Introduction to Outstanding Essays from the National Human Rights Essay Contest for Junior High School Students

Collection of award-winning essays  
The Ministry of Justice has co-organized the annual National Human Rights Essay Contest for Junior High School Students since 1981. This program aims to help junior high school students, who will be major players in the next generation, to deepen their understanding of the importance and necessity of respecting human rights, and foster awareness of human rights, through writing essays on human rights issues.

In 2017, the contest received 960,390 essays from 7,358 schools across the nation. Almost 30% of junior high school students in Japan submitted an essay. From this overwhelming number of submissions, 36 award-winning essays and 66 encouragement-prize-winning essays were selected by an impartial panel of judges, including writer Keiko Ochiai and film director Yoji Yamada. Students whose submissions ranked among the top three were invited to the awards ceremony held at the Ministry of Justice.

Award-winners and Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa

Award-winners,their families,judges,Jin-Ken-Mamoru-Kun and Jin-Ken-Ayumi-Chan

Here are the award-winning essays. The winners look at human right issues with fresh sensitivity and a sense of purity special to junior high school students. Readers will be deeply impressed by their essays.
We hope that as many people will read these essays and understand that Japanese junior high school students seriously think about human rights. It is also our hope that this program will help promote respect for human rights across the world.

  (1) Award-winning essays in 2017    (2) Award-winning essays in 2016     (3) Award-winning essays in 2015     (4) Award-winning essays in 2014  
Each year, a collection of award-winning essays is compiled and distributed. In 2014, based on five outstanding essays selected from past award-winning essays, five animations were produced and compiled into a video titled “Mirai wo Hiraku Itsutsu no Tobira (Five Episodes for a Brighter Future) ”, which has been uploaded to a website and can be viewed online. In this way, this essay contest program plays a major role in publicizing the importance of human rights.

You can also watch other related videos at the link below (in Japanese)


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