Walking the Long Road in Solidarity and Hope: A Case Study of the Comfort Women Movement's Deployment of Human Rights Discourse
Harvard Human Rights Journal, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2009
Posted: 29 Jan 2013 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 27, 2013
The article discusses the global human rights movement of comfort women, who suffered serious abuses by the Japan during WWII. The movement demands that Japan publically apologize and provide reparation for the acts committed. The article discusses the human rights strategy used by the movement to advance its claims and focuses on how this strategy can serve as a lesson to other similarly situated groups. The author compares the people-centric paradigm of post-conflict justice put forth by the movement with the state-centric paradigm employed by Japan. The first part of the article focuses on the early strategies of the movement, and analyzes the Hwang v. Japan decisions to dissect the litigation efforts put forth and the challenges faced. The second part discusses the impacts of the more recent human rights strategies employed which go beyond litigation, including the 2000 Womens Tribunal mock trial. Finally, the paper examines the transnational legislative campaigns brought forward by the movement in 2007 and 2008, and conducts a case study of the U.S. House Resolution 121. The author also discusses the impact of pursuing routes that go beyond litigation and how they further the movement.
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