JAPAN: UN panel on racial discrimination to question Japan gov’t over Okinawa policy

A view of Air Station Futenma. (Mainichi)

A view of Air Station Futenma. (Mainichi)

GENEVA — The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has asked the Japanese government about what it’s doing to protect the human rights of Okinawans in light of the contentious plan to relocate a U.S. Marine airfield inside the prefecture.

The Japanese government must respond to the inquiries by July 31. The U.N. panel will then take Japan’s answers into account at an August meeting to examine whether the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago infringes on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It is highly likely that the U.N. committee will urge the Japanese government to review the relocation plan in such a way as to protect the rights of the Okinawan people. More

VIETNAM: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination discusses situation in Viet Nam and Canada with non-governmental organizations

20 February 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this morning held an interactive dialogue with non-governmental organizations from Viet Nam and Canada. The reports of those two countries will be reviewed by the Committee this week.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations in Viet Nam raised a number of issues concerning discrimination against the Montagnard Degar people in Viet Nam including arbitrary detention for men, forced sterilization among women, land confiscation without compensation and the unlawful imprisonment of 400 individuals for their Christian faith and exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Speakers also noted the racial discrimination against the Khmer Krom indigenous people in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam whose ancestral lands were confiscated by the Government and whose religious freedom was denied on the grounds that these minorities were a threat to society. More

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