-- Excerpted from a speech before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, 1995, regarding Japan's WW II War Rape Victims, (full text available under Japan listing below)
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Karen Parker Home Page for Humanitarian Law

Archive of Documents

Briefs, Statements and Country Reports


ABOUT KAREN PARKER, J.D.
  • News Articles
  • Detailed Biography
  • What is International Humanitarian Law?
  • Answers to Questions Regarding an Education in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
    DOCUMENTS OF SPECIAL INTEREST
  • Xiaoning v. Yahoo! Inc. (Offsite document).
    The family of the arrested Chinese internet user won damages from Yahoo for disclosing his identity to the Beijing government. Karen Parker served as a consutling attorney for the plaintiffs.
  • Understanding Self Determination - The Basics
    Applying international law to civil wars and wars of national liberation. With case studies.
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on Terrorism. By Ms. Kalliopi K. Kourfa
    Discusses international law matters pertaining to terrorism, specifically definitions and kinds of terrorism.
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on Sanctions. By Marc Bossuyt.
    Introduces a six-prong test to determine if a trade embargo and other economic sanctions violate human rights and humanitarian law. When sanctions primarily impact a civilian population, they may be illegal.
  • Treaties of International Humanitarian (Armed Conflict) Law

  • DEPLETED URANIUM
  • The Illegality of DU Weaponry (Word doc) PDF file
    Delivered at the International Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg, Germany, October 2003.
  • Statement on Depleted Uranium
    E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/16 - Discusses use in Iraq and legal implications. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Fifty-fifth session, 14 July 2003.
  • Statement at conference, November 2000 in Manchester U.K.
  • Report on Depleted Uranium Munitions 1999 report on radiological weapons.
  • Depleted Uranium and the War in the Gulf
    1997 statement to U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

  • COMFORT WOMEN CASE IN JAPAN
    A landmark civil case before a Japanese court called for compensation of the survivors of a prostitution scheme during World War II. Under the jugun ianfu scheme, the government of Japan abducted or fraudulently induced the recruitment of women and girls from territories under Japanese occupation, transported them away from their homes, detained them in special facilities, and allowed its soldiers to repeatedly rape them. A significant number of women and girls were murdered outright or allowed to die of injuries or starvation.

    Karen delivered a speech at the 51st session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (1995), outlining the essential facts of the case and the applicable international law. She presented a second statement at the 52nd session (1996), and has also written a legal opinion, divided into Part I and Part II.

    Karen's law review article on this subject was cited by the U.N. Special Rapporeur on Violence Against Women in support of reparations. The Japanese government still refuses to admit liability. See "Compensation for Japan's World War II War Rape victims (with Jennifer Chew)", 17 Hastings Int'l & comparative Law Review 497 (1994).


    AHMADI MUSLIMS - PAKISTAN
    The religious persecution of Ahmadi muslims is sanctioned by the Pakistani government in a 1984 ordinance upheld by the country's supreme court.
  • Karen has prepared a briefing paper. There is also a 1995 declaration in support of all Ahmadis petitioning for asylum outside the country. These materials expound on the principle of "nonrefoulement" (non-return) as applied in international law.
    BURMA/MYANMAR
    The Burmese army ignored the results of a national election and reinstituted military rule in 1990. Widespread, horrendous abuses against the country's ethnic minorities (including war crimes and slavery) have been documented.
  • A statement at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995), condemning slave porterage in Burma and calling for increased U.N. attention to the child victims of war.
  • Other documents: Karen presented a report to the U.S. House Subcomittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs(1993) and a second report to the Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee (1995). These documents analyze the human rights situation, with particular emphasis on the armed conflict and the government's grave breaches of humanitarian law. The Burmese military has lobbied heavily against references to the Geneva Conventions in resolutions adopted by the United Nations, hoping to evade liability for its war crimes.
  • Karen also delivered a statement at the 53rd session (1997) of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights regarding disability, minimum humanitarian standards, and slavery, and a statement at the 47th session (1995) of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities regarding population displacement of the Karenni people, and a written report. She filed a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Detention (1991) for the release of nobel prize winning activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • See also the statement to the U.S. Congress (1995) by Abel Tweed, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Karenni people.


