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More than ten years have passed since the start of the 21st century which is said to be the “century for human rights.” It has been more than 60 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. This declaration proclaimed that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
However, when we examine our society, we can unfortunately see various human rights violations still occurring today. In November 2000, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government released the “TMG Guidelines for the Promotion of Human Rights Policies” to comprehensively promote human rights measures to protect the dignity of human beings. These measures would address discrimination and prejudice toward women, children, the elderly, the disabled, the Dowa Problem (Buraku people), the Ainu, foreigners, people infected with HIV etc., victims of crime and their families, people with gender identity disorder, and homeless people. In recent years, new problems have arisen such as internet-based human rights infringements. Thus, activities to eliminate discrimination and prejudice are necessary for the present day as well as for the future.
In November 2010, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released the “International standards for social responsibility (ISO26000).” While this standard seeks to promote social justice and environmental consciousness by organizations around the world, respect for human rights is included as one of its principles. This is based on the recognition that ensuring human rights is indispensable to the development of a sustainable society.
Against this backdrop, this Center has closely cooperated with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to raise public awareness and provide consultation based on its aim “to implement education, public awareness, and protection of human rights to contribute to the solving of human rights problems such as the Dowa Problem, and to raise the awareness of Tokyoites toward human rights.” Specific activities include managing and operating the Tokyo Human Rights Plaza established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, dispatching lecturers to speak at human rights training programs conducted by public offices and private companies, holding human rights-related lectures, courses, and consultations, and operating a book and DVD library and loan service. The Center is also putting effort into providing information over the internet and creating posters to promote human rights.
In April 2011, this Center became a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation. The staff at this Center will to looking directly at various human rights-related problems and will work together, in association with the citizens of Tokyo, to create a bright society without discrimination or prejudice from a position which is legally impartial and respects the individual. The staff will work together to realize that.
Tokyo Metropolitan Human Rights Promotion Center