Introduction of Each Research Division

International Human Rights Protection System

Since the human rights protection was included among the main purposes of the United Nations, many treaties and declarations concerning human rights have been adopted on both international and regional levels, which now form an important basis of international human rights law.

This research division is to study systematically how the international standard of human rights protection has been developed by the United Nations organizations as well by as various treaty bodies and implemented by state parties. It is also to analyze the latest status of international human rights law.

DOWA System

In the process of the historical development of Japanese society, some group of people were accorded economically, socially and culturally low rank and even in the contemporary society, descendants of these people often find serious violation of their fundamental human rights and experience various discrimination in occupation, marriage, education and housing. We define this social problem as DOWA problem or matter of BURAKU discrimination.

There have been BURAKU liberation activities since 1922, and to put this activities into shape DOWA administration as well as DOWA education has been introduced since 1946, when the article 14 of the Japanese Constitution provided for the equality under the law.

This research Division is to study these problems from historical and social perspectives.

* DOWA means social integration.

Human Rights of Foreign Residents in Japan

Today there are many foreign residents in Japan, for example "Korean residents in Japan" with the historical background of the colonial domination by Japan, as well as increasing number of foreign workers from various Asian countries. These people experience many problems in the Japanese society concerning life style, education and qualification for staying.

Examination of these problems will help to make clear the particularity of Japanese society.
Japan is often described as a racially homogeneous nation, but "island country Japan" has developed its culture by accepting different races and different cultures since time immemorial.

The main purpose of this research division is to study a historical development of acceptance by Japan of these races and cultures so as to find a way to the coexistence of multi-races.

The Human Rights of Women

World Conference on Human Rights held under the auspices of the United Nations in June 1993 adopted the "Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action", which reaffirms that the human rights of women are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights, and urges the United Nations to encourage the goal of universal ratification by all states of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the year 2000.

This Research Division is to study how this Convention is implemented, as well as to examine history of the differentiation of roles based on gender and the actual condition of the equality of the sexes in the field of employment and public activities. It also inquires into the human rights, development and education of women in Asia.

Theories and Methodologies for Human Rights Education

Human rights education is deemed more essential than ever in the international society, as promoted in the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education and the ensuing World Programme for Human Rights Education.

Human Rights education in Japan has significantly developed, having DOWA education at the center, aiming for minority empowerment and creation of human rights-based culture. It is now integrated not only into school curricula and social education programmes , but also into employee training programmes and human rights-based community building. Tasks ahead include its theoretical systematization and the development of human rights education in Japanese context, learning from theories and practices of international human rights education.

The research target of the division is to construct a theory and methodology for human rights education through interdisciplinary and practical approach, based on the findings and achievements of the past studies and good practices in related fields: Anti-discriminatory education including Dowa education, multicultural education, intercultural education, education for international understanding, gender equality education, disability rights and education, citizenship education, peace education, adult basic education, and children's rights.

Business and Human Rights

Although people’s lives elsewhere may be closely connected to, among other things, families, friends, places of employment, and local communities, in current Japanese society the overwhelming number of Japanese workers, who work under some kind of an employment contract, spend most of their lives from graduation through retirement at their company or workplace. In this sense, how they spend time at their company or their workplace has a great influence on character-building and self-fulfillment. It is difficult to think about human rights in the modern society without considering the close connection between human rights and companies or the workplace. As such, it is important to consider and examine again human rights issues as they relate to companies (or places of employment) under the current situation.

The purpose of this Research Division is to study the relationship between companies (including corporations and various business forms) and human rights, such as the matters of “work style reform”, work-related mental health, the labor conditions of non-regular workers, diversity in the workplace, Decent Work and corporate social responsibility (CSR).