Q.How was the International Society’ Response to the comfort women Issue?
A.International organizations recognized the gravity of the issue and recommended the Japanese government to take active measures to resolve the problem. In 1994, the International Commission of Jurists presented 7 recommendations to the Japanese government including disclosing information, establishing an administrative body, taking a legislative measure, providing full rehabilitation measures for victims, if a victim refuses to take rehabilitation measures, establishing a trial court or arbitration court immediately, and providing 40,000 USD to victims as a provisional measure. The ILO experts committee have said in its reports released in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007 that the Japanese military comfort women fell into the category of ‘forced labor’stipulated in the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, and urged the Japanese government to take swift and appropriate measures to resolve this issue.
The UN Commission on Human Rights have adopted the reports by Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswarmy in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2003. The reports urged the Japanese government to take the legal responsibility with regard to comfort women, provide full restitution and written apology to victims and establish a ‘Special Administrative Court’to punish the wrong doers. In 1998, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights declared the Japanese Military comfort Women was the direct violation of international laws, affirmed the Japanese government holds the responsibility to compensate the victims and prosecute those involved in establishing comfort stations. It also adopted the report by Gay J. Mcdougall which called for the UN’ intervention in resolving this issue.
In 2000, civic groups from 8 Asian countries including Korea, Philippines, China and Malaysia held the ‘Women’ International War Crimes Tribunal’in which the testimonies by 64 former comfort women were heard. The court ruled the Emperor of Japan was found guilty and the Japanese government should take the responsibility full reparations. (But the ruling was not legally bounding for it was a civil court.)http://www.hermuseum.go.kr/eng/sub01/sub0102.asp