JAPAN: Children's Rights in the Universal Periodic Review (Second Cycle)

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Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholders' Information'. Also included is the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

 Japan – 14th Session – 2012
Wednesday 31st October 2012 - 2.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m

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National Report
Compilation of UN information
Summary of Stakeholder information
Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

(Read about the first cycle review)

National report

10. While concluding the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Japan reserved the right not to be bound by “in particular by the progressive introduction of free education” referred to in sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 of article 13 of the Covenant for the reason that appropriate payment is required of students at national or public schools from the perspective of maintaining an equitable balance with students at private schools which constitute a considerable portion of upper secondary and higher education.

11. Recently, however, the reduction of the economic burden of educational expenses on households has been strongly requested to support all those who wish to receive upper secondary education regardless of their economic conditions. In April 2010, the so-called “Free High School Education Act” was enacted which eliminated public high schools tuition. The Government of Japan also established the High School Enrollment Support Fund System for the tuition fees of students at national and private high schools in order to reduce the burden of education expenses on households. As for higher education, the Government of Japan has been working on measures to reduce or exempt tuition fees at universities and to enhance scholarship loans to help further reduce financial burden. Considering these measures, Japan is now under the process toward withdrawing the reservation to the provision “in particular by the progressive introduction of free education” referred to in the Covenant.

12. Japan made an amendment to the declaration which was made based on paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict to the effect that “the Government of Japan, by relevant laws and regulations, recruits only those who are at and above the minimum age of 18 as members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces” (the amended declaration came into effect on April 1, 2010). This amendment was notified to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 3 of the Protocol, in the form of a document describing the new declaration. This new declaration was made to revise the existing declaration and actually is equivalent to withdrawing the past interpretive declaration which was made by Japan upon the conclusion of the Optional Protocol.

13. Recognizing that the conclusion of the Hague Convention is significant for the interests of children, the Government of Japan decided to make preparations toward its conclusion. The Hague Convention and its domestic legislation were introduced to the 180th session of the Diet (ordinary session).

14. Contracting States shall designate a “Central Authority” to discharge the duties under the Convention. Japan is to designate the Minister for Foreign Affairs as its central authority. The tasks of the Central Authority and various procedures for returning children provided for in the Hague Convention are new to the Government of Japan, and many domestic relevant organizations are to be involved in the implementation of the Convention. In order to implement the Hague Convention, it is necessary to make it known to the general public and develop a system for its implementation through those domestic relevant organizations. In view of these matters, the Government of Japan is now making the necessary preparations with the aim of implementing the Hague Convention at the earliest date possible.

9. In Japan, subjects related to human rights are actively included in the training curriculum for public servants so that the principles of human rights treaties can be fully understood by all public servants. In particular, extensive human rights training, including on the rights of women and children are provided for public servants deeply involved in human rights, such as law enforcement officials, as follows:

10. The Ministry of Justice provides various training programs for prosecutors and officers in the Public Prosecutors Office according to their level of experience. As part of such training, the Ministry provides lectures on human rights, such as “covenants on human rights” and “due consideration for children and women in conducting prosecution activities.”

11. The Ministry of Justice makes use of various training opportunities to help officials at correctional institutions acquire knowledge and skills on treaties and legislation related to various human rights issues, including the rights of women and children, necessary for the appropriate and effective treatment of inmates.

12. The Ministry of Justice organizes lectures for probation officers on human rights including the prevention of violence against women and children and due consideration for women and children, so that they may acquire the knowledge which is necessary for implementing probation and responding to crime victims.

14. At police schools, education concerning respect for human rights is provided to newly recruited police personnel and promoted police personnel. In addition, education is provided in courses on methods and skills for prevention or investigation of cases in which women or children are more likely to become victims, such as sexual crimes, domestic violence, child abuse and welfare crimes.

