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Japan Centers

Page history last edited by Jeff Plantilla 1 year, 9 months ago

Japan Centersnown Centers based in Japan

If your center is not in this list and you want to be added, please contact HURIGHTS OSAKA and we will assist you.






Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center (AJWRC)


Year Established: 1995


Short Historical Background


The Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center was established in 1995 as an extension of the Asian Women's Association (AWA). The late Yayori Matsui, an internationally known feminist journalist, became its first Director. The Center has been making efforts to establish a linkage to, and exchange information with, women's non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and feminist activists worldwide.




AJWRC aims

1. To abolish all the forms of violence against women by working on issues of armed conflicts, military bases, trafficking, prostitution, domestic violence, and gender-based suppression under nationalisms and religious fundamentalisms

2. To challenge the existing politico-economic institutions that lead to poverty and gender inequality, tackling issues such as free trade, development aid, environmental degradation, migration, restructuring and increasing instability of women labor, and social security systems

3. To achieve alternative political and judicial institutions based on human rights and gender equality, and

4) To empower women to play more active roles in all spheres of society by examining the issues of international politics, legal systems, Japan's war responsibilities, women's participation in politics, education, and information communication technologies.



Programs and Activities


1) Information Sharing & Networking Program

- Publishing feminist journals

- Production of other materials

- Disseminating information through the internet

- Women’s information library


2) Gender Education & Training Program

- Organizing seminars and workshops on various issues with feminist perspectives

- Women's study tours to visit women's groups in other Asian countries to learn their issues and activities and to share information and experiences

- Lecture and training for groups, schools and governments on request.


3) Campaigns, Advocacy and Researches

- Monitoring cases and policies

- Running ad-hoc and long-term campaigns

- Participating in policy dialogues

- Doing research and surveys for advocacy purposes




• Voices from Japan - bi-annual journal (English)

• Women's Asia 21 - quarterly (Japanese)

• Gender and Human Rights: A Workbook





Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center

14-10-211 Sakuragaoka

Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0031 Japan

ph: (813) 3780-5245

fax: 3463-9752

e-mail: ajwrc[a]ajwrc.org






Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA)


Year Established: 1994


Short Historical Background


Discussions within the United Nations in the early 1980s about the possibility of establishing a regional human rights mechanism in the Asia-Pacific triggered the appeal by the late Yo Kobota, a Japanese United Nations officer, for the creation of an institution that would contribute to the realization of this regional human rights arrangement. He sought Japan’s role in promoting human rights in the region by setting up a Human Rights Information Center in Asia. He proposed to set up the institution on the “...strengths of the people and the local governing bodies.”


The civil society movement in Osaka, in response to this call, appealed to the Osaka city and prefectural governments to help establish such a Human Rights Information Center. After a decade of preparation by both the civil society movement and the local governments in Osaka, the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center was inaugurated on 17 December 1994. It was given the short name “HURIGHTS OSAKA.”


Since then, HURIGHTS OSAKA has been undertaking different initiatives on the promotion of human rights in Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with local, national, regional and international institutions.


In 2009, HURIGHTS OSAKA obtained a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. In 2012, HURIGHTS OSAKA became a general foundation under Japanese law.






  1. Engender popular understanding in Osaka of the international human rights standards
  2. Support international exchange between Osaka and countries in Asia-Pacific through collection and dissemination of information and materials on human rights
  3. Promote human rights in Asia-Pacific in cooperation with national and regional institutions as well as the United Nations.




HURIGHTS OSAKA engages in the following activities:

a. Information Collection and Dissemination - collection of materials on human rights, including information on human rights issues and practices, and their dissemination to the Asia-Pacific region in print, digital and other forms;

b. Research - study of a range of human rights issues relevant to the region (such as marginalization of indigenous peoples, minorities, refugees, migrant workers and other vulnerable groups; discrimination based on social status; development and human rights) in cooperation with qualified individuals and institutions;

c. Education – provision of educational activities at domestic and regional levels to promote better understanding and practice of human rights. This includes development of appropriate teaching/learning and training materials for individuals and institutions (including private and public corporations);

d. Publication - production of materials in English and Japanese languages such as newsletter, booklet, journal, occasional paper, audio-visual aid, and other materials;

e. Consultancy - provision of advisory services on human rights programs and research.


Special Concerns


HURIGHTS OSAKA has been focusing on human rights education in most of its regional activities.




English publications

• Business, Human Rights and Northeast Asia - A Facilitator's Training Manual (2016)
• Bridging Human Rights Principles and Business Realities in Northeast Asia (2014)

• Human Rights Education in the Northeast Asian School Systems - Resource Material (2013)

• Directory of Asia-Pacific Human Rights Centers, second edition (2013)

• Law, Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Asia (2011)

• Human Rights Education in Asia-Pacific - 10 volumes - annual journal since 2010

• Human Rights Education in Asian Schools - 12 volumes - annual journal (1998-2010)
• The State of Human Rights Education in Northeast Asian School Systems: Obstacles, Challenges, Opportunities (2010)

• Human Rights Education in the School Systems in Southeast Asia - Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Thailand (2009)

• South Asian Teachers and Human Rights Education - A Training Resource Material (2009)

• Educational Policies and Human Rights Awareness - Japan, the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka (2008)

• Human Rights Education in Indian Schools (2007)

• Human Rights Education in Philippine Schools (2006)

• Human Rights Lesson Plans for Southeast Asian Schools (2003) (English, Vietnamese, Khmer, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Indonesia)

• Schools, Human Rights and Society - Report of the 1998 Workshops on Human Rights Education in Schools (1999) (English and Japanese)

• Human Rights in Asian Cultures - Continuity and Change (1997)

• Development and Democracy: Philippines' Quest for the Next Century - occasional paper series (1998)

• FOCUS Asia-Pacific - quarterly newsletter


Japanese publications

• Asia-Pacific Human Rights Review - annual journal (1997-2009)

• Human Rights Pamphlets

• Human Rights in the Administration of Justice: A Manual on Human Rights for Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors - United Nations publication translated into Japanese (2006)

• Human Rights Education (2004)

• National Human Rights Institutions (2001)

• Jinken Hiroba - bimonthly newsletter


Other Information


HURIGHTS OSAKA maintains a library with books, journals, magazines, and reports on human rights concepts, issues, practices, programs, institutions. Materials on related issues such as the history, political/social/economic/cultural systems of countries in the Asia-Pacific are also included in the collection. The materials are sourced from human rights organizations and centers, universities and commercial publishing companies. Information on the materials can be accessed through the website of HURIGHTS OSAKA.


HURIGHTS OSAKA  has a meeting room for seminars, briefing sessions and other activities.




Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA)

8F, CE Nishihon-machi  Bldg.

1-7-7 Nishihonmachi, Nishi-ku

Osaka 550-0005 Japan

ph: (816) 6543-7002

fax: (816) 6543-7004

e-mail: webmail[a]hurights.or.jp






Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute (BLHRRI)


Year Established: 1968


Short Historical Background


The Buraku Liberation Research Institute (BLRI) was established in 1968 in cooperation with the Buraku Liberation League (BLL) and with the administrative assistance of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City. In July 1998, it changed the name to the Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute (BLHRRI).




BLHRRI aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination including Buraku discrimination, and establish human rights in society.


Programs and Activities


Investigation and Research Division


1. Research Committees - twenty-seven Committees cover the following activities - awareness-raising, human rights, research/administration, education and community, and history and theory.

2. Investigation and Research Projects - thirteen projects covering discrimination based on work and descent; Reforms in Meiji Restoration and Buraku problem; urban lower class and Buraku problem; documents relating to Chori during Edo period; Osaka Buraku history, history of the post-war Buraku liberation movement, protection of personal information of employees and corporate social responsibility; human rights community development; development of community education system; employment problem among the youth; career education and human rights; human rights awareness and the Buraku problem; and the Japanese Constitution.

3. Buraku Liberation and human rights education/awareness project

4. Editing Committee on Buraku History of Osaka


Education and Training Division


The Division regularly organizes the following human rights training programs to different sectors of society:


1. Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Leadership Course: launched in 1974, a twenty-nine-day course involving sixty-five trainees and offered three times a year. As of 2006, about 4,200 people have already completed the course.


2. Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Summer Course at Mt. Koya: Since 1970, the summer course has been organized every August at Mt. Koya with about 2,000 participants. As a beginner course, it offers two plenary sessions and five different thematic lecture courses for three days. As of 2007, the course has been held thirty-eight times.


3. Buraku Liberation Summer Course for Western Japan: This is a course held every July in different parts of west Japan since 1976. It is usually attended by 4,000 people. As of 2007, it has been organized thirty-two times.


4. Human Rights and Dowa Course for the Business Sector: This is a course for human rights trainers mainly in the business sector. It has been offered since 1980 in cooperation between state agencies, local governments and industrial organizations. As of 2007, it has been organized twenty-two times.


5. Human Rights Training and Research Assembly: This is a gathering of activists, educators and researchers from different parts of Japan to exchange human rights training experiences and develop research works. Organized every February in different parts of the country, it is attended by an average of 3,000 people each year. The participants share experiences and opinions during plenary and workshop sessions. Fieldwork is also organized to visit historical spots in the host place relating to human rights.


6. Human Rights Training Tokyo Course: Since 1987, the Tokyo Course has been organized to train human rights training leaders in the business sector, local governments, religious organizations and mass-media. This twelve-day course has already trained 1,200 people as of 2006.


