedule of press conferences with the Special Rapporteur.
(* Note: Human Rights Now has already received inquiries about events, debriefing sessions and symposiums, however, unfortunately no assembly or lecture is currently scheduled as the purpose of this visit is an investigation.)
For more information on the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr. Anand Grover, please refer to the following website http://unsrhealth.org/
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