On September 11, survivor Kim Bok-dong(88) testified during the 24th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council and urged the Japanese government to apologize.
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (hereafter the Korean Council) and Amnesty International hosted a forum “Justice for Japan’s wartime sex slavery survivors.” Survivor Kim Bok-dong shared her tragic story and said, “We are not begging for money. We just want an official apology and legal reparations for enforced sex slavery. We want the Japanese government to acknowledge its past wrongdoing.”
Yoon Mi-hyang, representative of the Korean Council strongly argued that the international community as a whole needs to stay committed to realize a just society where perpetrators are punished and victims are guaranteed proper compensation.
During the event, Pablo de Greiff, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence, spoke about Japan’s obligation to compensate comfort women survivors. In addition, the Korean and Japanese students from Canada ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia) highlighted the importance of educating the public about the atrocities and human rights violations that occurred during World War II in Asia. Furthermore, there was a report on the international campaigns and efforts led by the Korean Council.
After the event, survivor Kim and the Korean Council plan to visit Paris and launch campaigns to raise people’s awareness about the comfort women issue across Europe. “Wednesday Demonstration demanding Japan to redress the Comfort Women problems” is to be held on September 18 in Paris.