Some of these programs are organized jointly with the business sector, local governments, religious sector and NGOs.





• Bulletin of Buraku Liberation - publishes the output of the research committee.

• Human Rights - monthly magazine

• Buraku Liberation Research - bimonthly bulletin

• Year Book on Human Rights - annual report on human rights developments in Japan

• Discriminatory Incidents that Occurred throughout the Country - annual, since 1981

• "Living together - We develop our own future" - a film describing unspoken thoughts and feeling of minority people including Buraku people, Korean people, migrant workers, sexual minorities, etc.

• Photo Document of the Post-war 60 Years

• Development of the Buraku Liberation Movement

• The Declaration and General Principles of the Suiheisha (Levelers Association)

• Reality of Buraku Discrimination in Japan - History, Situation and Challenges

• Discrimination in Japan from the Perspective of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

• DOWA Education

• The Reality of Buraku Discrimination in Japan

• The Second International Conference against Discrimination

• Human Rights of Minorities in Asia-Pacific

• White Paper on Human Rights in Japan

• The United Nations, Japan and Human Rights

• The Road to a Discrimination-free Future

• Discriminated Against Minority in Japan

• Long Suffering Brothers and Sisters, Unite!





The Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute (BLHRRI)

8F, Human Rights Center Building

4-1-37, Namiyoke, Minato-ku

Osaka City, Japan 556-0028

ph: (816) 6568 0905

fax: (816) 6568 0714

e-mail: udhr[a]blhrri.org





Center for Documentation of Refugees and Migrants (CDR)

Year Established: 2009

Short Historical Background

The Center for Documentation of Refugees and Migrants (CDR) was established in April 2009 supported by a grant from Hogakukan Ltd., a private corporation based in Tokyo. CDR acts as the secretariat of a lecture series titled “Human Mobility Studies” by the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School and College of Arts and Sciences. The lecture series began in April 2010.
CDR is a research organization specializing on the issues of refugees and migrants, and uses its research output and networks in supporting the lecture series and other activities.


CDR aims to collect, organize and distribute information related to the migration of peoples, and especially the study of migration. It has two main strategies: research and education. Its specialty is not limited to specific disciplines, rather it is oriented towards multi-disciplinary approach. By facilitating the interchange of actors related to human mobility issues from the neutral stance as an academic organization, CDR aims to become the center of knowledge and experiences of refugees and migrants.


CDR currently has two main research programs:
• Refugee status determination – this includes the development of a database of countries of origin of asylum seekers (COI-DB);
• Refugee resettlement – this includes field interview research of refugees resettled in Japan.


As an academic organization, CDR hosts many symposiums and seminars with a variety of guest speakers from all around the world. It also actively invites practitioners in the refugee and migration fields to take part in these activities. The open summer school on refugee protection is an example.


The Summer School is an annual intensive summer course on refugee studies. In 2011, the course focused on refugee rights, particularly regarding refugees without domestic legal status (a very serious issue facing refugees in Japan). In 2012, the course included coursework entitled “Refugee Status Determination in the Context of Refugee Protection: Theory and Practice of Credibility Assessment” and an international seminar/symposium. The Summer School is open to the public and is held in English (with translation to Japanese).

Special Concerns

As part of the University of Tokyo, which believes in internationalization and contribution to civil society by the academe, CDR’s main concern is to commit social problems and seek to improve
the situation.


• CDR Quarterly, vols.1 to 5 (quarterly journal)
• 100 Q & A on Refugee Protection
• Shortbooks” - one page summaries on a variety of topics related to migration and migration studies

Other Information

CDR has an online data sharing system that contains a variety of collected and sorted contents relating to refugee and migrant issues. The system uses Zotero, a free online data sharing system. CDR has been cooperating with private companies such as Hogakukan and Lexis-Nexis in the context of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). CDR also has keen relationship with the Tokyo Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


Center for Documentation of Refugees (CDR)
Rm.307, Bldg.9, 1-8-3 Komaba, Meguro
Tokyo, Japan
ph/fax: (813) 5465 8846
e-mail: cdr[a]hsp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp




 Center for Human Rights - Kindai University


 Year Established: 1986


 Short Historical Background


The Kinki University established in 1979 the Institute of Buraku Issues Studies based on a review of discriminatory practices at the university. The Institute was established in order to enforce a system of education and research on Buraku issues in the university. One of the most serious and extensive discriminatory practices at that time was the "Buraku Lists Scandal." The "Buraku Lists" were meant to identify the location of Buraku communities and to investigate personal backgrounds of individuals. The university was found to have bought a copy of the "Buraku List." On 1 April 1986, the Center for Human Rights was established to replace the Institute and started activities as an institution of education and research on human rights at Kinki University. The official English name of the university was changed from Kinki University to Kindai University in April 2016.




The Center aims to contribute to the realization of human rights by carrying out research on discrimination at home and abroad, including Buraku discrimination, race/ethnicity, gender discrimination and disability discrimination.


 Programs and Activities


The Center has been undertaking the following programs:

• Education and support for research on human rights issues

• Research and investigation on human rights issues

• Publication

• Study meetings and public lectures

• Collection of documents and information on human rights.


It holds the following annual activities:


• Courses

- April to July: Classes on "Human rights and Society 1", "Human rights and Law" and "NPO/NGO theory" for students

- September to January (in the following year): Classes on "Human rights and Society 2", "Human rights and Law", and "Community development theory" for students

• Special Lectures on human rights for one week for students, staff and teachers (June, October and December)

• Field trip to human rights museum (called "Liberty Osaka") with students and teachers (July)

• Meetings on human rights issues with representatives of all faculties and board members of university  





• "Research papers on Human rights" (Japanese)





Center for Human Rights

- Kindai University

3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-Osaka, Osaka 577-8502 Japan

ph: (816) 6721-2332 (ext.2009)

fax: (816) 6730-2632



(Japanese language)




Centre for Human Rights Education and Training

Year Established: 1987

Short Historical Background

Center for Human Rights Education and Training was founded in October 1987 as a Foundation under the auspices of the Management and Coordination Agency of the Japanese government.

Since then it has undertaken activities as a central body for public information activities on the Dowa problem. In response to a recommendation by the Consultative Council on Regional Improvement Measures in May 1996, the Cabinet of Japan made a decision on future measures for an early solution to the Dowa problem in July 1996. It also defined characteristics of the Center, as a foundation that supports and promotes education and public information on human rights. At this point, the character of the Center was constructively revised, and the relevant ministries and agencies resolved to promote the reform.
As a result, in April 1997 the Center started life anew as a foundation under the joint auspices of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education, and the Management and Coordination Agency.

As of April 1, 2012, the Center has been approved as Public Interest Incorporated Foundation based on Act on Authorization of Public Interest Incorporated Associations and Public Interest Incorporated Foundations.


The Center aims to provide comprehensive education, public information, and public relations on human rights including the Dowa problem, while at the same time planning surveys and research, data collection and dissemination, and international collaboration with respect to education and public information on human rights, and finally giving advice on human rights, thus contributing to the protection of basic human rights.

Programs and Activities

• Education and public information – among others, the Center prepares pamphlets, posters, etc. and produces public information DVDs and videos as materials to support more effective education and public information activities on human rights. The Center also introduces new methods of public information, including workshops and digital content.
• Training – the Center provide many types of training including sessions for developing human rights advocacy leadership. The Center also organize “CSR and Human Rights” seminars for businessmen to provide information on good corporate practices in raising awareness about human rights issues.
• Surveys & research – along with expert surveys and research on human rights (e.g. investigating the state of implementation of human rights awareness surveys, the present situation and trends in human rights awareness, and so on), the Center also carries out research on work-shops and other new methods of public information.
• Data collection & supply – the Center gathers and organizes various information and materials such as laws and ordinances on human rights, trends and opinion reports by national councils, the state of implementation of various public information activities by the national government and local authorities, and public information materials such as pamphlets, posters, DVDs and videos. It disseminates these information and materials via information bulletins and various other media such as the internet and computer networks.
• Advice on human rights – the Center provides various advices to local authorities, private sector companies, and others seeking to implement education and public information on human rights.
• International collaboration – as well as actively promoting efforts for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), the Center also collaborates with countries throughout the world to provide information on human rights in other countries.

Other Information

The Center has a Human Rights Library that collects and makes available books, videos, DVDs and display panels related to human rights, as well as information materials prepared by local authorities
for awareness-raising. The Library has a reading space where visitors can consult reference materials. Those who cannot visit the Library may borrow materials. Those who cannot visit the Library may borrow materials by mail. Poster and other human rights program exhibitions are held in the display space. The Center have a multi-purpose space that may be used for various training and
integrated study sessions on human rights issues.


Centre for Human Rights Education and Training (Jinken Kyoiku Keihatu Suisin Sentaa)
KDX Shibadaimon Bldg. 4th Floor
2-10-12, Shiba-daimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo. 105-0012 Japan
ph: (81-3) 5777-1802
fax: (81-3) 5777-1803
e-mail: postman[a]jinken.or.jp




Center for Prisoners’ Rights Japan (CPR)

Year Established: 1995

Short Historical Background

In 1993, Vivian Stern, then Secretary-General of Penal Reform International, encouraged Yuichi Kaido to establish a nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to prison reform.

