Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Top U.N. rights official says only 'comfort women' can decide on compensation

All News 14:22 March 11, 2016

GENEVA, March 11 (Yonhap) -- A top United Nations official on human rights stressed Thursday that only the victims of wartime sexual slavery can determine if they have been properly compensated for the injustice they endured.

In his annual speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that despite South Korea and Japan reaching a deal in December, the former comfort women of Japan's sexual slavery are the ones who have the final say on the compensation issue.

On Dec. 28, Seoul and Tokyo agreed to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the issue on forced sexual slavery of South Korean women by the Japanese military during World War II.

Hussein said the relevant authorities should reach out and listen to the voices of these brave women.

He said the U.N. human rights council and other human rights organizations have raised questions about the Seoul-Tokyo agreement.

Earlier this week, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) released a report, calling on Japanese leaders and public officials to "desist from making disparaging statements" regarding the former sex slaves.

In a statement, the committee urged the Japanese government to "recognize the right of victims to a remedy and accordingly provide full and effective reparation," including compensation and official apologies. The CEDAW also expressed regrets over Tokyo failing to implement several U.N. recommendations regarding the issue.

Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!