Founding Statement of the International Human Rights Law Association
10 December 1988
This year, 1988, is the 40th year since the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and is also the 10th year since Japan signed the two international human rights covenants. Within these 10 years, Japan has become a member of the Commission on Human Rights, has had an expert elected to the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities, and has sent experts to the Human Rights Committee and to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. International human rights conventions have also increasingly been used in domestic courts and other fora, and, as globalization progresses, there is heightened interest in international human rights.
Pioneers of the postwar period have been succeeded by a younger generation of researchers. Research has developed through work on refugees into areas such as the policies and practices of the UN and other international organisations; and the regional human rights treaties in place in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. However, examinations of the domestic implementation of international human rights standards cannot be fruitful without the participation of researchers of constitutional and other fields of domestic law, as well as legal practitioners. Furthermore, the protection of human rights within any one country can only be secured through constant attention towards issues of human rights globally. It is therefore necessary, now more than ever, to both obtain and share widely information on issues of the global protection of human rights. In addition, the global human rights order can only be solidified through truly interdisciplinary work.
Issues of international human rights protection, the domestic implementation of international human rights standards, and human rights diplomacy have all been examined at relevant academic associations such as the International Law Association, the Public Law Association, and the International Political Science Association. However, isolated symposiums or seminars are no longer adequate, and we believe that we must create a new forum, connecting academics and practitioners domestically and abroad, to engage in systematic and multidisciplinary research, and to exchange information, knowledge, research, and expertise. This coming year, 1989, will mark the 100th anniversary of the adoption of Japan’s first modern constitution. In the dawn of this new era, we announce the forming of the International Human Rights Association, to examine issues of human rights within the broader context of our connections with the international community.
Please refer to Contents of our magazine "Human Rights International" to see what work has been done.