Korean NGO Report on the Convention against Torture and Other Curel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmenthttp://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/Shared%20Documents/KOR/INT_CAT_CSS_KOR_26966_E.pdf ,page 82-83
50. Sex Slaves of Japanese Military Issues290. On December 28, Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea(ROK) and Japan announced that both sides had reached a ‘final and unequivocal’ agreement on the Japanese military sexual slavery issue, with Japan admitting Japanese Military’s involvement in sexual slavery, prime- 83 minister Abe apologizing officially, and promising an $8.3 million payment that would provide care for the victims.211
291. The government of ROK said that they are not fully satisfied with the agreement but it was the best they could get, considering many victims pass away year after year.212
292. However, Korean government neglected demands of surviving victims and the
organizations representing them, such as to ascertain the truth, to punish officials, to found the responsible, to have proper reparation, to prevent recurrence-. Also, surviving victims and the organizations were neither consulted nor guaranteed to participate in the preparation of this agreement.
293. Furthermore, Japanese government persistently denied or distorted the truth about Japanese Military’s sexual slavery even after the agreement in 2015.12.28.213
294.While Japan strongly stipulates that the payment is not compensational, Korean government persuaded victims and heir families to take the payment convincing that Japanese government have officially apologized and the payment is compensational.
295. Consistent demands of surviving victims and the organizations representing them are official apology of Japan based on ascertained truth, reparation as verification of apology, and action to prevent recurrence by educating proper history. 214 Though Korean government was well-acquainted with these demands, they did not only made an unwanted, inconsistent deal, but also urged victims and their families to take it. Korean Government is now violating the victims and their families’ right to get a remedy. This causes elderly surviving victims and their families to suffer from secondary damages such as a psychological distress and from deterioration in health due to stress.
296.Surviving victims who did not approve the Dec 28 KOR-JPN agreement, are demanding Korean government to withdraw it and to put effort on making resolution based on their needs. Nevertheless, Korean government is not only ignoring these demands but also stopped offering a financial support for the project to designate Japanese Military’s sexual slavery as a UNESCO World Heritage List.215
Written Responses of the Delegation of the Republic of Korea to the Review of the State Party Report by the Committee against Torturehttp://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/Shared%20Documents/KOR/INT_CAT_AIS_KOR_27459_E.pdf ,page 2-3
The Agreement on Issues related to the “Comfort Women” between the Governments of the Republic of Korea and Japan
4. Since the early 1990s, when the so-called “comfort women” issue was first raised in the international community, the Government of the Republic of Korea has shared its opinions with the UN human rights mechanisms on the issue, endeavoring to ensure that the relevant international human rights standards and principles are put into practice. Unfortunately, however, notwithstanding the continued attention of UN human rights mechanisms and efforts made by the previous ROK Governments to resolve this issue, many of surviving victims passed away before such efforts bore fruit. The average age of the victims in the ROK is currently 90, and only 38 are still living.
5. The ROK Government has put in extensive efforts to resolve the issue with a sense of urgency that it should be settled before any more of the “comfort women” victims pass away. As a result, the Governments of ROK and Japan finally reached an agreement at the ROK-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on December 28, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”).
6. The primary purpose of the Agreement is to restore honor and dignity of the victims and to heal their psychological wounds. Bearing this in mind, the ROK Government has heeded the opinions of the victims and advocacy groups, and has exerted the best of its efforts to reflect their opinions in the Agreement during the consultations with Japan.
7. The demands of the victims and advocacy groups are reflected in the Agreement as follows: (i) reaffirmation of the historical fact that the Japanese military authorities were involved and the acknowledgement of responsibility by the Japanese Government for the first time, (ii) an expression of sincere apologies and remorse to all the victims by Prime Minister Abe in his capacity as Prime Minister of Japan in public and in an official manner; and (iii) the provision by the Japanese Government of a lump sum funding from its budget to a foundation, which would be established by the ROK Government to implement the commitment made by the Japanese Government.
