Although Japan recognizes the seriousness of the problem of human trafficking within its borders, the East Asian nation must take more concrete action to fight the scourge, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today.
“Human trafficking affects every country of the world, and Japan is clearly affected as a destination country for many of those victims,” said Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, wrapping up a six-day visit to the country.
The majority of trafficking is for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation in Japan, but she pointed out that trafficking for labour exploitation is also cause for great concern.
The country has adopted a National Plan of Action on trafficking. Further, Japan has granted victims special residence permits if they wish to stay in Japan and is also cooperating with sending countries, including Thailand, to support victims’ reintegration in their home countries.
But Japan must ratify relevant international treaties; adopt a clearer identification procedure to lessen cases of victims’ misidentification; and boost training and coordination of law enforcement officials, Ms. Ngozi Ezeilo said.
She also urged the country to take greater action at the regional level to combat trafficking and consider entering into bilateral agreements with source countries to address the problem on a long-term basis.