36. In 2011, the Civil Code, the Child Welfare Act, and other laws were revised to promote the prevention of child abuse and protect the rights and interests of children. The revised laws make it clear that a person with parental authority must take care of his or her child in the interest of the child. It is also made clear that if the interest of a child is threatened due to such as any impropriety of the parental authority, parental authority may be restricted and this may lead to the loss of parental authority, etc. In addition, the revised laws create a system for the suspension of parental authority to enable proper limitation of parental authority as necessity; take measures to allow appointment of a juridical person or multiple persons as a guardian; and allow children, guardians of minors, etc. to request for a trial for loss of parental authority, etc. Furthermore, the revised laws allow a Child Guidance Centre’s director to exercise parental authority when there is no such person for a child entrusted to foster care or under temporary custody. Measures were also taken to require a person who has parental authority or anyone else not to unreasonably disturb necessary measures concerning custody of a child, when such measures are taken by a facility manager for the welfare of the child.

37. Under the legislation, local governments have established Child Guidance Centres where children who are victims of violence can rehabilitate or seek advice. Public expenditure, financially assisted by the central government in the forms of burden charge, subsidies, etc, under related laws, covers the expenses of the operation of these facilities and the temporary custody.

38. In Japan, Article 11 of the School Education Law strictly prohibits corporal punishment. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has provided guidance to this effect to teaching staff through boards of education, etc., by way of notifications and at annual conferences and training sessions for teaching staff.

39. On the other hand, Article 822 of the Civil Code stipulates that a person with parental authority may discipline a child to an extent deemed necessary. This provision allows a person who exercises parental authority to discipline the child to an extent deemed necessary and appropriate from the perspective of taking care of the child in order to correct the child’s misconduct and guide the child onto the right path. This provision does not allow for corporal punishment. Whether or not such disciplinary actions are deemed necessary and appropriate from the perspective of caring for the child is determined by sound common sense prevailing in society and the era. If discipline is provided excessivelyto an extent that is impermissible, it will lead to loss of parental authority (Article 834 of the Civil Code) or suspension of parental authority (Article 834-2 of the Civil Code).

40. The Civil Code as revised in 2011 deletes the provision―“A person who exercises parental authority may discipline the child to an extent necessary, or enroll the child at a disciplinary institution with the permission of the family court.”

41. Article 3 of the Child Abuse Prevention Act provides that “[n]o person shall abuse a child.” Thus, the Act has a clear provision which prohibits child abuse. Article 14(1) of the Act provides that “[a]person who exercises parental authority over a child shall give consideration to proper exercise of authority in disciplining the child.” Thus, the Act obligates a person with parental authority to exercise such authority in a proper manner that will not constitute child abuse.

42. If exercise of disciplinary rights over a child exceeds reasonable current social standards, the person concerned shall be punished for assault, injury, unlawful capture and confinement, etc. under the Penal Code.

44. From the perspective of protecting victims of trafficking in persons including women and children, in July 2011, the Government of Japan compiled“Guidelines on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Cases (Measures for Protection of Victims)” in order to assist administrative organs and other related organizations engaged in combating trafficking in persons. The Guidelines summarize essential points for protecting victims of trafficking and show measures to be taken by the concerned ministries and agencies with full respect to the protection of victims out of the measures for cases of trafficking in persons. The Guidelines require the concerned ministries and agencies, such as the police, the Immigration Bureau, the Legal Affairs Bureaus, Women’s Consulting Offices, Child Guidance Centres, Labor Standards Inspection Offices and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately notify, if necessary, the police, Immigration Bureau, the Japan Coast Guard, Women’s Consulting Offices (limited to cases concerning women) or Child Guidance Centres (limited to cases concerning children) to obtain a more professional judgment in order to protect the person in question, if a person seeking advice, etc. is, or may be, considered to be a victim of trafficking in persons.

49. To facilitate the prevention of trafficking in persons, Japan has been promoting efforts to raise awareness of the potential perpetrators of sexual exploitation so that Japanese nationals who may be involved in sexual exploitation will refrain from child prostitution in foreign countries.

50. A booklet, titled “Important information for tourists,” has been prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Japanese overseas travelers and clearly states that child prostitution or the act of possessing child pornography will be penalized as offenses committed outside Japan under Japanese law and therefore they are recommended to refrain from engaging in such inappropriate acts. This booklet is distributed to Japanese overseas travelers at prominent locations, including travel companies and passport offices. On a related note, the National Police Agency held the “10th Seminar on Measures against Commercial and Sexual Exploitation of Children in Southeast Asia” in November 2011 to expand and enhance investigative cooperation for offenses committed outside the country in Southeast Asia.

