Saturday, December 19, 2009

“Lights for Rights”: Event Highlighting Refugee Rights December 20th in Tokyo

The Japan Association for Refugees invites supporters to attend an event at Baron Hall in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka district on Sunday from 2—3:30 PM in conjunction with its “Lights for Rights” campaign.

Lights for Rights was born from the simple hope of securing rights that are routinely denied to people living as refugees in Japan—often including such basic human rights as shelter, food and work. Aiming to raise awareness regarding the reality of these living conditions, the campaign’s name suggests imagery of light being shone upon the refugees to help ensure a more hopeful future.

Sunday’s event will feature aromatherapy using herbs from Eastern Africa, to be followed by a talk on the issues facing refugees from these countries who are currently living in Japan. The event is a collaboration with Green Flask Co. Ltd. Entry costs 1000 yen, which will be donated entirely to the Japan Association for Refugees. Registration is limited to 24 people, and reservations must be made in advance at 03-5483-7400 or The event information page is available in Japanese here.

There are several additional ways to get involved with the Lights for Rights campaign. JAR offers training courses for those wishing to help provide refugee assistance, as well as workshops where refugees introduce the culture of their home countries, and discussion sessions to help encourage communication between refugees and their communities.

Support may also be provided for the program by purchasing illustrated postcards and stamps designed by the refugees, or T-shirts bearing the Lights for Rights logo. Information is available in Japanese on the Lights for Rights page, and the Japan Association for Refugees has an English language section of its website here.

- Kimberly Hughes

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