    IRAQ
  • Karen has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the O.A.S. over the use of illegal weaponry in its combat operations, particularly in Falluja. Documents include a report Human Rights in Iraq (2005), Petition filed with O.A.S. against U.S. military operations in Iraq, and a Supplemental Submission to O.A.S. Petition (Several reports and statements to the commission regarding the radioactive residue from bullets and other weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) used by the United States during military operations against Iraq are listed in the section on Depleted Uranium above.)
  • Also, in a statement at the 52nd session of the Commission on Human Rights (1996), Karen cites the work of Margarita Papandreou and Women for Mutual Security, as well as Dr. Horst Gunther, in documenting this catastrophe. A second statement regarding population displacement at the same session.


    KASHMIR
    Kashmir is occupied by 500,000 Indian troops in contravention of a 1948 U.N. resoution calling for a plebiscite of the Kashmiri people to determine their own governance. The population has suffered continuing abuses by the army, including rape and illegal detention.
  • Human rights in Kashmir
    E/CN.4/2003/NGO/259 - Delivered at the Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 20 March 2003.
  • Human rights in Kashmir
    E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/19 - Statement to the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
  • Human Rights in Kashmir, 2001
  • Other documents include a 1996 briefing paper, divided intoPart I, Part II, and Part III, (for easier downloading). Also a statement at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995) and an earlier statement at the 46th session (1994).


    REPUBLIK MALUKU
    Republik Maluku (the Moluccan Islands or the Maluku) lies off the eastern-most part of present-day Indonesia. The Indonesian army has occupied the country since 1950 in violation of international law.
  • A briefing papersubmitted to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (March, 1996), examining the human rights situation and the case for self-determination. Also, a statement at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995) denouncing Indonesia's attempts to dilute and destroy Moluccan culture by installing Javanese leaders into local communities, transferring Javanese into Moluccan territory and disrupting Moluccan economic enterprises (such as the spice harvest). Like the Tibetan people, the Moluccans are fast becoming a minority in their own land.


    MEXICO
    For more information on Mexcio, please refer to the Humanitarian Law Project website.
  • A statement on disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture delivered at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights 53rd Session (1997).


    PANAMA
  • An amicus curiae brief (1995), in support of a petition by the Center for Constitutional Rights before the O.A.S. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. CCR charged the United States with violations of human rights law and the Geneva Conventions during its invasion of Panama in 1989 (Salas, et al. v. United States, Case 10.573, 1993 Inter-Am. C.H.R. 312 (Admissibility)).

    The case uses similar arguments to those Karen presented in a 1983 petition to the Inter-American Commission, which called for compensation of the victims of the U.S. bombing of Grenada's mental hospital. This was the first time a case against the United States had been admitted by any international forum.


    SRI LANKA
  • An extensive 1997 memorandum on the war, divided into Part I and Part 2 for easier downloading. (Please note that we were not able to convert the extensive footnotes from WordPerfect 5.1. Contact ied@igc.org if you need them.)
  • A statement at the 53rd session (1997) of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

    Also available is an earlier memorandum to the Canadian government, issued at a conference (December, 1995) concerning the state of internal armed conflict, specifically, the application of the Geneva Conventions and other war rules to determine the legal status of the LTTE Tamil Tigers, a rebel group battling the current government. Sri Lanka represents a bone of contention among American human rights advocates, many of whom have inexplicably accepted the position of the U.S. State Department on the conflict, rather than evaluating it in light of the international rules.

    Karen has long defended the right of the Tamil peoples to self-determination and has participated in negotiations to achieve a just resolution between the two warring sides. She presented a Statement at U.N. Commission on Human Rights 53rd Session (1997), a written report at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995) which provides background on the conflict and calls attention to Geneva Conventions violations, including indiscriminate attacks against civilians. An additional written report addresses population displacement resulting from the war.

