Late last week, Vancouver Technical Secondary School hosted the International Human Rights Day Student Symposium. it was the third year in a row that the IHRDSS (partnered with the VSB) has explored issues of human rights violation during World War II in Asia, such as the Nanking Massacre, military sex slavery, biochemical warfare, and Canadian Hong Kong veterans as POWs.
This year was one of the biggest student gatherings with organizers predicting a record turn-out of roughly 800 students and staff. Speakers at the conference included the school's principal Brenda Burroughs, Dr. John Price (author of Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific), Joy Kagawa (author of Obasan and Naomi's Tree), Marius van Dijk van Nooten (a Dutch survivor of Japanese prison camps), Thekla Lit (head of BC ALPHA) as well as teachers and students from schools from Vancouver, Burnaby, West Kelowna, Surrey and Sparwood.
Organizers say it was a terrific success. To watch a news story about the event, click here. For photos, click here. To watch Japanese Canadian Poet, Joy Kogawa's Concluding Remarks, click here