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FOCUS June 2002 Volume 28

WCAR Follow-up Activities

Kazuhiro Kawamoto

The call of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for reports on follow-up activities to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance (Durban 2001) did not get a response from any government in Asia-Pacific. Worldwide, only 8 government reports were received.

However, OHCHR received numerous reports from UN-accredited "NGOs [and] ... NGO networks and caucuses that were developed during the preparations for the World Conference [and] ... are actively engaged in follow-up activities in all regions of the world."

The International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) submitted a brief report including a summary of follow-up activities in Japan.

A coalition of Japan-based individuals and organizations interested in WCAR organized a meeting to report the outcome of WCAR to the general public. The coalition also prepared a book (in Japanese language) entitled World Conference Against Racism and Japan in May 2002. This publication covers issues relating to the buraku (descent), Ainu and Okinawa (indigenous peoples), colonialism and slavery (relating to Korean residents), non-Japanese residents, and migrants. It also includes articles on human rights education, multiple discrimination, trafficking in persons, initiatives of Asia-Pacific NGOs, among others. The Japanese translation of the WCAR intergovernmental and NGO declarations and programmes of action are included. The Japanese government has not yet translated any of the official documents nor publicized any report on WCAR so far.

Kazuhiro Kawamoto is a staffmember of HURIGHTS OSAKA.

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