Filipina WW2 ‘comfort woman’ to visit Toronto
From 1932 to the end of World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army forced more than 200,000 women from across Asia into a sexual slavery system; the victims are euphemistically known as “comfort women.” Without receiving a formal apology from the Japanese government, the remaining survivors of this war crime are still waiting for justice.
Toronto Association for Learning and the Preserving of History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) has partnered with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to organize a visit to Canada by Lola Fidencia David, 86, one of the last living ‘comfort women’ sexual slavery survivors from the Philippines.
David was 14 when she was forced into a Japanese army garrison and repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers. In 2007, she testified at Canada’s House of Commons, which subsequently passed a unanimous motion urging the Japanese government to take full responsibility and offer a formal apology. This position was also reached in 2000 by the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo.
Cristina Lope Rosello, a Filipina therapist who helps former comfort women, will also be visiting from the Philippines. Rosello’s book, Disconnect: The Filipino Comfort Women, traces the human impact of 50 years of post-war silence about women who were abducted and sexually enslaved by the Japanese military in so-called “comfort” stations. “My overriding concern is educating people so there will not be a repeat of the experience, so that we are vigilant against modern forms of atrocity against women. We talk about dark issues so there will be light,” Rosello said.
While the war ended over 70 years ago, the memories and legacies of this history are alive today. As Dr. Joseph Wong, Founder of Toronto ALPHA, reflects, “international justice and peace must go beyond prosecuting war criminals and passing resolutions. It must bring this knowledge into classrooms and the community. The goal is that each and every single young person knows about this history, and uses this knowledge to build a peaceful and just future.”
Join us at public events in Toronto:
Sunday October 20, 2013
11:00am – 12:00 noon
Forest Hill United Church
2 Wembley Road (Bathurst + Eglinton)
Tues Oct 22, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Barbara Frum Library
20 Covington Road (Bathurst + Lawrence)
Tues Oct 22, 2013
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
University of Toronto, New College,
William Doo Auditorium
45 Willcocks Street (St. George + Harbord)
For more information on the upcoming events visit: www.torontoalpha.org
Events are hosted by Toronto ALPHA and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in partnership with: Equity Studies Program at New College, Community Alliance for Social Justice, Toronto Public Library Thought Exchange