Coincidentally, Kaido was approached by Human Rights Watch (HRW) regarding a research project on Japanese prison conditions. Kaido and his friends worked hard to arrange interviews and visits for HRW’s delegation. The people who were involved in these activities (lawyers, academics, students and grassroots activists) subsequently co-founded with Kaido the Center for Prisoners’ Rights (CPR) in 1995.

The CPR is the first Japanese NGO dedicated to:
• Improving the human rights situation in Japanese prisons, and
• Lobbying for Japanese penal system and practices that subscribe to the international human rights standards. CPR has for sixteen years been providing useful information on treatment of prisoners nationwide and giving practical advice and assistance to prisoners and their families.


The organization aims to reduce unnecessary imprisonment enhancing non-custodial measures and to abolish the death penalty.

Programs and Activities

• Advice Project for Prisoners: provision of appropriate information, legal advice, and legal assistance through attorneys if necessary, to prisoners.
• Research and promotion of international human rights standards in the penal reform area – production of research reports supporting the ratification of international human rights treaties and providing information on the penal area to members of the Japanese Diet and international human rights treaty-monitoring bodies such as the Human Rights Committee and the Committee against Torture.
• “Shake Hands Project”: helps prisoners exchange of letters with citizens to avoid isolation in prisons - especially in case of solitary confinement for long years.

Special Concerns

CPR emphasizes its concern for the rehabilitation all prisoners, the enjoyment of their basic human rights such as right to life, sufficient medical treatment, communication with families and other appropriate treatment that helps prisoners keep their human dignity.

Other Information

CPR is a member of the World Coalition against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and Anti Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN), and a correspondent member of the International Federation for Human
Rights (FIDH).


• CPR Newsletter (quarterly)


Center for Prisoners’ Rights (CPR)
Raffine Ochanomizu #807
3-28-13 Kanda Ogawa-machi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan 101-0052
ph: (813) 5379-5055
fax: (81) 5379-5055
email: cpr[a]cpr.jca.apc.org



Chiba Prefecture Human Rights Awareness Raising Center

Year Established: 1994

Short Historical Background

The Chiba Prefecture Human Rights Awareness Raising Center was started by the Buraku Awareness Raising Center volunteer group, which was established by the Buraku Liberation Movement in July 1986. In March 1994, the volunteer group obtained a license as a corporation from Chiba Prefectural government. In April 1996, the volunteer group was renamed Chiba Prefecture Human Rights Awareness Raising Center. The members of the Center include private human rights movement groups, research groups, businesses, religious bodies, local government and educators. There are currently 124 groups and individual members.


Alongside the Chiba Prefectural government’s human rights awareness -raising and educational research activities, the Center also aims to improve the awareness of human rights issues among Chiba citizens in order to facilitate the resolution of Buraku issues.


Programs and Activities


The activities of the Center are currently implemented through a research committee, a committee for audio-visual materials, a history research group, a committee on Dowa education in schools, and a ‘Stigma’ editorial committee. The main activities are the following:
• Publication of a monthly magazine on human rights issues called Stigma. (released on the 10th of each month)
• Holding meetings for Chiba Prefecture research on Buraku Issues
• Editing the Dowa education program by the Chiba Prefecture high school education research association; and selling Dowa education materials Amandora - Our Society and Discrimination and the revised edition Full of Kindness.
• Production of video documentaries and handbook, raising awareness of Dowa and human rights issues ‘Message to the
Future’, and ‘Encounters... Youth is Now’
• Holding intensive summer course on education and awareness (Dowa education); and a course on human rights leadership
• Organizing meetings and planning courses, as well as lecturers when needed, to local government, private companies and schools
• Holding surveys on human rights issues
• Selling and renting out Chiba human rights exhibition panel and CD roms
• Providing human rights business consultation (free of charge).
• Renting out the Chiba Prefecture human rights training centre.




Chiba Prefecture Human Rights Awareness Raising Centre
352 Motosakura,
Shisui-machi, Inba-gun,
Chiba Prefecture, 285-0926, Japan
ph: (81-43) 496-4967
fax: (81-43) 496-4572
e-mail: cjinken[a]symphony.plala.or.jp




Child Information and Research Center

(Anti-discrimination, Human Rights, Peace, Respect for Diversity)


Year Established: 1977

Short Historical Background

The Child Information and Research Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1977. It subscribes to the view that all have differences based on many factors such as culture, sex, color of skin, religion, physical attribute, and with or without disabilities. Thus, it believes that it should be natural for diverse people to live together in a society. Yet, those differences are not accepted and valued fully in the current society. As a result, indifference, prejudice, and oppression are still prevailing all over the world in various forms. Age is considered as one of those factors that lead to discrimination. Following children are considered immature and the target of instruction and protection.


The Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations in 1989 bans discrimination towards children by stating that they should be respected as individuals and as citizens who constitute a society, and should not solely be given protection. Thus the Center promotes the “in partnership with children” policy by striving to work together with children to construct a society where everyone accepts each other’s differences.


The Center aims to promote and enlighten the public on the various rights of children, and to create an equal partnership between children and adults while encouraging networking among people involved in child issues.

Programs and Activities

• Child Empowerment Programs
»» Childline OSAKA 0120-99-7777
»» Counseling service "Consultation on Child and Family Matters"
»» Telephone Consultation:06-4394-8754
»» Teens hotline on a website "Your Voice"
• Regional Support Programs for Networking and Raising Children
»» Child Rearing Support Line"06-4394-8754
»» Childcare group "Momogumi"
»» Children and Playing Network"
»» Supporters for child rearing issues "Supporter Net"
• Research and Enlightenment Activities for Child Advocacy
»» The Center organizes seminars and research groups as below:
»» Research project on independent advocacy services for children and young people
»» Theme-specific research group meetings
»» Human rights seminars for education and nurturing
»» Introduction of resource persons and organizing seminars
»» Cooperating programs with the local administrations.



• Publication of a monthly magazine Harappa that covers various topics related to children including human rights, child nurturing assistance, child support programs, messages from teenagers, and social issues such as environmental concerns. The purpose of this publication is to develop a society where an equal partnership between children and adults flourishes.
• Production of other books and booklets in order to expand new networking and to spread the Center’s concept and achievements related to child-rearing and child rights widely to the society.
All publications are available only in Japanese language.


Child Information and Research Center
5F, HRC Building,4-1-37, Namiyoke, Minato-ku
Osaka 552-0001 Japan
ph (81-6) 4708 - 7087
fax (81-6) 4394-8501
e-mail: info[a]kojoken.jp




General Research Institute on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC Institute)

Year Established: 2002

Short Historical Background

With a view to contributing to the development of research on the rights of the child in Japan, the General Research Institute on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC Institute) was founded in March 2002, and maintained especially in order to establish academic foundations that essential for the implementation and dissemination of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The CRC Institute is composed of researchers, attorneys-at-law and other lawyers, doctors, teachers, workers in institutions, parliamentarians, municipal officers and others involved in the promotion
and protection of children’s rights.


The CRC Institute aims
1. To promote comprehensive and multidisciplinary studies on children’s rights
2. To promote children’s rights in local communities principally through municipalities and non-governmental organizations/nonprofit organizations (NGOs/NPOs)
3. To promote global studies on children’s rights, in particular at the Asian region
4. To undertake surveys on and examine practices and policies on children as well as to promote advocacy on the basis of the outcomes of such studies.
5. To function as a center of materials and literature on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).


Programs and Activities


The CRC Institute implements the following activities:


• Comprehensive and practical studies on children’s rights in collaboration with other organizations working for the promotion and protection of children’s rights, the CRC Institute primarily undertakes the following activities in order to promote comprehensive and practical studies on children’s rights:
It organizes “Workshop on the CRC” on a regular basis and takes up a broad range of issues, including basic issues concerning the CRC as well as timely issues.
It organizes “Forum on Children’s Rights Studies” annually and takes up interdisciplinary issues, covering medicine, welfare, pedagogy, law and other areas, or issues at home, school, community,
national, international and other levels. The outcomes of these meetings are published in the bi-annual Children’s Rights Journal in appropriate ways.


• Center of materials and literature on the CRC
In order to ensure that all those concerned with children’s rights can share information about the CRC, the CRC Institute collects and maintains literature, materials and other forms of information on children’s rights and the CRC. Its collection, in the main office as well as in branch offices at Waseda and Toyo Universities, covers almost all the literature and materials in Japan and of the UN on children’s rights and the CRC. It is now collecting relevant literature and materials of other international organizations and on Asian situations. The bibliography of these literature and materials is published on Children’s Rights Journal.


• Surveys on and monitoring of children’s rights In order to promote the monitoring of children’s rights and the implementation of the CRC, the CRC Institute undertakes studies on perspectives and methods of such monitoring.


• Networking among local municipalities in Japan and at the Asian level recognizing that local municipalities and civil society play essential roles in realizing children’s rights, the CRC Institute provides direct or indirect support to municipalities in enacting children’s rights ordinances and in developing child policies. Its main members directly or indirectly contribute to the enactment or implementation of children’s rights ordinances, formulation of comprehensive child policies, development of systems for child participation or remedies for children and restructuring of administrative organizations concerned with children, including by chairing relevant councils, training officials and providing information.


• Contribution to child rights studies in the international community, especially at the Asian level
It seeks to promote exchange of information and joint research on the protection and promotion of children’s rights at the global level, with special emphasis on the Asian region. Bearing in mind the possible development of regional mechanisms for the protection and promotion of children’s rights in Asia, it undertakes preparatory activities, including organizing international conferences, conducting international joint research projects, and establishing information networks a provision of information on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to Japanese society as well as on the situation in Japan to the Committee.