8. The ROK Government established the Foundation for Reconciliation and Healing as a follow-up measure of the Agreement in July 2016 to carry out programs to restore honor and dignity of the 3 victims and to heal their psychological wounds. The ROK Government and the Foundation have met the majority of the surviving victims and the families of the deceased victims to explain the programs of the Foundation. The Foundation has so far confirmed consents of 34 out of the 46 surviving victims, who were alive as of December 28, 2015 when the Agreement was reached. The ROK Government will continue to communicate with the victims and spare no effort to restore their honor and dignity, and to heal their psychological wounds through programs of the Foundation.
9. Meanwhile, the “comfort women” issue embodies multi-dimensional aspects in the sense that it has bearings with: an issue involving the restoration of honor and dignity of each victim; a global issue relating to universal human rights; an issue which offers important lessons to be drawn from history that must not be forgotten to prevent any recurrence of such inhumane acts; and a diplomatic issue between the ROK and Japan. Among these, the “comfort women” issue as a bilateral diplomatic issue between the Governments of the ROK and Japan is the subject of the Agreement, and the principal purpose of the Agreement is to restore the honor and dignity of all the victims. In this regard, when the Governments of the ROK and Japan stated in the Agreement that the two Governments “confirm that through today’s statement, this issue will be finally and irreversibly resolved,” they meant that the “comfort women” issue as a bilateral diplomatic issue will be resolved “on the condition that” the measures stated by the Japanese Government are faithfully implemented.
Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports of the Republic of Koreahttp://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/Shared%20Documents/KOR/INT_CAT_COC_KOR_27468_E.pdf ,page 12
Redress for victims of torture and ill-treatment
47. The Committee is concerned:
(a) While welcoming the Agreement reached at the Republic of Korea-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on December 28, 2015, and taking note that there are still 38 surviving victims of sexual slavery during World War II, that the Agreement does not fully comply with the scope and content of its general comment No. 3 (2012) on the implementation of article 14 of the Convention, and fails to provide redress and reparation, including compensation and the means for as full rehabilitation as possible as well as the right to truth and assurances of non-repetition;
(b) That victims of excessive use of force in violation of the Convention by law enforcement officials such as persons participating in peaceful rallies may not enjoy the right to redress, including compensation and rehabilitation for injuries sustained during the rallies and ill-treatment treatment during and after arrest;
(c) At the dissolution of the Sewol Ferry Special Investigation Committee and the absence of compensation to the families of victims of more than 300 persons from the Sewol Ferry; and
(d) At the absence of information concerning the compensation lawsuit filed on 22 March 2016 by the family of Mr. Baek Nam-Gi who died of his injuries (arts 2, 12, 13, 14 and 16).
48. The State party should:
(a) Ensure that all victims of violations of the Convention obtain redress, including rehabilitation and have an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full a rehabilitation as possible by formulating a detailed rehabilitation programme. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to general comment No. 3 (2012) on the implementation of article 14 of the Convention, in which the Committee explains the content and scope of the obligations of States parties to provide full redress to victims of torture and recommends amending the domestic legislation accordingly;
(b) Ensure that the programme offers specialized rehabilitation services that are appropriate, available and promptly accessible, in accordance with general comment No. 3 and ensure that access is not conditional on the filing of formal administrative or criminal complaints;
(c) Establish a programme of monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the rehabilitation programme, including establishing a programme of data collection in order to identify the number of victims and their specific rehabilitation needs;
(d) Revise the Agreement of 28 December 2015 between the Republic of Korea and Japan in order to ensure that the surviving victims of sexual slavery during World War II are provided with redress, including the right to compensation and rehabilitation and the right to truth, reparation and assurances of non-repetitions, in keeping with article 14 of the Convention; and
(e) Provide the Committee with information on redress, including the right to compensation and rehabilitation, provided to the families of the victims of the Sewol Ferry accident, the family of Mr. Baek Nam-Gi and to any other victims of violations of the Convention.