Japan : UN’s expert visit to assess progress against children’s sexual exploitation

NEWS-. On 27 August 2015, the United Nations Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio declared that she will conduct an official visit to Japan from 2 to 8 September 2015 to assess the situation of sale and sexual exploitation of children, including the material used to support this criminal activity.


The independent expert expressed her ambition to “evaluate the situation and remaining challenges faced by Japan in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children, including teenagers, in all its forms”. The representative of the UN Human Rights Council will promote “comprehensive strategies to prevent and combat the sale and sexual exploitation of children and to make recommendations for the care, recovery and reintegration of child victims”.

Before making her recommendations to the Government and other concerned parties, she will meet with different stakeholders and ministries as well as youth representatives to collect their opinion. She will also consider initiatives implemented by the national authorities and the private sector in order to prevent and combat sexual exploitation of children. Besides, she will visit State-run child care centres and private shelters.

Human trafficking: a major problem in Japan

Although Japan is regarded as a long-lasting democracy in Asia, the country is surprisingly known to be “a destination, source, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.” One major cause for human trafficking in Japan is believed to be the role played by Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza).

The website humantrafficking.org depicts Japan “as having one of the most severe human trafficking problems among the major industrialized democracies.In addition to traffic of Japanese citizens and human smuggling to North America, Japan is a destination country for women and children from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Latin America who are subjected to sexual and labor exploitation. Traffickers often proceed with “recruitment techniques based on false promises of employment as waitresses, hotel staff, entertainers, or models” to attract vulnerable persons.

Furthermore, the information website insists that Japan remains “an international hub for the production and trafficking of child pornography.” They explain that Japan hosts “an immense sex industry that includes a wide variety of commercial sex operation models, including themed-brothels, hostess clubs, escort agencies, ‘snack’ clubs, strip theatres, and street prostitution.” They reveal that many of those businesses are owned, controlled, or ‘taxed’ by the Japanese organized crime network, the Yakuza, or increasingly by foreign-based groups such as Korean or Colombian crime networks.


Sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert launches official visit to Japan. Published on August 27th. http://www.ohchr.org/FR/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16349&LangID=E#sthash.ur1ee4wg.dpuf

Humantrafficking.org. A web resource for combating human trafficking. Japan. http://www.humantrafficking.org/countries/japan