A director of the CRC Institute, Yuji HIRANO, has attended almost all the sessions of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and provided information on its work to Japanese society; at the same time, he has provided relevant information to the Committee on various occasions.

When Japan’s second periodic report was considered by the Committee, the directors of the CRC Institute organized relevant NGOs, and contributed in the preparation of NGO reports and in the dialogue with the government. They also attended the Committee’s pre-sessional working group and the plenary session with a view to providing information. b. Contribution to UNICEF’s “Child-Friendly Cities” initiative The CRC Institute functions as a focal point of Japanese local municipalities and has contributed to networking of child-friendly cities promoted by UNICEF.



• Children’s Rights Journal.




General Research Institute of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC Institute)
2-6-1 Midorigaoka, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 152-0034, Japan
ph/fax: (81-3) 3203-4355
e-mail: npo_crc[a]nifty.com
http://homepage2.nifty.com/npo_crc/ (only in Japanese)
Postal address:
c/o Laboratory 1576, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences Bldg.33, Waseda University
1-24-1 Toyama Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0052, Japan




Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies

Year Established: 2007

Short Historical Background

In December 2005, Dr. Mutsuo Nakamura, the then-President of Hokkaido University, declared it the university’s “duty” to provide national and international research and education programs featuring Ainu and other indigenous minorities while respecting their dignity in light of the historical background of the university and the Ainu people. (Statement by the former president)


Based on this declaration, the Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies was established as one of the university’s joint-use research and education facilities in April 2007. The Center plans to conduct comprehensive and interdisciplinary studies into Ainu and indigenous peoples and to make proposals for their reciprocal coexistence in a multicultural society. The Center is also committed to contributing to the development of diverse cultures and the promotion of local communities.



The Center aims are
1. Education and public information concerning Ainu and indigenous peoples - The Center provides education and public information about Ainu and indigenous peoples through the planning and implementation of lessons, lectures and other events for undergraduate and graduate students and the general public.
2. Planning and implementation of joint research programs - The Center plans and implements joint research programs involving experts on and off campus with the aim of developing advanced interdisciplinary research activities related to Ainu and indigenous peoples.
3. Establishment of international networks and exertion of liaison functions - The Center promotes networking among relevant organizations and institutions outside the university as well as at
overseas education and research organizations, and creates liaison functions connecting the university with external society.
4. Collection and provision of academic information - The Center collects academic information on related fields from a wide range of perspectives and promotes a system that allows experts and other related parties within and outside the university to use that information extensively.
5. Fostering of researchers and other personnel - The Center helps to develop researchers and professionals for the next generation.


Programs and Activities


Ongoing Research Projects
• A rights strategy project aimed at studying specific ways to realize the rights of the Ainu and indigenous peoples
• A teaching materials project in which curriculums and teaching materials for schools will be created
• An Ainu history project aimed at creating new historical accounts of the Ainu and Hokkaido from an Ainu perspective
• An ecotourism project designed to expedite our understanding of indigenous peoples, improve their economic standing and contribute to the betterment of local welfare
• An Ainu language project aimed at creating an Ainu language database
• A social survey project aimed at conducting fact-finding surveys on the Ainu that will withstand academic scrutiny
• A museum project aimed at examining the relationship between museums and indigenous peoples as well as the contemporary significance of museum materials
• An indigenous art project aimed at investigating the state of indigenous art in contemporary society.


CAIS research efforts produce studies, which are published as occasional papers, working and discussion papers, and books.

Other Information

• Academic Exchanges
In October 2007, the Center for Aboriginal Studies at the National Chengchi University, Taiwan, and the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies concluded an agreement to promote academic exchanges and cooperation between the two institutions.


Such activities include exchanging faculty members and research fellows, conducting joint research projects and organizing symposiums, and exchanging academic materials and information. The Center is currently in the process of promoting international networks among relevant institutions in the United States, Canada, Northern Europe and the Pacific.



Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies
Kita 8, Nishi 6, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0808 Japan
ph/fax: (+81) 11 706 2859
e-mail : ainu[a]let.hokudai.ac.jp





Human Rights Now (HRN)


 Year Established: 2006


 Short Historical Background


Japan, similar to other countries, has many lawyers’ groups, civil rights groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have significantly contributed to the improvement of the domestic human rights situation through litigation and/or political advocacy. Still, Japan has few organizations addressing human rights from an international perspective and/or dealing with human rights issues across borders.


In this context, Human Rights Now (HRN) was established in 2006 through which lawyers, academics, journalists, and activists have the opportunity to raise awareness, and pursue the implementation of, international human rights standards inside and outside Japan with a special focus on Asian countries. HRN is meant also to engage in human rights advocacy in global forums such as the United Nations (UN).


In support of the goal of achieving “Human Security” in the 21st century called for by the UN Human Security Commission, HRN finds it crucial to improve compliance with human rights norms as a prerequisite to development and peace.


HRN intends to contribute to the quest for “Human Security,” specifically in the human rights field in Asia with the cooperation of other development, peace-building and human rights NGOs.




HRN aims

1. To make an international contribution to address human rights violations by undertaking field investigations of massive human rights violations and publicizing the findings, and empowering and supporting the development of the legal system in the countries of focus

2. To take action through international institutions in order to contribute to the enforcement of human rights standards and norms through monitoring, lobbying, and providing recommendations to United Nations human rights bodies such as the Human Rights Council; and by providing input to ASEAN and similar institutions in Asia

3. To take domestic action to promote human rights by introducing relevant international standards in public debates over domestic human rights issues, advocating for the implementation of recommendations made by UN treaty bodies to the Japanese government, and calling for action by the Japanese government and corporations to redress massive human rights violations in other countries.




Taking Action on Ongoing Human Rights Violation


HRN conducts fact finding missions in places where people suffer from gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Specifically, HRN conducts field investigations, publicizes the reports and calls for international attention. It also conducts advocacy to end ongoing human rights violation.


Transitional Justice Project


Transitional justice describes both processes and mechanisms associated with a society’ s attempts to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation. Addressing past abuses includes investigation of the violation, identifying responsible persons and systems, ensuring prosecution, providing reparation for victims and enhancing reconciliation. Although this effort should not be enforced from the outside, HRN believes that international human rights organizations can play a meaningful role in enhancing a society’s effort to overcome impunity and injustice. In this regard, HRN researches and monitors the process of transitional justice and makes recommendations after full consultation with the civil society of the country.


Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Human Rights Diplomacy Project


Japan is one of the largest donors of development assistance to countries in Asia. However, the quality of Japan’s assistance, as well as Japanese diplomacy in general, has been criticized. Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy has been criticized because it does not provide for adequate safeguards against resulting human rights violations or environmental deterioration. Japan does not also properly use its position and influence as one of the largest donor countries for the promotion and protection of human rights in the countries getting assistance.


Stop Violence against Women (VAW)


In the Asian region there are serious crimes regularly being committed against women and children. Examples include honor killings, human trafficking, commercial exploitation of children, sati, and dowry systems. Many serious abuses against women also have their roots in conflict situations. It is important to turn the spotlight on these abuses and monitor them. At the same time, it is important to partner with local NGOs and women’s groups, forming an international lobby, to work to improve the situation.


Human Rights Education


HRN conducts human rights education at both domestic and international levels.




• Human Rights Now published a report on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances In the Philippines, based on its fact finding mission to the country. (statement on the human rights situation in the Philippines 2008)

• Claiming for Justice for the Victims of Extra-judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in the Philippines (Statement on the human rights situation in the Philippines, 6 December 2007)

• Japanese lawyers and activists call for immediate release of Pakistan human rights defenders and return to rule of law (Statement on 10 Dec 2007)

• Burma : Open Letter to the President of Human Rights Counsel (Statement on 28 September 2007)

• Philippines : Press Statement ( Statement on April 2007)

• Statement of support for Cambodian human rights defenders, Human Rights Now calls for an End to Impunity for Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines ( Statement on 10 December 2006)

• FAFO survey questions and responses ( Statement on September 2006)

• Cambodia : Justice for Victims ( Statement on 13 September 2006)





Human Rights Now

3F Marukou Building, 1-20-6 Higashi Ueno

Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0015 JAPAN

ph: (813) 3835-2110

fax: (813) 3834-2406

e-mail info[a]ngo-hrn.org





Hyogo Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute


 Year Established: 1988


 Short Historical Background





The Hyogo Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute (Institute) particularly aims to abolish discrimination against the Buraku community. It also aims to conduct research on issues facing this community, and at the same time, engage in research related to human rights and discrimination issues in Japan and abroad. Moreover, the Institute also conducts human rights education activities, which, along with its research projects, aim to achieve equality and liberation for the members of the Buraku community and other victims of discrimination.


Programs and Activities


Data, Material, and Information Collection – the Institute collects data, material, and information mainly on the history of the Buraku communities in Hyogo Prefecture, but also on the implementation of the Dowa Social Integration Education project in Hyogo Prefecture. Data, material, and information collection are eventually documented in a way which is accessible to the public.


