June 9, 2013
In November 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health Anand Grover visited Japan to investigate the state of human rights following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On May 27 (local time), Special Rapporteur Grover submitted his findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, including the announcement of recommendations to the Government of Japan. His report included valuable concrete recommendations regarding the right to health, including the provision of the health management survey to persons residing in all affected areas with radiation exposure higher than 1 mSv/year, and only recommending evacuees to return when the radiation dose has been reduced to levels below 1 mSv/year.
Many Japanese citizens strongly support Special Rapporteur Grover’s recommendations, and a coalition of citizens' groups launched the following appeal to call on the Japanese Government to implement Special Rapporteur Grover’s recommendations.
This appeal will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and other related ministries (including the Reconstruction Agency, the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare etc) as well as to Special Rapporteur Anand Grover.
While the appeal is being launched by a range of Japanese organisations as listed at the end of the document, we now call for many individuals and organisations from around the world to also add their voices in support of the Special Rapporteur's report, and to encourage the Japanese Government to sincerely work to implement its recommendations.
Thank you for your consideration.
To sign as an individual or as an organization, please follow the links below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hbv4uQ4EdcelTv8ZtNZLxlT9vys6uQyx_WpjvS443Z4/viewform
Deadline for endorsement: June 24, 2013
We welcome the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Health(*1).
We call on the Japanese Government to accept the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations.
Please ensure the right to health of those affected by the nuclear disaster, and conduct a fundamental policy review.
The Fukushima disaster is ongoing. Many of those affected by the disaster are still displaced due to ongoing health concerns related to exposure to radiation, and many evacuees continue to struggle, unable to return home or rebuild their lives in new communities away from home.
The Japanese Government adopted 20mSv/year exposure to radiation as the standard for its evacuation policy. Because of this, many people affected by the disaster are labelled as “voluntary evacuees,” forced to evacuate without any form of compensation. Furthermore, many others wish to evacuate from highly contaminated areas but are unable to for various reasons, forcing them to continue to live in highly difficult circumstances.
Now, areas of less than 20mSv/year are being stripped of their status as evacuation areas. For example, parts of Date City such as the Oguni area(*2) which had been classified as “Specific Spots Recommended for Evacuation” (or areas where the integral dose over the one year period after the accident exceeds 20mSv) had this designation removed suddenly in December 2012 with no explanation to local citizens, and eligibility for compensation was stopped three months later. Those who had evacuated from the area were pressed into returning by this form of 'siege by starvation.' This is in accordance with UN Special Rapporteur Grover’s report.
Moreover, many residents, experts and lawyers have pointed out various issues with the government-led Fukushima Health Management Survey(*3) , including that the targets of the survey are too limited, the contents are inadequate, and the procedural steps for citizens to access to their own medical records are problematic. Many of these points are also included in UN Special Rapporteur Grover’s report.
Furthermore, although the Japanese law “Act on the Protection and Support for the Children and other Victims of TEPCO Disaster” was enacted in June 2012, the detailed framework and protective measures are still not determined and the act is not yet implemented, as reported by UN Special Rapporteur Grover(*4).
The report made by UN Special Rapporteur Grover was based upon the voices of many people suffering as a result of nuclear power, as well as the voices of many of their supporters. We strongly support and welcome this.
We call on the Japanese Government to sincerely heed the report, and to fundamentally review its policies concerning evacuation, compensation and health measures. Especially, in accordance with Special Rapporteur Grover’s recommendations, we request that until the additional radiation dose is less than 1 mSv/year residents should not be forced to return, compensation should be continued, and at the very least, that the health management survey should be expanded to persons residing in all affected areas with additional radiation exposure higher than 1 mSv/year.
Additionally, we call on the government to quickly establish the basic plan for the “Act on the Protection and Support for the Children and other Victims of TEPCO Disaster,” to include areas with additional radiation dosage of more than 1 mSv/year as beneficiaries, and to sincerely listen to and incorporate the opinions of those affected by the nuclear disaster in this process.
Finally, we call on the state to take responsibility for the long-term health management of laborers involved in working to contain the nuclear power plant and in decontamination efforts, regardless of their level of exposure to radiation.
May 29, 2013 Tokyo Japan
On behalf of Participants in the “Emergency Meeting on the State of Human Rights following the Nuclear Disaster”
Human Rights Now
THE ILLUSTRATED Earth Child News
Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai)
Citizen Conference to Promote Our Act
National Network of Parents to Protect Children from Radiation
PEACH: Peace and Environmental Advocacy for the Child
FoE Japan, tel: +81-(0)3-6907-7217, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Rights Now, tel: +81-3-3835-2110, email: email@example.com
Peace Boat, tel: +81-(0)3-3638047, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*1)Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover:
*2)Around 55km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
*3)Official information about the Fukushima Health Management Survey, provided by the Fukushima Medical University, is available in English online here:
*4)An unofficial English translation of the Nuclear Disaster Victims' Support Act by the “Citizen Conference to Promote our act” is available online here:
See also the Q&A created by FoE Japan and translated by JANIC: