3rd Issue of 2008 No,148

BLHRRI Held its 69th Annual Meeting

On March 9, 2009, BLHRRI held its 69th annual meeting in Osaka city with 250 participating members. After a congratulatory speech by Mr. Shigeyuki Kumisaka, the president of the BLL, and an opening address by Mr. Nobuaki Teraki, the executive director of BLHRRI, the General Assembly was held. In addition to the usual agenda to discuss the business plan, budget plan and organizational structure for 2009, draft programs for organizational reform were also discussed. The General Assembly began by acknowledging the present situations faced by BLHRRI.

These include: 1) The social conditions surrounding the organization have become increasingly unfavorable since the expiration of the Special Measures Law in 2002; 2) BLHRRI operations, especially in fiscal terms, have been placed under very difficult conditions. We are unable to discuss reform without a long-term vision. We must quickly respond to these challenges, otherwise any vision, no matter how good it may be, will become nothing more than a vision; 3) New trends emerging in society with regard to human rights and Buraku discrimination indicate our presence and activities are needed now more than ever. We must make consolidated and innovative progress toward reform. Based on this, the General Assembly redefined the missions and challenges of BLHRRI for the years to come:

  1. Promotion of academic and scientific research of Buraku and human rights issues.
  2. Policy research and policy planning that contributes to solutions of Buraku and other human rights issues.
  3. Research of newly emerging human rights issues produced by modern society.
  4. International solidarity based on Buraku issue research activities.
  5. Development of human resources to contribute to the solution of Buraku issues and the establishment of a society supported by human rights.

The General Assembly adopted reform programs including: * the creation and functioning of a think-tank to work specifically on identifying new issues relating to the Buraku and human rights issues, and to develop relevant policies and strategies; * the creation of a liaison center to provide research services to local governments, the business sector and human rights organizations, to conduct joint research projects with other institutes and universities, and to develop human resources in research and study; the development and publication of educational/training materials designed for specific purposes or sectors (e.g. for public employees); and the clarification local government's responsibilities in researching Buraku and other human rights issues, and seeking official support to this end.

After the General Assembly, Kenzo Tomonaga, the Director of BLHRRI, gave a lecture entitled "Buraku Liberation and International Solidarity," focusing on the history of international solidarity-building of the Buraku liberation movement from the time of the foundation of the Levelers Association, through the post-war era to the present, which is highlighted with lobbying efforts at the UN seeking international cooperation in the efforts to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent.

| Back | Back Number | Home |