2015 CSW Parallel Event in New York, 9th March

Human Rights Now, Peace Boat,

Women’s Active Museum War and Peace (WAM), Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation

CONTACT: Human Rights Now, March9nyhrn@gmail.com


Truth and Justice for “Comfort Women.”

~Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military during WWII~

2015 CSW (Beijing+20) Parallel Event in New York

March 9th, Monday, 12:30PM – 14:00PM

Armenian Convention Center, Ballroom

 630 Second Ave, New York, NY 10016 (35th St. & Second Ave.)

WHAT:  Upcoming 59th Commission on the Status of Women in NY will be conveyed as 20th anniversary of 4th World Conference of Women (Beijing Plus 20). In this occasion, highlighting the issue of Japanese military sexual slavery during WW II, so called Comfort Women, we invite International Law Expert, human rights expert/activist from Japan and victims countries who will report current situation surrounding the issue and discuss how to solve the problem based on the established norm of international law. We also learn from survivors’ speech and message.

WHERE: Armenian Convention Center, Ballroom

                  630 Second Ave, New York, NY 10016 (35th St. & Second Ave.)

WHEN: Monday, March 9, 2015, 12:30PM-14:00PM

WHO:    Ms. Kazuko Ito, Secretary General of Human Rights Now (HRN)

Ms. Mina Watanabe, Secretary General of the Women’s Active Museum on War   and Peace (WAM)

Ms. Kelli Muddell, Director of International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Gender Justice Program

    Ms. Shu-Hua Kang,  Executive Director of Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation


Contact: March9nyhrn@gmail.com

Admission is free.

Registration is required to attend this event. Please go to below website and register “NGO CSW Forum”

You will get a confirmation ticket via email. Please print and bring with you to this event.

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Comfort Women – Ongoing Issue of Human Rights Violation

In August 2014, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay (at the time) expressed profound regret that Japan has failed to pursue a comprehensive, impartial and lasting resolution of the issue of wartime sexual slavery, and human rights of survivors continue to be violated decades after the end of the WWII. “This is not an issue relegated to history.

 It is a current issue, as human rights violations against these women continue to occur as long as their rights to justice and reparation are not realized,” Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay


What Do We Learn From Survivors?

Almost 70 years passed since the end of WW II. The survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery, so called Comfort Women have been still fighting for truth, justice and reparation of grave violations of human rights.

Instead of ensure justice and reparation, a current administration in Japan tries to deny legal responsibility and coercive nature of the comfort women system.

In 21st century, eliminating sexual violence during armed conflict is one of the most important challenges. Without solving this grave human rights violation against women, we cannot move forward.

In this event, human rights expert/activist will report a current situation surrounding them. We also learn from survivors’ speech and message and discuss possible solutions to end this violation.


Ms. Kazuko Ito:Esq., Secretary General of Human Rights Now (HRN).. She also serves as a member of the UN Women Regional Civil Society Advisory Group (Asia Pacific), and past chair of the Gender Equality Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.. As a human rights lawyer, she dealt with many cases of GBV and sexual exploitation of women and girls. She also contributes to numerous articles on the issue of “comfort women”.

Ms. Mina Watanabe (Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace(WAM)):The secretary general of the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) based in Tokyo, which focuses on violence against women in conflict situations including military sexual slavery during the Second World War (the so-called “comfort women”). She has been an activist for women’s rights since 1990, following her graduation from the International Christian University. Ms. Watanabe has worked in NGOs and parliamentarians’ offices with a focus on women’s rights, and was actively involved in The Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal for the Trial of Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo in 2000.

Ms. Kelli Muddell (International Center for Transitional Justice, Gender Justice Program):Kelli Muddell is director of the Gender Justice Program with ICTJ. She has been with ICTJ since it opened its doors in March 2001. In addition to focusing on gender issues, she has also worked on ICTJ’s Sierra Leone country program.Muddell is currently conducting the first study to be done in the field on how transitional justice mechanisms have addressed, or failed to address, the targeting of sexual minorities during periods of conflict.

Ms. Shu-Hua Kang (Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation):Shu-Hua Kang is the executive director of Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation, where she has been devoted to the care of and advocacy work for Taiwanese survivors of sexual slavery by the Japanese military during WWII. Ms. Kang, an experienced social worker, has focused on facilitating an integrated later life for these survivors and in utilizing multiple educational tools to engage the younger generations with the issue of sexual slavery and violence. She is the executive producer of the documentary Song of the Reed, which portrays the stories of four Taiwanese survivors in their later years. Ms. Kang is a recognized national leader in the arena of violence against women in Taiwan.


HUMAN RIGHTS NOW: Human Rights Now (HRN), an international NGO in consultative status with the ECOSOC, is based in Tokyo with several hundreds of members composed of lawyers, scholars, journalists and concerned citizens (http://hrn.or.jp/eng/). Human Rights Now works for the promotion and protection of human rights for people in the world, with a special focus on Asia. To raise awareness of the issue of “Comfort Women”,  HRN issued series of statements and appeals in Japan and within the UN System. In May 2013, HRN issued a joint statement, endorsed by 67 civil societies in Japan and worldwide, condemning the remark by a politician Mr. Hashimoto on this matter and urge Japanese government to redress this grave human rights violation based on the established norm and standards of international human rights law.

PEACE BOAT: Peace Boat 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. (http://www.peaceboat.org/english/)

WOMEN’S ACTIVE MUSEUM ON WAR AND PEACE(WAM): After the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery was held in 2000, WAM began dreaming of a museum where all the Tribunal records and materials related to the so-called “comfort women” issue could be preserved and made available to future generations. The passion of the late Yayori Matsui, then chairperson of VAWW-NET Japan, was the driving force that led us to realize this dream. In June 2003, WAM a established the NPO “Women’s Fund for Peace and Human Rights” and launched our “Raise 100,000,000 Yen Campaign” for the museum with an initial support fund from Yayori’s legacy. (http://wam-peace.org/en/)

TAIPEI WOMEN’S RESCUE FOUNDATION: Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (TWRF) was formally registered in September of 1987 to provide legal consultation and counseling to girls and women in the sex trade, and to help them return to their families and society.The Foundation has been a pioneer in the effort to eliminate the trafficking of women in Taiwan and was established with a mission to eradicate child prostitution, which as recently as 1987 was a serious problem, most notably with economically disadvantaged parents selling their daughters into prostitution.(http://www.twrf.org.tw/eng/p1-about.asp)