Press Releases
Nov 15, 2017 - 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: Candle Action

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.

Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic. From 25 November to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. In Seoul, Korea, a large candle rally will be held in Cheonggye Plaza on 25 November 2017, and all victims of Japanese military sexual slavery (euphemistically known as 'comfort women')including those who have since passed awaywill be presented a human rights award.

This issue of 'comfort women' is not a diplomatic one, it is a matter of women's rights. The women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military have still not received adequate reparations. Although survivors were forced into silence for close to half a century since then end of World War II, from the 1990s onwards they began to bravely speak out about the abuse they suffered. It is of utmost importance that their voices are now answered.

Please participate in this candle action and help create a society free from sexual violence, where survivors can freely speak out against the abuse they have suffered.

This event is organized by Japan Nationwide Action for Resolution of Japan's Military "Comfort Women" Issue, of which Peace Boat is a member organization.

Information in Japanese can be found at the following URL:

Date: Saturday, 25 November 2017

Meeting place: Shibuya station, Hachiko square

Rally talk and song: 18:30-19:30 (delivered from a publicity car)

Candle action: Two sessions, starting from 19:00 and 19:30 When the traffic light turns green, stand in the crossing holding your candle. *Candles will be distributed.

Media inquiries: Please contact Nancy Roberts, Peace Boat International Coordinator, at or +81-3-3363-8047

You can download the PDF press release here.