Framing the Comfort Women : Non-governmental organizations and the United Nations framing the issue from 2008 till 2018
Arki, Petra (2020-05-28)
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The comfort women issue has been discussed in the United Nations’ platforms since the early 1990s. A strong civil society movement advocates the comfort women issue in the United Nations. This study detects how the comfort women issue has been framed by the Japanese and South Korean non-governmental organizations in different United Nations’ bodies. The frames used by the NGOs are compared to the frames presented by the United Nations. The study covers the discussion on the issue of comfort women in the United Nations Human Rights Treaty-based bodies from 2008 till 2018. Non-governmental organizations’ submissions to United Nations and the United Nations’ concluding observations on Japan are analyzed using frame analysis as a method. In addition, data is collected by interviewing a representative of non-governmental organization, to gain more knowledge on the NGO’s framing process. Non-governmental organizations presented their frames in unison until the year 2015. After 2015 the discussion on comfort women has become polarized. The comfort women issue is addressed in the UN by the NGOs, which belong to the comfort women movement and by the NGOs, which represent historical revisionist views. The United Nations has not adopted frames from the historical revisionists but frames the issue similarly with the comfort women movement. For further research, it would be fruitful to include United Nations’ member states into the research. This would allow comparison between the influence of member states and the influence of non-governmental organizations to the frames presented by the UN.