    2007 documents:

  • Statement to UNHCRC on Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka
  • Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka
  • Situation of Children in Sri Lanka
  • Statement to U.N. Security Council Working Group on Child Soldiers


    FORMER YUGOSLAVIA/BOSNIA/CROATIA
  • A report to the 51st session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (1995) calling for greater efforts to assist the nearly 400,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the war.
  • A second report at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995) regarding attacks by Bosnian-Serb forces against civilians in U.N.-protected areas.
    UNITED STATES
  • A statement at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights 53nd session (1997) regarding Intolerance towards refugees and immigrants in the United States.
  • A statement at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights 52nd session (1996), on violations of international law and racial discrimination against refugees crossing the Mexican border into the country. The case of a Nicaraguan diplomat and others detained in U.S. airports while travelling to Canada is also discussed. The document calls for the commission to address the status of Elmer Geronimo Platt and Leonard Peltier, African and Native American leaders imprisoned after apparently tainted trials.


    HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
  • A statement on Toxics and the Environment delivered at the 53rd session of the Commission on Human Rights (1997), and a statement at the 51st session (1995) commending the special rapporteur's final report, and calling for further action in this area.


    ILLEGAL DETENTION OF PRISONERS WORLDWIDE
  • A statement presented at the 46th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1994).
    This document calls attention to the illegal detention of Kashmiris on a wide scale by Indian occupation forces; the need for reparations for Latin Americans of Japanese descent who were imprisoned during World War II; and the arbitrary detention of a Nicaraguan member of the National Assembly, Mrs. Leticia Herrera, in Miami, as part of a U.S. practice of detaining government officials, nobel laureates, international scholars, political asylees bound for Canada or just ordinary people who must transit through United States airports while en route to other destinations.
  • A second statement at the 47th session (1995). This document provides some details on the situation in Chiapas, Mexico, where the armed Zapatista movement is based; the unlawful detention of Sri Bintang Pamungkas in Indonesia; and government sanctioned ethnic discrimination against and summary detention of Albanians in Kosova.
  • A third statement at the 52nd session of the Commission (1996). addressing immigrants in the U.S., the status of Geronimo Pratt and Leonard Peltier, and the murder of Jalil Andrabi, a former judge and human rights activist in Kashmir.


    SLAVERY AND CHILDREN
  • American Slaves in Saudi Arabia: Children Abducted by Their Own Fathers
    Note: This is a Word document. E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/17 - Working with the Washington Center for Peace and Justice, IED-HLP prepared a report on the situation of Saudi fathers removing their American children from the U.S. illegally. The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was presented with the findings and recommendations for action.
  • American Slaves in Saudi Arabia:
    Note: This is a Word document. E/CN.4/2003/NGO/260 - See above listingsfor details. Delivered to the Commission on Human Rights, 20 March 2003
  • COUNTRY REPORTS
  • 2000 Country Reports/Armed Conflict in the World Today
    2000 Reports - Sponsored by International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project and the Parliamentary Group for Human Rights. Each report contains a brief overview of the current status of the conflict, the historical context and complete references to resolutions, reports and other official action taken by the United Nations.
    MISC. STATEMENTS

    Armed Conflict Violations Against Women (2005)


  • Homelessness and the Geneva Conventions (2005)

  • Terrorism (2005)

    Human Rights in Iran (2001)
  • Violations of Human Rights in All Countries (2001)

    Forced Displacement in Northern Uganda (2001)

    Statements to U.N. Commission on Human Rights -1999-2000:
    These documents are located at the Humanitarian Law Project website.

    War and Displacement - Cyprus, Burma and Guatemala
    1997 - 53rd session.

  • The Tamils in Sri Lanka, Human Rights in Iran (including grave conditions for women), Humanitarian Concerns in Iraq, Report on Mexico
    1997 - 53rd session.
  • Use and Abuse of Religion in Time of War and Social Unrest
    1997 - 53rd session. Tibet, Kashmir and Moluccas are cited as examples.
  • A statement at the 47th session of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1995)regarding the Commission on Human Rights decision not to ask ECOSOC to allow the Sub-Commission to pursue a study of the impact of U.N. actions in the field of human rights. The Commission ruled it was not the Sub-Commission's place to judge U.N. activities. This document calls attention to the need for independent inquiry and denounces any attempt at censoring the Sub-commission's work.


    For further materials on humanitarian and human rights law:
  • Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
  • Human Rights, Globalization and Humanitarian Relief - Citizen's Guide
  • A presentation of Human Rights Interactive Network

    Building the human rights movement... one bandwidth at a time.

    E-mail: ied@igc.org