61st Session of the Commission on Human Rights Agenda Item 12
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Shigeru ENDO
The Delegation of Japan on Agenda Item 12
Integration of the human rights of women and a gender perspective
61st Session of the Commission on Human Rights
Geneva, 6 April 2005
Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,
The First World Conference on the Status of Women held in 1975 was epoch-making, with the adoption of the World Plan of Action. Since then a number of international human rights instruments, which aim to achieve the empowerment of women and gender equality, have gained strength, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Japan has striven to take concrete actions for the advancement of the status of women in accordance with these international human rights instruments, which is nothing other than the promotion of "human security", a pillar of Japan’s foreign policy, focusing on each and every person, woman and man. Japan outlined its recent policies on gender equality at the Beijing +10 at the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women last month, with three perspectives, namely, "Strengthening of the National Mechanisms in Japan", "Progress in Legal and Administrative Measures for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment", and "International Cooperation".
Let me introduce three specific and concrete actions that Japan has been taking in areas greatly important to the rights of women today.
First, Japan has taken various measures to prevent violence against women.
Last December, Japan amended its Law for the Prevention of Violence from Partners and the Protection of Victims, strengthening its domestic legal recourse to better protect women. We have consolidated our basic policy for the protection of women from violence and fear based on this amended law by expanding the definition of "violence from partners", among others.
Second, the recent initiative on gender and development. Japan introduced its new approach entitled the "Initiative on Gender and Development" at the 49th CSW. This new initiative reaffirms our commitment to integrate a gender perspective into every phase of Japan’s ODA implementation to support the self-help efforts of developing countries for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women, respecting the ownership of the recipient countries. The initiative takes a number of basic approaches for mainstreaming gender equality, such as
•the incorporation of a gender perspective in ODA related policies,
•the enhancement of gender analysis and promotion of women’s participation,
•support for policies and institutions to promote gender equality,
•the enhancement of partnerships with the international community and NGOs,
•and capacity building and institution development of Japan’s ODA implementation.
Last, to tackle the problem of trafficking in persons, which is a grave and serious violation of human rights, Japan adopted a comprehensive "Action Plan of Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons" last December.
Japan has been making strenuous efforts to tackle this issue with three immediate priorities: the prevention of trafficking, the eradication of trafficking, and the protection of victims of trafficking.
Let me give some examples of our efforts. At the domestic level, Japan has been considering strengthening of its existing legal framework. We are also in the process of reinforcing and expanding programs for the protection of victims of trafficking, such as the improvement of counseling offices and shelter facilities, as well as public relations activities involving leaflets, among others, for raising awareness of human trafficking.
On the international front, in order to effectively prevent and eradicate human trafficking, we believe that close cooperation is necessary among all countries of origin, transit, and destination. To this end, Japan dispatched Inter-Ministerial Delegations to several countries in order to formulate an action plan as one means of making a resolute stance against trafficking in persons. Having discussions and hearing the opinions of concerned parties through such activities will undoubtedly help us to swiftly construct integrated and comprehensive measures.
Japan is determined to continue its contribution by cooperating with the international community, under the guiding principle of "human security", towards the realization of gender equality as well as the protection and promotion of the rights of women in all parts of the world.