Sixty-first session
Agenda item 12

Women and Human Rights

International Educational Development first raised the issue of Japan's World War II war rape victims (the "comfort women") at the Commission in 1992, before the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women was established. Other NGOs also took up this issue, and that year we jointly presented some of the victims, now quite elderly or deceased, who came forward to tell their stories. The war rape victims are mainly from the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Burma. Indeed, it was this issue that was a driving force in establishing the mandate of the rapporteur.

In a statement this speaker made several years later, we asked what compensation members of the Commission would want if their daughters had been raped the number of times that the war-rape victims suffered this ordeal. We calculated that the average victim suffered 10 rapes a day, seven days a week, fifty- two days a year for a total of 3540 rapes per year. We ask the members of this Commission - what compensation would you seek if your daughter was raped 3540 times a year, for perhaps three to four years? Would you be surprised to know that Japan has paid essentially no compensation for these crimes? How would you explain to your daughter that you did not consider women important enough? Germany has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to its World War II victims while Japan has paid essentially nothing. We think permanent membership in the Security Council should not be available to any country that has not fully paid its World War II debts, and in a way that that honors rather than sullies the victims and in a way that accepts full responsibility.

In similar fashion, there have been a large number of rapes of Kashmiri women carried out by the Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir in the years 1990 to today. These cases have been reported to Commission rapporteurs and are very well documents. These rape victims also need to be fully compensated and the over-all Kashmir situation resolved according to the resolutions of the Security Council before India should be considered for permanent membership in that body.

If in the "reform" of the United Nations, gross violators of the rights of women are rewarded with permanent seats on the Security Council, how can the United Nations escape ridicule?