Atlanta, Feb 9, 2017 — Atlanta will install a permanent outdoor memorial statue in honor of female victims of sexual and human trafficking during World War II at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, according to a press conference held at the Center today.
The Memorial, scheduled to be installed in late Spring or Summer 2017, honors the approximately 200,000+ women and girls throughout Asia and the Dutch East Indies who were trafficked and sexually enslaved before and during World War II by the Japanese Imperial Army. Known as the “comfort women,” their tragedy is one of the largest known cases of human trafficking in the 20th century.
The Memorial project is a partnership between the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, who has agreed to serve as the site host.
Roger Baik Kyu Kim serves as the Chair of the 24 member Task Force, and Congressman Mike Honda serves as the National Task Force Advisor. Georgia Public Service Commissioner Timothy Echols, who is a longtime advocate against sexual and human trafficking in Georgia, serves as the Task Force Statewide Advisor.
“The Center aims to be the place for the brave sex trafficking victims and women to tell their story to the world. It is also a story on humanity,” said Deborah Richardson, a Task Force member representing the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
The Memorial Task Force plans to raise between $100,000 to $120,000 for the project. The raised funds will help fund the memorial statue and to help organize an annual memorial event to raise awareness.
“There are currently only 39 living victims in South Korea and most of them are in their nineties. We want to honor their legacy before its too late,” said Helen Kim Ho, special advisor to the Task Force.
The bronze and granite memorial statue is currently being made in South Korea and will be ready for installation in late April or early June 2017.
“The Center is a safe haven for the memorial and its purpose is to bring knowledge about the sex and human trafficking issue. With knowledge, it will bring ‘light’ to the issue,” said Congressman Mike Honda (CA, 17th District), a longtime advocate for sexual and human trafficking victims and the lead sponsor of U.S. House Resolution 121.
“We must learn from the past and not repeat the atrocities. It is important to teach our children that this is not acceptable.”
The memorial statue will be permanently installed outdoor on the grounds of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.