International Memorial Day for Comfort Women - 14 August

by K4E, 11/08/2018

August 14 has been officially designated as International Memorial Day for Comfort Women. 

The designation follows the enactment of a law that protects and supports people forced into sexual slavery during colonial times and World War II. It is intended to increase protection and support for the victims and to raise awareness, both at home and abroad, of the "comfort women" issues.

August14 was the day in 1991 when one of the late victims, Kim Hak-soon, exposed to the world for the first time the long-veiled historic stain of Japanese colonization. It is on this date that she testified publicly about Japan operating an organized military brothel program during World War II, in which hundreds of thousands of women were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during the war.

Korea`s Independence Day falls the next day, on August 15. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. Indpependence Day marks the end of Japan`s occupation of the country.

The South Korean government has also announced plans to launch an institute dedicated to research on Japan's wartime sex crimes by 2019 and to build a museum to shed light on the atrocities by 2020. The Ministry of Gender and Equality will spearhead the projects. 

Image: Comfort woman statue in front of Japan`s Embassy in Seoul


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