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2011 : Save Children of Fukushima
 
Action : A request letter to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
 
@The situation of Fukushima is the violence against children by nation..
@We should report this situation to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and require investigation, and it should be argued as one of the most important issue.
@The letter below had handed to some persons concerned of the committee at the Asian Forum on the Right of Child which was held in Wasseda University on 20-21 Nov.
 
21 Nov. 2011
Attn: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
 Hiroyuki YOSHINO
Evacuation, Relocation and Sanatorium Team Facilitator,
Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation,
 
œCurrent Situation
 
@@After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Japanese government has set the maximum allowable radiation exposure level at 20 mSv/year for both adults and children on an interim basis.

@@Radiation levels remain high in Fukushima City, with 80% of the routes for children to commute to school at 1 ƒΚSv/h or higher. There are hotspots all over the city, and decontamination seems to have had little effect.

@@The normal dose limit for the general public is‚PmSv/year, which corresponds to 0.114 ƒΚSv/h, meaning that the children are currently being exposed to radiation nearly ten times the normal limit. In March, the level was 24.24 ƒΚSv/h or 24 times the present level. This is only the air dose (external exposure) and does not include internal exposure from food or respiration. The interim dose limit for exposure to radiation in food is also less stringent that applied in the Ukraine and Belarus.

@@The children are restricted from outdoor exercise and activities, and some schools are not even conducting physical education in the school yard. Lack of exercise is a daily reality, and there is an increase in injuries of children during physical education in the under-sized gyms. Neither are the children able to go out of doors on the weekends, so they spend their time indoors playing games. Not all families can take their children to less polluted places outside of the prefecture each weekend, so the children as well as their guardians are feeling the stress build up.

@@The children are living with glass dosimeters dangling from their necks in order to monitor their cumulative exposure to radiation. The children are exposed to at least 0.1 mSv/month. Some are exposed to levels as high as 0.6 mSv/month. This is just the data from the month of September; at this rate, the external exposure level alone will reach 7.2 mSv^year.

@@Under the circumstances, many guardians have been unable to choose to voluntarily evacuate, and are resigning themselves such a situation, abandoning hope of escaping from the radiation. They are suffering mentally, being unable to fulfill their responsibilities as parents. It is the children that are victimized by such decisions. In fact, the children are unable to express their anxieties out of concern for their parents. They are being driven into the corner psychologically. At school, the teachers must always remain cautious when talking about radiation. The mothers and children who have been fortunate enough to evacuate are also feeling isolated and anxious because they do not know when they will be able to return. Families and communities are becoming fragmented, and the affected people are bearing undeserved suffering with nowhere to go for redress.
 
œOur Requests
 
1. We call upon the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to conduct an investigation of the above-mentioned issues, and to announce the results. Please include members of citizen's groups in your fact-finding mission.
2. Please urge the Japanese government to take (evacuation) measures giving top priority to the well-being (health) of the children, whether or not the exposure level exceeds the interim allowable level.
3.  Please urge the government to relocate the affected people in groups based on their children's schools or classes, so that bonds of family and friendship are not severed.
4.  Please urge the government to implement a sanatorium-type rotating evacuation program to maintain at least a minimum standard of health for the children.
5. Please urge the Japanese government to revert from the interim standard back to the normal standard on allowable radiation dosage as soon as possible, and to monitor compliance with it.
6. Please share the accumulated wisdom of the international community so that Japanese children will not have to suffer from radioactive pollution.
7.  It is necessary to take action on the basis of the precautionary principle at the earliest possible time to prevent harm to health! There is no time to lose.  
 
yReferencez
 
œ Articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which Japan is thought to not be compliant with@
Article 3 - The best interests of the child
Article 4 - Legislative and administrative measures 
Article 5 - Respecting the guidance of the parents and others 
Article 6 - The right to life; ensuring survival and development of the child 
Article 9 - To ensure the child is not separated from the parents 
Article 12   - The right to express views 
Article 18 - Assistance to parents in the performance of their primary responsibility for upbringing of the child 
Article 19 - Protection from abuse and neglect 
Article 23 - The rights of the disabled child 
Article 24 - The right to health and healthcare 
Article 26 - The right to social security 
Article 28 - The right to education 
Article 31 - The right to rest and leisure, to engage in play, and to participate in cultural and artistic life 
Article 39 - Physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim 
   
œUN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Japan (First time, 24 June 1998) - items which Japan is thought to not be compliant with:
13 The general principle of the best interests of the child not being fully integrated into the legislative policies
18 The insufficient structure to provide alternatives to a family environment
œUN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Japan (Second time, 26 February 2004) - items which Japan is thought to not be compliant with:
14 Independent monitoring of implementation: framework for collaboration between local ombudsmen and a Human Rights Commission
16 Data collection: lack of comprehensive data on all areas of the Convention
18   Cooperation with civil society: lack of interaction between the Government and NGOs
17  Evaluation of the impact of expenditures in the public, private and NGO sectors 
27 Respect for the views of the child: limited respect for their views within the family, schools, other institutions and society at large.
 
œUN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Japan (Third time, 20 June 2010) - items which Japan is thought to not be compliant with:  
6 National plan of action: adopt and implement a national plan of action for children with medium and long-term targets, providing adequate human and financial resources as well as a monitoring mechanism which controls outcomes
20(e) Allocation of resources: ensure that civil society and children are consulted at all levels.
33 Non-discrimination: enact a comprehensive anti-discrimination law
67 The right to an adequate standard of living: allocate appropriate resources to eradicate child poverty, including through the elaboration of a poverty reduction strategy, taking into account the complex determinants of poverty, the child's right to development and the standard of living to be ensured for all families, including single-parent families.
 
 Japanese    
 
 
   
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