Holding Japan Accountable: Pursuing Justice for “Comfort Women” Survivors through the International Court of Justice

9:30 - 10:30 am EDT

Join HLS Advocates for our last event of the year: an expert panel on the rapidly evolving legal situation surrounding Japan’s role in subjugating “comfort women” across Asia to sexual slavery during World War II. In February 2021, one of the few remaining “comfort women” survivors, Grandma Yong-soo Lee, urged the South Korean government to take Japan to the ICJ to settle this issue and bring closure to survivors.  With perspectives from leading activists, legal scholars, and former ICJ judges, this panel will delve into the legal and practical challenges that South Korean advocates face when trying to hold Japan accountable on the international stage, particularly at the ICJ. Is the International Court of Justice the best path toward accountability for “comfort women“? What forms of international accountability have worked in the past to enforce state accountability for human rights violations? And why is such a case being considered now?

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This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Korean Association of Harvard Law School, Harvard Asia Law Society, and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.