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FOCUS March 1996 Volume 3

Domestic Human Rights Education Program

HURIGHTS OSAKA has a domestic human rights education program that aims to promote awareness of international human rights standards, recognizethe reality of human rights violations, and relate human rights concerns to the growing internationalization of Japan. This complements the regional human rights education program that will be launched soon.

It has been holding trainings and seminars on human rights for two years now. It divides its activities into two types: a) training activities for people involved in human rights work; and b) seminars for the general public.

For its training activities, HURIGHTS OSAKA has been mainly inviting private corporation and local government personnel in charge of human rights programs. The general public seminars have been attracting ordinary citizens (company/govenrment employees, housewives, shop owners, entrepreneurs, students, and teachers). There are on the average 30-40 participants per activity. Over the course of two years, there were 2 training activities and 12 public seminars.

These activities have taken up such topics as: introduction to human rights; international human rights law; United Nations mechanisms; relevant Japanese laws; specific issues (foreign residents, migrant foreign workers, child rights, among others).

Resource persons from the academe, the NGO sector and the government-supported foundations have been invited to provide lectures.

In its last public seminar, the following issues were taken up: international human rights standards concerning foreign residents and minority groups. Foreign residents in Japan (a Filipino woman married to a Japanese, a Peruvian-Japanese woman married also to a Japanese , and a Vietnamese man who decided to stay in Japan after the Vietnam war broke out) have been the main speakers in the seminar. The distinctive feature of this recent seminar is its focus on actual experiences of foreigners living in Japan and the human rights problems that they have encountered.


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