Research and Study – one of the main outcomes of the Institute’s research is the Seminar on Human Rights. Research and Study also contributes to the Institute’s annual bulletin. The Institute produced in 2007 a report entitled “The Employment Conditions in the Buraku Community” which details and analyses the results of the surveys it held. The Institute is in the process of producing a report on the results of a human rights opinion survey carried out at Inagawachou town in Hyogo Prefecture in 2008.


Training – the Institute holds human rights training activities, such as the following: The Hyogo Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute annual open meeting, biannual lectures on human rights issues, and quadrennial seminars on human rights and civil liberties. Moreover, the Institute sends out lecturers on topics related to human rights issues on regular basis.


International Exchange Development


Special Concerns


Employment conditions in Buraku communities




• The Hyogo Buraku Liberation Movement Newsletter (quadrennial)

• Bulletin of the Hyogo Buraku Liberation Movement (annual)

• Documentation of Human Rights History in Hyogo Prefecture

• Employment Conditions in the Buraku Community (2007)


Other Information


Publications, research studies, events, and other information can be accessed at the Institute’s website (www3.osk.3web.ne.jp/~blrhyg/)





The Hyogo Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute

6-7-10 Motomachi Kansai Building 4th Floor, Motomachi Street

Chuo-ku, Kobe City 650-0022 Japan

ph: (81-78) 367-8925

fax: (81-78) 367-8924

email: blrhyg[a]osk3.3web.ne.jp; blrhyg[a]extra.ocn.ne.jp





Institute for Human Rights Research and Education

- Kwansei Gakuin University



 Year Established: 1995


 Short Historical Background




The Institute aims

1. To undertake research on human rights issues

2. To establish and administer regular courses on human rights

3. To implement awareness-raising programs and produce human rights materials.


Programs and Activities


Research projects – The Institute undertakes a number of research projects such as the following:

• Discrimination and human rights in a borderless world – citizens’ rights and the rights of ethnic groups

• Human rights education in Kwansei Gakuin – issues raised by the “U.N. Decade for Human Rights Education”

• Japan’s modernization and the buraku problem – the diversification of types of discrimination and discrimination against burakumin, with particular reference to communication issues

• Globalization and human rights education – human rights and coexistence in the age of globalization.


Human rights course - The Institute runs a general course on human rights offered to all students in the University, as well as the course “Discrimination and Human Rights” in the Schools of Policy Studies and Science and Technology. Since the 2005 academic year, the Institute has been offering the course “Introduction to Human Rights” that helps students to understand the variety of human rights issues, and the course “Human rights and the problems of foreign residents in Japan” to raise awareness on the problems of foreign 'newcomers' to Japan, and the human rights issues they encounter.


The main courses offered across all Schools in the University are as follows:

• On the Burakumin issue: The reality of the Burakumin communities and the task of liberation

• On basic human rights: Human rights and coexistence, The diversity and true nature of human rights issues, Discrimination and human rights

• On disability: Toward a society respecting human rights – respect for diversity

• On the Korean residents issue: The history of Japan-Korea relations, Korean residents in Japan – legal status and education at the present time

• On gender issues: Japan and Asia, Work, marriage and daily life in a male-dominated society

• On the problems faced by foreign residents in Japan and human rights: Human rights in an increasingly multi-cultural Japan.


Lectures on Human Rights - The Institute offers lectures on human rights to students and members of the faculty and staff. With the availability of sign language interpretation and computer note taking, the lectures guarantee full access to information to every participant. 


Seminars - The Institute holds five to seven seminars each year. They include Film Sessions, which are open to the public.


Human Rights Training Program for Faculty and Staff – The Institute holds an annual training program for all newly-appointed members of the faculty and staff. The program includes lectures on human rights and academic harassment, and visits to relevant institutions such the Osaka Human Rights Museum (LIBERTY OSAKA).



 Special Concerns





• International Encyclopedia of Human Rights - this is the Japanese version of a major reference book on human rights by Robert L. Maddex. Under the editorial supervision of the Institute, the book was translated by a Kwansei Gakuin University faculty team consisting of Utebi Keiji, Sawada Yukiko, Takeda Jō, Fujii Kazuo, Funaki Jo and Hosomi Kazushi, and published in April 2007 by Akashi Shoten

• Kwansei Gakuin University Journal of Human Rights Studies

• KG Human Rights Booklet (annual) - an awareness-raising publication containing reports of the Human Rights Lectures.

• Materials on Human Rights Issues (annual) - distributed to all new students.





Institute for Human Rights Research and Education

- Kwansei Gakuin University

1-1-155 Uegahara Nishinomiya, Hyogo 662-8501 Japan

ph: (81-798) 54-6720

fax: (81-798) 54-6720

e-mail: masahi[a]kwansei.ac.jp





The Institute of Human Rights Studies

- Kansai University


 Year Established: 1974


 Short Historical Background


The Institute of Buraku Studies, established in March 1974, was subsequently reorganized and renamed the Institute of Human Rights Studies in June 1985. The current Institute conducts research on a variety of areas dealing with the discrimination and human rights: Buraku, people with disabilities and women.




The Institute aims 

1. To facilitate the fulfillment of human rights both within and outside the university

2. To contribute towards the human rights awareness of people at large

3. To help advance of research in the realm of human rights.


Programs and Activities


Buraku Studies Research Group


A wide range of historical and theoretical research is undertaken in collaboration with people from various disciplines. The research consists of investigation of the origins of discrimination and suffering experienced by the poor and by the Buraku during the Middle Ages; the liberation movement, discrimination policies and the system for the poor during the Modern Ages; and, harmony in the workplace and the history of the liberation movement in present times.


Research of an applied nature tackles the analysis of the actual conditions of Buraku from the city and countrysides; the current state of Buraku industry and its problems; perceptions towards Buraku issues; the reexamination of educational freedom and enlightenment; and, the mass media and race. The Institute puts multi-angled research into practice in order to firmly grasp the current situation of Buraku discrimination and suffering, as well as to take the necessary measures towards helping to overcome such discrimination. 


1. The history of Buraku suffering and discrimination/The ideology of liberation

- Collection of Mori Sugio historical data

- Research from Buraku Temples

-. Buddhism and the ideology of liberation

2. Current state of Buraku discrimination / practical approaches to existing problems

- Buraku industry

- Perceptions held by younger generation Buraku

- Buraku discrimination and educational enlightenment

3. Buraku discrimination and women 


Ethnicity and Race Research Group 


This group focuses on the human rights issues regarding Korean residents, Ainu, Okinawans and foreign workers. 


This group investigates the increasing number of foreign workers in Japan in the face of an aging society and economic recession. This group investigates the working and living environments of foreign workers. Furthermore, the group studies the serious human rights problems in central Europe due to the anti-foreign workers movement. 


This group undertakes a comprehensive research on the problems encountered by the Indigenous Ainu race. This research is based on several field surveys conducted in designated regions in Hokkaido. It also draws on the problems of "New Ainu Law" and the action plan for Indigenous races created by the United Nations.


Also, the group examines the problems faced by North Korean and Korean immigrants in Japan in light of the overall problems encountered by foreign workers and minority groups. Multi-angled research investigates the history of their groupings and current living conditions. It also examines the legal implications of gaining the right to vote and the implicit cultural problems. 


1. Problems faced by North Korean and Korean immigrants in Japan : past and present

2. Problems faced by Okinawa

3. Assimilation of minority groups

4. Problems faced by foreign workers - research on foreign Workers and their working and living environments; and the education of children

5. Research on acquisition of several languages.


People with Disabilities Research Group 


This group researches on the protection of the rights of people with mental and physical disabilities and their welfare. It examines the integration of people with disabilities into mainstream society in accordance with the law on protecting their welfare. Research is undertaken on a number of areas: housing design for disabled people (including for the elderly), the medical treatment of disabled children, the education of children with disabilities and the education system itself, the integration of the physically handicapped into society, perceptions towards the students with mental disability by fellow students and the general public, and ways of developing physical education program that suits each type of disability

1. Investigation of disabled peoples' integration into society

2. Lifestyle environment and facilities for people with disabilities

3. Problems associated with the education of children with disabilities

4. The quality of life (Q.O.L) survey for people with disabilities


Women Studies Research Group


This group researches on women and the work force, and the problems facing female students seeking employment. The research focuses on the discrimination faced by female workers: large gaps in salary and promotion between men and women, the denial of maternity and menstrual leave, the general restriction on female workers to exhibit their abilities, sexual harassment, and the practice of forcing them to resign or have a change of area of work. On top of this, the reality for women is often that no matter how hard they strive for recognition, they are not given the chance to exhibit their abilities. The research aims to fully grasp the conditions of women in the Japanese business sector and, through the use of surveys, ascertain the extent of problems experienced by female students seeking employment.


 Special Concerns




Other Information




The Institute of Human Rights Studies

Kansai University

3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita-shi, Osaka 564-8680 Japan

ph: (816) 6368-1182

fax: (816) 6368-0081

e-mail: jinkenken[a]jm.kansai-u.ac.jp; jinkenken[a]ml.kandai.jp






Institute of Global Concern (IGC)

- Sophia University 


 Year Established: 1981


 Short Historical Background


The Institute of Global Concern (IGC), formerly known as the Institute for the Study of Social Justice (ISSJ, Sophia University), was founded in April 1981. The Sophia Relief Service was founded in the same year to pursue practical relief activities.





IGC aims to raise the consciousness of students and the wider society regarding the promotion of social justice. IGC has sought to apply interdisciplinary inquiries into issues of justice in today's changing world to both the education of Sophia students and its practical activities (primarily refugee assistance).



