From a Japanese Minority Group to an International Human Rights Organization
This chapter first examines the history of Burakumin activism to combat discrimination against them based on their former outcaste status, which by the 1970s had established them as an influential group that had secured some successes. However, social discrimination against Burakumin persisted, and Burakumin activists explored different ways to fight it. Global human rights emerged as a prominent source of legitimacy for their activism and they began engaging with international human rights institutions. Initially intended to advance their own issues, their international engagement developed into a new pillar for their activism that focused on protecting minority rights across the globe, resulting in the establishment of a new international NGO with a UN consultative status, the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR). Through IMADR, they expanded global human rights by establishing a new rights norm against discrimination based on descent and work.
Keywords: Outcaste, Suiheisha, Buraku Liberation League, denunciation campaigns (kyūdan), targeting the government for community improvement grants (gyōsei tōsō), Dōwa Taisaku Tokubetsu Sochi Hō (Law on Special Measures for Dōwa Issues), United Nations Human Rights Committee, United Nations Commission on Human Rights, United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, CERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination), discrimination based on descent and work
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