The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

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Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/45
Report on the mission to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in wartime



136. The Special Rapporteur wishes to make the following recommendations which aim at the discharge of her mandate in a spirit of cooperation with the Governments concerned and at trying to understand the phenomenon of military sexual slavery in wartime within the wider framework of violence against women, its causes and consequences. The Special Rapporteur counts, in particular, on the cooperation of the Government of Japan, which has already shown, in discussions with the Special Rapporteur, its openness and willingness to act to render justice to the few surviving women victims of military sexual slavery carried out by the Japanese Imperial Army.

A. At the national level

137. The Government of Japan should:

(a) Acknowledge that the system of comfort stations set up by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War was a violation of its obligations under international law and accept legal responsibility for that violation;

(b) Pay compensation to individual victims of Japanese military sexual slavery according to principles outlined by the Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on the right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. A special administrative tribunal for this purpose should be set up with a limited time-frame since many of the victims are of a very advanced age;

(c) Make a full disclosure of documents and materials in its possession with regard to comfort stations and other related activities of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War;

(d) Make a public apology in writing to individual women who have come forward and can be substantiated as women victims of Japanese military sexual slavery;

(e) Raise awareness of these issues by amending educational curricula to reflect historical realities;

(f) Identify and punish, as far as possible, perpetrators involved in the recruitment and institutionalization of comfort stations during the Second World War.

B. At the international level

138. Non-governmental organizations working at the international level should continue to raise these issues within the United Nations system. There should also be an attempt to seek an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice or the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

139. The Governments of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea may consider requesting the International Court of Justice to help resolve the legal issues concerning Japanese responsibility and payment of compensation for the "comfort women".

140. The Special Rapporteur urges the Government of Japan in particular to take into account and act upon the above recommendations at the soonest possible time, bearing in mind the advanced age of the surviving women, as well as the fact that 1995 is the fiftieth anniversary of the ending of the Second World War. The Special Rapporteur feels that not only have fifty years passed since the end of the war but that it is time to restore the dignity of those women who have suffered so much.

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