 Programs and Activities


Annual international symposium - ever since its establishment, one of the IGC's primary research activities has been the organization of an annual international symposium. Every year, a pressing social problem of particular topical relevance to the day is selected as the theme, and symposium participants representing both Japanese and overseas universities, international organizations dealing with issues of human rights, refugees, or the environment (among others), and activists working in the field on a variety of issues gather to further interdisciplinary research exchange and, based in the Christian humanist approach, analyze issues from the viewpoint of humanity and human rights, and discuss how symposium findings can be directed to the promotion of social justice 


Course on "Refugees and Human Rights" - offered to all Sophia University students by IGC staff every other year (with an enrollment of approximately one hundred students), is among the educational activities organized by the IGC.


Open lectures - organized on a monthly basis, researchers or people working directly on a variety of social problems are invited as speakers. 


Sophia Relief Service - is a nationwide fundraising campaign to provide emergency relief and promote the economic self-sufficiency of both refugees in African countries and within Japan. This was started ever since the inception of IGC.



Special Concerns


Refugee issues were a topic of particular concern for the entire university at the time of the institute's establishment, and the IGC has consolidated a significant amount of information on refugee issues, both through its many years of on-site research activities concerning African refugees and its research into the problems surrounding Japan's policies concerning the acceptance of refugees.


In recent years, the IGC has explored more far-reaching issues concerning the protection of human dignity in the contemporary world, such as globalization, poverty and social exclusion, and freedom. The December 2007 27th annual International Symposium, for instance, was organized around the theme of "Globalization, Poverty and Social Exclusion in Developed Countries: First-hand Perspectives on the Homeless, 'Freeters,' and Migrant Workers," in order to study the negative effects of neo-liberal globalization on even such developed countries as Japan, South Korea, and France





Periodic publications

- The Social Justice bulletin has been replaced by an online periodical named Global Concern


- Sophia Relief Service newsletter - published twice yearly (in Japanese). In addition, the Institute produces a number of books in Japanese.





Institute of Global Concern (IGC)

L-713, Main Library

Sophia University

7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo, 102-8554 JAPAN

ph: (81-3) 3238-3023

fax: (81-3) 3238-4237

e-mail: i-glocon[a]sophia.ac.jp






Institute of Social Movement, Osaka

Year Established: 1978

Short Historical Background

The Institute of Social Movement, Osaka was established in 1978 to preserve and publish historical materials about labor and the social movement in Osaka, Japan. The Institute has collected historical books and documents of the social movement from late 19th century to present, including numerous pamphlets and minutes of trade unions. And it published nine volumes of comprehensive history of the social movement in Osaka, Japan. The volumes examine various social movements relating to labor unions, feminism, cooperativism, peace, and so on, during the drastic change of industry, economy, and society from 19th century to the 20th century. The Institute maintains the Monument of Social Movement in Osaka, founded by the labor unions in 1970, which gives tribute to the deceased activists who fought for liberty and justice.


Since 2000 the Institute was entrusted the management of a labor library by Osaka prefecture, to make the collection of the Institute and current books, magazines, statistics on labor issues, accessible to the public. But in 2008, the prefecture suddenly abolished the project and the financial support. But for the preservation of the people’s historical record, the Institute decided to restart the library and archive project by itself with contributions from the various organizations, unions, and individuals.



The Institute aims
1. To collect and preserve historical records of the development of the industrial society and the people’s work in Osaka, compile them for the workers’ welfare, and make them available to the public
2. To collect and promote the exchange of information about labor for the improvement of labor-management relationship
3. To maintain the Monument of Social Movement in Osaka in order to commemorate the achievements of the activists in the past.

Programs and Activities

The Institute implements its programs and activities through the following:
• Osaka Labor Archive (L-Library): Osaka Labor Archive is a library and archive specializing in labor, collecting and preserving historical materials on labor issues, and making them available to the public. It currently has more than 100,000 items including unpublished documents and materials by labor unions and organizations.
• Research: the Institute takes part in several research projects with several universities on different subjects such as archives study, labor history, and oral history.
• Events: the Institute often holds various events such as exhibitions, lectures, seminars on labor issues.


• History of Social Movement in Osaka, vols.1 - 9, 1986 - 2009.



Institute of Social Movement
4F L-Osaka,
3-14 Kitahama-higashi,
Chuou-ku, Osaka
540-0031 Japan
ph: (81-6) 6947-7722
fax: (81-6) 6809-2299
e-mail: info[a]shaunkyo.jp





Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute 


 Year Established: 1994


 Short Historical Background 


Kyoto, since the establishment of Heian Kyo in 794, has assimilated various foreign cultures and developed its own culture which has a markedly international character. It also has a long history of concern for human rights. Given the background of Kyoto and looking toward the 21st century, it is indeed timely to establish the Human Rights Research Institute, as part of the commemorative projects of the 1200th anniversary of the establishment of Heian Kyo. 


The Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute is intended to become a center for research activities on human rights in Japan, and is expected to produce notable achievement in the study of this field.





The Institute aims

1. To conduct research on human rights issues at global as well as national levels,

2. To promote academic exchange with domestic and foreign research institutes in the field of human rights, and

3. To contribute to the promotion of understanding of these issues at home and abroad.




1. Research Program on International Human Rights Protection System

This program focuses on the systematic study of the development of the international standards on human rights promoted by the United Nations as well as by the various treaty bodies. It also analyzes the latest status of international human rights law.


2. Research Program on DOWA System

This program aims to study the serious violation of fundamental human rights and various discrimination in occupation, marriage, education and housing targeted at descendants of people who were economically, socially and culturally accorded low rank in Japanese society throughout history. This social problem is defined as DOWA problem or BURAKU discrimination. The program studies this issue employing historical and social perspectives. 


3. Research Program on Human Rights of Foreign Residents in Japan

Japan is often described as a racially homogeneous nation, but the island-country of Japan has developed its culture by accepting different races and different cultures since time immemorial. Today there are many foreign residents in Japan, such as Korean residents with the historical background of the colonial domination by Japan, as well as increasing number of foreign workers from various Asian and Latin American countries. These foreign residents present many problems in the Japanese society concerning lifestyle, education and qualification to stay in the country. The main purpose of this research program is to study the historical development of acceptance by Japan of these races and cultures so as to find a way to multi-racial coexistence.


4. Program on Human Rights of Women

This program studies how the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is implemented. It also examines the history of the differentiation of roles based on gender and the actual condition of the equality of the sexes in the field of employment and public activities. In addition it inquires into the human rights, development and education of women in Japan and Asia. 


5. Research Program on Human Rights Education

This program aims to examine the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995 – 2004) as well as the subsequent implementation of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005 – 2009) which focuses on human rights education in the primary and secondary school systems. It also studies the history and development of human rights education in Japan and other Asian countries.





The Institute undertakes the following activities

(1) Research and study concerning human rights problems as well as the promotion of international academic exchange

(2) Collection and presentation of documents and publications concerning human rights

(3) Publication of books and organizing of lectures to disseminate the results of human rights research

(4) Other projects which are necessary to achieve the objectives of this Institute.



 Special Concerns


• International human rights protection systems (surveying the regular reports made to the UN Human Rights Committee under article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights);

• Buraku issue (the situation of outcast groups in the process of historical change; from ancient to early-modern, and from the Meiji period to present);

• Human rights of foreign residents in Japan (mainly Koreans in Japan as well as new comers from Asian and Latin American countries);

• Human rights of women (mainly employment patterns and wages in Japan and Asia);

• Human rights education in Japan and abroad at various levels.



• Periodic publications

• Bulletin

• Annual Report






Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute

(Sekai Jinken Mondai Kenkyu Sentaa)

Kyoei-Karasuma Bldg.

Karasuma-Nijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku,

Kyoto 604-0857 Japan

ph: (81-75) 231-2600

fax: (81-75) 231-2750

e-mail: jinken[a]khrri.or.jp





Mekong Watch 


Year Established:1993


Short Historical Background


Mekong Watch was established in 1993 as a network of seven Japanese organizations that were concerned about the role of Japan in the development of the Mekong Region. Plans for several hydropower projects in Lao PDR, a controversial export of agricultural chemicals to Cambodia from Japan, and various initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) framework of the Asian Development Bank were causes for concern. In 1998, Mekong Watch became an independent non-governmental organization (NGO) with its own membership and institutional structure. Its activities include research, information production and distribution, and advocacy.





Mekong Watch aims to create a framework that ensures that the views and opinions of affected communities are respected and lessons learned from past projects are reflected at every stage of development in the Mekong Region. 



Programs and Activities 


Mekong Watch's activities are largely divided into three categories:


1) Research - this includes investigative research regarding specific development projects being monitored, field research, and research on various government policies. Project-specific research usually involves interviews and networking with local communities affected by the development projects to document precisely what kinds of impacts they will (or are already) facing. For example, Mekong Watch did a survey of refugees from Burma who were familiar with the human rights situation around a hydropower plant to be repaired with Japanese development aid. It also worked with Thai NGOs and local community leaders to collect information about the impacts of the Samut Wastewater Treatment plant, which is being built with Japanese and Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing.


