Side event to the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council
VOICES FROM FUKUSHIMA’S IDPs
How does international human rights law protect those displaced by the nuclear disaster?
Monday 3 July 2023
3:00pm – 4:00pm (Geneva)
10:00pm – 11:00pm (Tokyo)
ROOM XXV, Palais de Nations, Geneva
You can also join the event online on WEBEX at:
On March 11th, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean violently hit the eastern coast of Japan causing significant territorial destruction and triggering a tsunami with waves up to 40 meters high. As a result, over 20,000 people died or went missing, while over one million buildings were completely or partially destroyed, and an estimated 470,000 people were displaced.
The tsunami also severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where, in the days following the initial disaster, a series of nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen explosions led to the release of large amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere and the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes as a result of the nuclear disaster, and many remain unable to return home today.
Over the past decade, UN Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies have been closely monitoring the human rights impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its handling by the Japanese government. Most recently, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) carried out an official visit to Japan from 26 September to 7 October 2022.
How many people remain displaced today, 12 years after the disaster? Are the Fukushima IDPs – also known as “evacuees” – receiving the assistance and protection they are entitled to? Are they taking part in the decision-making affecting their lives? Which durable solutions are envisaged for them?
This side event, organized by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and co-sponsored by the Peace Boat, aims to present and discuss the findings and recommendations contained in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs on her visit to Japan. The event will further bring the voices of Fukushima IDPs to the UN to highlight the challenges they are facing and the support they need.
Opening remarks by
Ms. Paula Gaviria Betancur, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons.
Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, former UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons (online).
Mr. Krishnan Raghavan, Associate Human Rights Officer supporting the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at OHCHR.
Testimonies from Fukushima IDPs and their lawyers (by video)
Ms. Mitsuko Sonoda, Fukushima evacuee and human rights activist.
Micòl Savia, IADL permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
We look forward to seeing you there!