During the 1942–1945 Japanese occupation of the Philippines and other parts of Asia, the Imperial Japanese Army established a system of sexual slavery. In the Philippines, more than 1000 women, some of them under-age, were imprisoned as sexual slavery hostages.
On the occasion of the 75th-year commemoration of the invasion of the Mapanique district in the northern Philippines, ECCHR and the Philippine Center for International Law (CenterLaw) submitted a communication to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in November 2019. The communication, filed on behalf of 28 members of the Malaya Lolas, an organization of affected women, argues that the Philippines has failed in its obligation to provide access to justice and remedies for the women abused in sexual slavery. The communication called for urgent measures to provide the surviving Malaya Lolas, between the ages of 75 and 95, with an acknowledgement of the crimes committed against them, as well as reparations.
In March 2023, CEDAW recognized that the Malaya Lolas continue to be discriminated against by the Philippine state. This landmark decision recommends that the Philippines provide full reparations to the Malaya Lolas, including an official apology and financial compensation. Moreover, it recommends the establishment general legislative and policy measures in favor of all victims of the system of sexual slavery in the Philippines. In doing so, it sets an important standard that is now applicable to victims and survivors of CRSV worldwide.