Field research has included a study of ichthyic biodiversity in the Mekong River, a study of inland fisheries and livelihoods on the Ing River in Thailand, and community forestry and participatory forest management in Laos. Policy-related research has focused on the inspection functions of multilateral development banks, environmental guidelines (particularly relating to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation), and the new information-disclosure policy which went into effect in Japan in April 2001. 


2) Resource Development and Outreach - this aims to disseminate the outcomes of the research and monitoring activities, and to promote information exchange among key stakeholders. It is also aims at drawing the media's attention to problematic development projects and the need for policy reform in the Japanese government, particularly in relation to development initiatives in the Mekong Region. Mekong Watch publishes a quarterly journal, hold public seminars, international symposiums, and coordinate study tours to Thailand.


Mekong Watch has Mekong Library, with books, papers, magazines, and other printed materials on issues related to development in the Mekong Region. Its expanding network with academics and students in Japan is also a resource to be drawn upon when academic expertise is required.


3) Advocacy - this has two main purposes. One is to bring the voices of people affected by Japanese-financed development projects in the Mekong Region to relevant decision-makers in Japan. The other is to facilitate policy and institutional reform. Information from the research and networking of Mekong Watch back up its policy proposals. Mekong Watch believes that it is necessary to create a decision-making system for development planning that includes the local people from the earliest stages. Its advocacy work strives to reform the current decision-making patterns so that the needs of communities are accurately reflected and respected in final decisions. 


Mekong Watch has country projects including Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and China (Yunnan).




In English: 

• MeREM Project Report (III): Transboundary Environmental Issues in the Mekong River Basin: Perspectives from Civil Society & Recommendations for MeREM. 2005.

• Protect Yourself from Destructive Development: Handbook on JBIC's New Environmental and Social Guidelines. 2004.

• Lancang-Mekong: A River of Controversy. 2003.

• Development, Environment and Human RIghts in Burma/Myanmar: Examining the Impacts of ODA and Investment. 2001, 





Mekong Watch

(Tokyo Office)

2F Maruko Bldg. 1-20-6 Higashi Ueno

Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0015, Japan

ph: (813) 3832 5034

fax: (813) 3832 5039

e-mail: info[a]mekongwatch.org







Research-Action Institute for the Koreans in Japan (RAIK) 


 Year Established: 1974


 Short Historical Background and Objectives


The Research-Action Institute for the Koreans in Japan (RAIK) was established in February 1974 as an affiliate of the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ). The Institute undertook research and action mainly in relation to the protection of human rights and civil liberties of resident Koreans in Japan. But it has expanded its work to include the rights of foreign migrant workers and other foreign residents in Japan. The Institute is supported by donations from the Korean Christian churches and schools. 



 Programs and Activities 


• Collection of documents and other materials on the human rights and civil liberties of resident Koreans and other foreigners in Japan and provision of such information to Christian organizations, researchers, lawyers and civil society groups 


• Research on human rights situation of ethnic minorities in Japan 


• Organization of annual seminars and lectures to promote human rights education in schools, based on Christian principles. 


RAIK manages the secretariat for several citizens’ groups working for the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, the provision of support for the residential areas of foreigners, the petition to the Japanese government for a policy supporting foreign schools, and implementation of the international human rights standards in Japanese society.



 Special Concerns




• RAIK Bulletin (bi-monthly)


 Other Information




The Research-Action Institute for the Koreans in Japan (RAIK)

Nishi-Waseda 2-3-18-52

Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo 169-0051


ph (813) 3203-7575

fax (813) 3202-4977

e-mail: raik[a]kccj.jp



Research Center for Human Rights (RCHR)

Osaka City University 


 Year Established:1972 


 Short Historical Background 


The Research Center for Human Rights (RCHR) is the former Dowa Mondai Research Institute of the Osaka City University, the first academic research facility for minority issues in Japan. The Institute was established in 1972 to focus on the rights of discriminated Japanese, the so-called Burakumin. It was renamed into Research Center for Human Rights to research on broader human rights issues. RCHR now covers, in addition to the issue of Burakumin discrimination, gender, ethnic, disability and other minority/human rights issues.  


Dowa Mondai (or Buraku Mondai) signifies the issues concerning a minority group unique to Japanese society. Burakumin are the people whose ancestors were relegated to an outcast status in the pre-modern era. Having no distinguishing physical or cultural traits, today Burakumin are distinguished by their residence in communities called Buraku (or Dowa districts) which were segregated in the pre-modern era, or by their ancestral background which is recorded in family registers. Burakumin continue to face discrimination and suffer from low socio-economic status.





RCHR aims to undertake research on a broad range of issues affecting the Japanese society at present, namely, Burakumin discrimination, gender, ethnic, disability and other minority/human rights issues. 



 Programs and Activities 


Following the research approach of the Institute since 1972, RCHR has been employing quantitative and qualitative research methods in its numerous surveys concerning minority populations, such as social changes in minority communities and social consciousness of minority/human rights issues.


It also collects survey reports, books, materials, and other kinds of information on gender/minority/human rights issues - in both Japanese and English languages. 


Researchers and students seeking information on gender/minority/human rights issues in Japan are welcome to visit us. Please refer to our website for additional information.


 Special Concerns


• Gender/Minority/Human Rights Issues in Japan

• Gender, Minorities and Group Relations in Japan

• Discrimination/Prejudice against Minorities

• Socio-economic Status of Minorities

• Educational Attainment of Minorities

• Social changes in Minority communities

• Government Policies on Human rights and Minority Issues




The Journal of Human Rights (annual) - Japanese language 



Research Center for Human Rights (RCHR)

Osaka City University

3-3-138 Sugimoto Sumiyoshi-ku Osaka City, Osaka 558-8585 Japan

ph (816) 6605-2035

fax (816) 6605-2035

e-mail: furukubo[a]rchr.osaka-cu.ac.jp






Shimin Gaikou Centre (Citizens' Centre for Diplomacy) 


 Year Established:1982


 Short Historical Background 


The Shimin Gaikou Centre (Citizens' Diplomatic Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) is a grassroots human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in March 1982 by a group of citizens and students who participated in a big wave of support for the 2nd United Nations Special Session for Disarmament held in New York. Since 1987, the Centere has been sending delegations to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva along with the Ainu delegations. In 1996, it began supporting the participation of the Okinawa/Ryukyu people in the Working Group. As a result of these activities, in 1999, the Centre became the first Japanese grassroots NGO to be given special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council. 





The Centre focuses on peace, human rights, environment and development issues internationally. From the beginning, it supported indigenous peoples and their human rights, that had long been ignored in Japanese society, in cooperation with indigenous peoples' organizations and other support NGOs. In particular, the Centre developed good programs with the Ainu people, the Okinawa/Ryukyu people and the small-island-nations in the South Pacific. Furthermore, the Centre strongly supports establishing a network to share core information and to show solidarity among related NGOs. It was a founding member of the International Human Rights NGO Network (1990), and the Japan NGO network on UN Reform (2005) respectively. 



 Programs and Activities 


a. Peace Scholarship for Indigenous South Pacific Islanders - to support the people in the small-island countries of the South Pacific in their quest for nuclear-free zone, their demand for conservation of the environment, and their policy on sustainable development through the traditional way, the Centre established the Peace Scholarship for their secondary school students. This scholarship program has been well-managed in Vanuatu for over twenty years.


b. Support for Indigenous Peoples' Participation in United Nations (UN) Human Rights Programs - to financially and technically support the participation of indigenous peoples in the meetings of the United Nations human rights organs, including the Working Groups on Indigenous Populations, Human Rights Committee, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and newly-established Human Rights Council, and to monitor the promotion of human rights of indigenous peoples, the Centre sends its delegation annually to their sessions/meetings. 


c. Assistance for the Dissemination of Human Rights Ideas and Indigenous Cultures - in support of the UN Decade of Human Rights Education (1995 - 2004) and the World Programme for Human Rights Education, the Centre has provided and still provides financial assistance in the translation of international human rights documents into the languages of the indigenous peoples in Latin America and Asia.


d. Networking among related NGOs - in addition to close cooperation with NGOs which deal with the issues related to indigenous peoples and human rights, the Centre has actively been involved in establishing and keeping NGO networks or coalitions in Japan. It is the core founding member of the International Human Rights NGO Network, the Japan Citizens' Coalition for the UN International Decade of the World Indigenous Peoples, and the Japan NGO Network on UN Reform. It also worked as a core NGO in the Japanese NGO Coalition Durban 2001 at the UN World Conference against Racism held in South Africa in 2001. 


e. Workshops and Public Meetings to Report the Results of UN Meetings - the Centre holds workshops and public meetings in Hokkaido, Tokyo and Okinawa to report the results of UN meetings and international conventions on indigenous peoples' rights. 



 Special Concern


In 2007, the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was successfully adopted at the UN General Assembly. The Centre has been making maximum effort to disseminate the existence and the meaning of the Declaration in Japan and Asia and to promote the implementation of stipulated rights in the Declaration for the Ainu people and the Okinawa/Ryukyu people. Furthermore, the Centre has been active as a member of Peace & Human Rights Unit of the 2008 G8 Summit NGO Forum since 2007 to pressure the G8 countries and the 2008 Toyako summit on a number of human rights issues from the viewpoint of indigenous peoples.




