Friday, October 18, 2013

10.24 NYC: Experts call for immediate action to protect the right to health of citizens affected by the nuclear accident in Fukushima

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and Human Rights Now (HRN) are honored to have Mr. Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health who was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, as a guest speaker for our upcoming event on October 24, Thursday, from 9:30AM to noon at 866 UN Plaza,Suite 120, (48th Street & First Avenue) in NYC. 

Please save the date. 

Admission is free. UN Pass is not required. Space is limited. Please pre-register by sending your name, contact info, and affiliation to:

[Media] Media crews will need to be approved by the Building Management prior to the event. Please send a list of crew members, contact info and affiliation to:

We will be discussing on the following topics:

What is the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) Report on Fukushima which is planned to be presented to the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly in October?

Why the international society needs to pay close attention to the findings and recommendations in the Grover Report?

What are the implications of these reports on protecting the right to health of citizens affected by a nuclear accident?

Q&A session will follow the presentations.

WHAT: Since the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, individuals and communities in Japan continue to be exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity. There are serious concerns about consequent health effects for citizens in contaminated areas. Residents have a right to live in a safe and healthy environment, however, sufficient protective measures and support are not being provided. The right to access to medical treatment and the medical data about one’s own body are being seriously denied.

Experts will speak about how the lives and health of citizens are being affected after the nuclear disaster and what should be done to provide immediate relief to protect their fundamental rights.

Dr. John Rachow, Ph.D., M.D., Board Member & Past President (2011), Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of University of Iowa, Department of Medicine, Iowa City, IA.

Mr. Anand Grover, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. He was appointed by UN Human Right Council at its eighth session in June 2008. The position is honorary and he is not a staff of the United Nations nor paid for his work.

He is a practicing attorney in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India and took up his functions as Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2008. Mr. Grover is also Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS in India, having offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, which he co-founded in 1981 with Ms. Indira Jaising, The Unit dealing with HIV/AIDS was established in Mumbai in 1998.

Mr. Grover is a pioneer in the field of HIV and has handled several hundred HIV/AIDS related litigations in India. He appeared in the first HIV case relating to the HIV activist, Dominic D Souza, The Lucy D’ Souza case, challenging the isolationist Goa Public Health Amendment Act.

He also fought the first case on blood transfusion in the Calcutta High Court, P v. Uol as well as successfully arguing against the patenting of anti-AIDS drug Nevirapine Hemi-hydrate.

From November 15 to 26, 2012, Mr. Grover was on a country mission to Japan to conduct an independent investigation on issues related to the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, goods and facilities, as well as the underlying determinants of health in Japan within the context of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the events leading to it, including emergency response, recovery and mitigation with a particular focus on challenges and actions taken in response to them, as well as lessons learned and good practices. The mission involved meetings with Japanese government officials, non-governmental organizations, and local citizens affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Mr. Grover’s report on his findings and recommendations was submitted to the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in May 2013, and will be reported to the UN General Assembly in New York in October 2013. His report to the UNHRC can be viewed and downloaded from here: (Mr. Grover’s report on Fukushima related health issues starts from 00:15:00 in the video.)


HUMAN RIGHTS NOW: Human Rights Now (HRN), an international NGO in consultative status with the ECOSOC, is based in Tokyo with several hundreds of members composed of lawyers, scholars, journalists and concerned citizens. In July 2011, on behalf of a coalition of civil society groups in Japan, Human Rights Now requested the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation after the disaster. In response to the request, Mr. Anand Grover, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, visited Japan in November 2012. In December 2012, HRN submitted a joint statement, endorsed by more than 70 civil societies in Japan and worldwide, urging the IAEA and the Japanese government to take a rights-based approach in response to the nuclear disaster based on the preliminary findings and recommendations issued by Mr. Grover in November. To raise awareness of the situation in Fukushima after the nuclear accident, HRN NY has organized human rights seminars and a press conference to inform the international community about the ongoing crisis. (

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) advocates for sound public health policies regarding exposure to radioactive and other toxic materials, and is the medical and public health voice working to prevent the use or spread of nuclear weapons, to slow, stop and reverse global warming and the toxic degradation of the environment. Fukushima presents an immediate challenge to protect those individuals most endangered by exposure to dangerous levels of radioactivity, and to adequately and openly track the health consequences of the ongoing irradiation of populations. PSR was founded in 1961 and succeeded in achieving the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that ended the global radioactive contamination produced by atmospheric nuclear bomb testing. PSR shared in the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), for building public pressure to push their governments to end the nuclear arms race. (

Experts call for immediate action to protect the right to health of citizens affected by the nuclear accident in Fukushima

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