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Fukushima parents and NGOs appeal to UN High Commissioner for Human Right to save children from peril of radioactive fallout

On August 17th, in a statement entitled "Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima," a coalition of Japanese Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Fukushima Prefecture parents, appealed to the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to save the children of Fukushima from the perils of radioactive contamination resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on March 11th. The appeal is necessary because of the inaction, and worse, of the Japanese federal government and Fukushima prefectural government. The appeal to the UN was signed by the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation; Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai); FoE Japan (International Environmental NGO); Green Action; Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai); and Greenpeace Japan.

This appeal to the UN comes on the heels of two petitions, submitted to the Japanese government on May 2nd and June 16th, which accumulated over 80,000 signatures, including 1,383 organizational signatories, from across Japan and 61 other countries worldwide. The petitions urged a speedy expanded evacuation and minimization of children's radioactive exposures by withdrawing the Japanese government's "provisional" 20 millisievert (2 Rem) per year radiation exposure limit for Fukushima children, and restoring the 1 millisievert (100 millirem) per year limit. However, the petitions have fallen on deaf ears at the Japanese federal and Fukushima prefectural governments. A third, related petition was launched on June 30th, and is still open to international signers.

The appeal to the UN concludes: "The children of Fukushima have the same right as all other children in Japan to live a life free from unnecessary, preventable radiation exposure. We urgently request that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/OHCHR come to Japan to investigate this matter."