• Annual Report (once a year, Japanese) 

• Japanese translations of UN materials about the rights of indigenous peoples (booklets and CDs)





Shimin Gaikou Centre (SGC)

3-35-13-204 Higashi-Komatsugawa

Edogawa-ku Tokyo 132-0033 Japan

ph/fax: (813) 5662-0906

e-mail: peacetax[a]js2.so-net.ne.jp; shimingaikou[at]hotmail[dot]com







Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Promotion Center (TMHRPC)


 Year Established: 1998


 Short Historical Background


The Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Promotion Center (TMHRPC) was established on 16 July 1998 as a foundation to enhance Tokyo citizens' awareness of human rights through the execution of various activities such as education, promotion, and the protection of human rights, with the overall objective of solving human rights problems as represented by the Dowa problem (discrimination against a section of Japanese population). 


The Tokyo Metropolitan Dowa Work Promotion Society (TMDWPS), the forerunner to the Center, was established in April 1971 as an affiliated organization of TMG to solve the Dowa problem, a national problem concerning fundamental human rights, in accordance with the promulgation of the Special Law of Dowa Work (effective 10 July 1969). TMDWPS played an important role in education and promotional activities, and took a complimentary role to that of the TMG in promoting Dowa work (anti-discrimination work). 


At the same time, in today's society, various kinds of human rights problems such as discrimination based on sex, ethnicity or race, violations of children's rights, and discrimination against the disabled, set an important task to the whole of society.


With this change in the social environment, in December 1997, TMG formally decided to merge Tokyo Metropolitan Industry and Labor Hall (TMILH) which was directly managed by TMG to promote Dowa work, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Dowa Work Promotion Society (TMDWPS) to form the Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Promotion Center. This was in response to the direction being taken by the central government as shown in the Recommendation by the Consultative Council on Regional Improvement Measures (May 1996) and Domestic Action Plan Concerning the UN Decade of Human Rights Education (July 1997).





Commencing with the Dowa problem, TMHRPC aims to actively develop educational, promotional and consultation activities related to the realization of human rights. 



Programs and Activities 


TMHRPC is actively promoting education and understanding, and holding consultations, with the aim of solving problems concerning human rights including the Dowa problem.


Promotional Activities


1. Provides year-round radio programs and special radio spot broadcasts during Human Rights Week.

2. Creates and posts Human Rights Awareness posters, distributes book covers to bookstores, makes and distributes postcards and other promotional goods. All goods are printed with human rights slogans on them.

3. Participates in national human rights festivals, and supports lecture meetings, movie-screenings and panel displays during Human Rights Week. 


Education and Consultation


1. Introduces human rights education lecturers to private organizations that hold human rights education classes

2. Gives general consultation and judicial consultation, the latter being executed by experts

3. Holds lecture courses for Tokyo citizens and office workers, given by experts.


Information Gathering, Sharing and Publishing


1. Lends books, videos and 16mm films on human rights

2. Publishes video, pamphlets,magazine

4. Lends out rooms for courses and lecture meetings for a fee.





• TOKYO JINKEN (human rights) magazine –quarterly

• Animation video and pamphlet on the Dowa Problem





Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Promotion Center

1-1-6 Hashiba, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan. 111-0023

ph: (813) 3876-5371

fax: (813) 3874-8346

e-mail: info[a]tokyo-jinken.or.jp




Tottori City Information Center for Human Rights

Year Established: 1999

Short Historical Background

In 1997, the second “General Plan of Tottori City Dowa Measures” was adopted by the city government. The plan organized a new order, considering how to effectively promote a variety of challenges on human rights. In 1999, the Tottori City Information Center for Human Rights was established aiming to play a key role on solving human rights issues.


Tottori City Information Center for Human Rights aims to contribute to the implementation of vision of a “city respectful of human rights with no discrimination” through activities incorporating citizen
participation methods, and resolving human rights problems.

Programs and Activities

• Research and Study – collect human rights documents, information on social, economic and cultural situations in Japan, and materials on human rights education. (Books and DVDs can be
borrowed.) The collected information are practically used in the Center’s reports, proposals and publications.
• Education and Training – organize human rights training programs, manage lectures intended for residents of Tottori, and hold seminars to cooperate with support members of the Center.
• Educational Consulting - arrangements of educational activities at regional offices, communities and schools.
• Publications – publication of the monthly newsletter Rights (Lights), the title means light for human rights and human rights as light, twice a year magazine Kakehashi (“kakehashi” means we want to act as an intermediary between countries, peoples and associations.)


Tottori City Information Center for Human Rights
151 Saiwai-cho Tottori-city, Tottori 680-0823 Japan
ph: (81857)24-3125
fax: (81857)24-3444
e-mail: info[a]tottori-jinken-joho-center.or.jp




Tottori Prefectural Center for Universal Culture of Human Rights 


 Year Established: 1997


 Short Historical Background


The Tottori Prefectural Ordinance to Create a Pro-Human Rights Society enacted in 1996 was the driving force in promoting human rights and civil liberties in Tottori Prefecture. Since then, the prefecture launched several human rights initiatives regarding the Buraku issue, women's rights, rights of people with disabilities, child rights, rights of the elderly, migrant rights, and other issues. One of the outcomes of these efforts, thanks to the inter-prefectural and NGO collaborations, was the establishment of the Tottori Prefectural Center for Universal Culture of Human Rights in 1997. The Ministry of Justice registered the Center in 1999.





The Center aims to implement the objectives of the Tottori Prefectural Ordinance for Creating a Pro-Human Rights Society and the subsequent Tottori Prefectural Policies on Human Rights in creating a society where human rights and civil liberties are respected. The Center's objectives are reflected in its activities under the Human Rights Development, Consultation Services, Leadership Training and Development, Research and Study, Dissemination of Information, and Networking programs.



Programs and Activities


Research and Study – consist of data collection and analysis on particular themes. Information is then disseminated through the Center's reports, proposals, and publications.


Training - aims to promote awareness of human rights, develop human rights and civil liberties programs and activaties, and provides training for lecturers and teachers on human rights education.


Promoting Human Rights Awareness - aims to promote human rights awareness through the Center's bulletins, webpage, human rights space (Hiroba 21 Furatto), teaching materials and booklets, lectures, panel exhibitions, and other events featuring lecturers and specialists on human rights. 


Networking - the Center co-organizes and participates in meetings and events throughout the prefecture that emphasize communication and exchange of ideas and information between different groups and individuals concerned with human rights and civil liberties 


Consultation Services - the Center carries out consultation services and meetings with the help of human right specialists. Consultation Service by telephone is also a provided. Moreover, there is a monthly, free legal consultation with lawyers who are affiliated with the Center.


Tottori Prefectural Human Rights Space (Hiroba 21 Furatto) - the Center manages a facility (called Hiroba 21) which accommodates a human rights library, and areas that are often rented as space for meetings, discussion panels, exhibitions, lectures, and study sessions.





• Tottori Prefectural Center for Universal Culture of Human Rights' Bulletin (three times a year)

• Human Rights Development Booklet (12 issues as of June 2008)

• A collection of documented personal accounts on experiences related to human rights and civil liberties

• Privacy and Our Lives (Puraibashi to watashitachi no kurashi) (2007) 





Tottori Prefectural Human Rights Space - Hiroba 21 Furatto

Tottori Prefecture, Tottori City, Ougimachi 2, 680-0846


ph: (81-857) 21-1712, 21-1713

fax: (81-857) 21-1714

email: t-jinken[a]tottori-jinken.org





Yokohama International Human Rights Center (YIHRC)

Year Established: 1994

Short Historical Background

The Yokohama International Human Rights Center was registered by the United Nations in 1994 and functions as a United Nations Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Japan. The head office is located in Yokohama along with various other provincial offices in Hiroshima, Biwako, Shinshu, Yamanashi, Hyogo, Asuka, Yosakoi, Mie, Tottori and Kyoto.



YIHRC is an organization established for the protection of human rights and the elimination of all forms of discrimination and operates on the principal concepts of “Peace, Human Rights, and Environment”. It renounces all forms of war and engages in activities to promote human rights-based peace and the protection of the environment.

Programs and Activities


YIHRC has recently formed an alliance with various other global United Nations NGOs and has begun to attend international conferences. It conducts various activities such as establishing a mobile human rights class for children, publishing a monthly magazine, hosting human rights awareness events, producing human rights awareness films and DVDs and engaging in investigations and research requested by local governments. It also functions to address environmental issues such as global warming and deforestation through a human rights perspective. Furthermore, it aims to engage in social work to address international issues such as poverty as well as national issues such as the employment of disabled, elderly and other disadvantaged people.

It undertakes the following activities:
• Human Rights Awareness
To increase awareness of the various detrimental environmental issues in society, YIHRC seeks to ensure that the community fully understands the importance of “human rights”, “life” and the “environment”.
It is also necessary to present and bring to light the reality of the various human rights infringements and environmental devastation that occurs in the international community as a corollary of wars. To instigate this awareness, YIHRC publishes a monthly magazine and holds mobile human rights class for children.
• Mobile Human Rights Class
The mobile human rights class began in the autumn of 1994 and has been held at a total of 1,760 schools and involving approximately 300,000 students. The mobile human rights class introduces
the humanitarian activities of doctors involved in groups such as Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) and Doctors Without Borders, and promotes the importance of life.



UN NGO Yokohama International Human Rights Center (YIHRC)
Eminensu Kouyousaka 101
3-98 Hanasaki-cho, Naka-ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa
231-0063 Japan
ph: (81-45-261-3855
fax: (81-45-261-4030
e-mail: ikiikikirakira[a]yihrc.jp


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