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Group calls on school curriculum to include human rights concepts

Group calls on school curriculum to include human rights concepts

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) A women's rights group expressed hope Tuesday that human rights concepts will be included in school curriculum guidelines, after the issue of "comfort women" became a point of controversy in the recent dispute surrounding revised high-school curriculum guidelines. The existing curriculum fails to provide accurate information on the topic of comfort women -- women across Asia who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II -- to help students understand the sexual abuses and pain suffered by the comfort women, said Kang Shu-hua (???), executive director of the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation (???????). Kang made the remarks on the sidelines of a news conference held just before a screening of the documentary "Song of the Reed," a 76-minute film that chronicles the later years of Taiwanese comfort women. The foundation has been dedicated to helping Taiwanese comfort women cope with their mental anguish and to seek justice and compensation from Japan over the last 20 years. It is meaningless to focus on whether the comfort women were "forced" into sexual slavery or "volunteered" to do so, Kang said, expressing hope that the curriculum guidelines will include human rights concepts. Protesters have taken to the streets in recent weeks to oppose changes to the high school history curriculum guidelines, which according to the demonstrators, "are presented from the perspective of Chinese unification." While most of the protesters' anger is directed toward what they call "black-box" or secretive changes to the curriculum that presents a "China-centric" view, a handful of opponents have also questioned a modification related to the comfort women. The change describes the victims of Japanese sex slavery during World War II as "women forced to become comfort women" instead of simply as "comfort women." Some opponents of the curriculum changes have argued that not all comfort women were forced. Representatives from major and minor parties were also present at Tuesday's event in support of the comfort women and called for the public to watch the documentary, which will hit cinemas in Taipei, Taoyuan and Kaohsiung Aug. 14. More than 2,000 Taiwanese women and many more across Asia were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, according to the foundation. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-28 19:15 GMT+08:00