HR group backs abused Pinays
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Over 70 Filipino women abused during World War II got yesterday the backing of a Berlin-based human rights group for their demand for official apology and other reparations from the Japanese government.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has filed an intervention on the appeal of Malaya Lolas of a 2010 Supreme Court (SC) decision dismissing their petition to compel the government to back their claims.

It filed the petition through lawyer Harry Roque Jr., who represents the comfort women in this case.

It argued the victims have the right to compensation as the Japanese Imperial Army had violated international law against sexual slavery from 1932 to 1945.

“As a particular form of slavery, this particular wartime slavery system was encompassed by the general prohibition of slavery under international law. Further, it represented an international crime and was also prohibited under a series of international treaties by the time of the Second World War,” read the petition.

It said the sexual slavery of Filipino women during World War II was a war crime and a crime against humanity.

The petition cited Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna Convention), which had prohibited sexual slavery since 1932.

“The Petitioners Isabelita Vinuya et al. are bearers of rights under international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” read the petition.

“It is widely recognized, that if an individual’s rights are infringed in the context of an armed conflict, he or she has to receive compensation for the harm he or she suffered. Due to the absence of a specific enforcement mechanism, their claims shall be recognized and supported by national authorities.”       

In a statement, ECCHR spokesperson Anna von Gall said their intervention has the support of international legal experts Theo van Boven, Patricia Viseur Sellers, Andreas Fischer-Lescano and Ustinia Dolgopol.

“Under international law the government of the Philippines has a duty to examine the claims for compensation that have been brought by the survivors,” she said.

The intervention was filed while the motion for reconsideration of Vinuya and other Malaya Lolas remains pending before the SC.                   

 

ANDREAS FISCHER-LESCANO AND USTINIA DOLGOPOL CONSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS EUROPEAN CENTER HARRY ROQUE JR. INTERNATIONAL JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY MALAYA LOLAS VIENNA CONVENTION WORLD WAR
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