52. In Japan, with the entry into force in July 2004 of the Act on Special Provisions for Handling People with Gender Identity Disorders, people with gender identity disorder may now change their gender in family registers. The 2008 revision to the Act has relaxed requirements for the change of gender by people with gender identity disorder from “the person has no child at present” to “the person has no minor child at present.”

61. “Special Needs Education” is education for children with disabilities, in consideration of their individual educational needs, which aims at the full development of their capabilities and at their independence and social participation. Special Needs Education is carried out in various forms, including in special support services in resource rooms, special classes (both in elementary and lower secondary schools), and schools for Special Needs Education. Home-bound or hospital-bound education is also available for students who have difficulty in attending school due to their disability.

62. For students with disabilities, all national, public and private higher education institutions are encouraged to give special consideration for their admission and support is offered for students’ living needs.

74. To ensure transparency internationally, Japan accepted the visit to immigration detention facilities of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, of the United Nations Human Rights Council in July 2009, and of the Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2010.

82. The Government of Japan established the “Comprehensive Measures to Eliminate Child Pornography” in 2010, and has been promoting a public movement to eliminate child pornography and measures to prevent damage, including development of an environment that provides safe and secure Internet use for young people.

83. Recently, in order to prevent that the children suffer from sexual abuses by visiting community sites and other sites via mobile phones, the Government of Japan is working on awareness-raising to enhance the recognition of the potential risks of such websites and further promoting the filtering services in collaboration with mobile operators and other relevant actors.

84. As part of measures to prevent distribution of and access to images of child pornography on the Internet, Internet service providers, etc, have voluntarily begun since April 2011 measures to prevent access to such images (blocking) based on information provided by the body to prepare and manage address lists of websites containing child pornography. The Government of Japan has been promoting measures to prevent distribution of and access to images of child pornography on the Internet, including making the necessary environmental arrangement toward voluntary introduction of effective blocking.

86. In line with the obligations stipulated in the international human rights instruments to which Japan is a party, all relevant government ministries and agencies continue to promote and protect human rights in various domestic fields. Japan will continue to follow up on the accepted recommendations in the UPR and recommendations it has received from human rights treaty bodies, and will continue to further enhance its dialogue with civil society, including non-governmental organizations and to implement policies and measures in order to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights of women, children and persons with disabilities who are socially vulnerable.

Compilation of UN information

1. In 2010, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended that Japan ratify the 1993 Hague Convention 33 and the Palermo Convention. The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children also recommended ratifying, inter alia, the Palermo Protocol and the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

4. CRC recommended that Japan withdraw its reservation to article 37 (c) of the Convention regarding the separation of children deprived of liberty from adults. In 2011, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants also recommended reconsidering its reservation to article 37(c).

7. CRC recommended that Japan adopt a comprehensive law on child rights and fully harmonize the legislation with the Convention; and observe the principle of the best interests of the child in all legal provisions, judicial and administrative decisions, programmes and services.

10. CRC noted that several institutions responsible for the care and protection of children did not conform to appropriate standards.

11. CRC recommended adopting and implementing a national plan of action for children to address inequalities in income and living standards and disparities by gender, disability, ethnic origin and other factors.

12. In 2005, Japan adopted the United Nations Plan of Action (2005-2009) for the World Programme for Human Rights Education focusing on the national school system.

17. CEDAW welcomed the enactment and revision of numerous laws and legal provisions on gender equality and highlighted one amendment abolishing the family head system contained in article3.1 of the Nationality Law, to ensure that men and women have the same rights with respect to their children’s nationality.

19. CEDAW noted that vulnerable groups of women suffered from discrimination, especially regarding access to employment, health care, education and social benefits and requested the Government to adopt gender-specific policies and programmes in this regard.

21. CERD noted with concern racist expressions and actions against groups, including Burakumin and children attending Korean schools, and recommended that Japan ensure that constitutional, civil and criminal law provisions are implemented to address hateful and racist manifestations.

23. CRC was concerned about discrimination against children belonging to ethnic minorities, of non-Japanese nationality, of migrant workers, refugee children and children with disabilities, and recommended repealing all legislation discriminating children on any basis.

33. The HR Committee was concerned that the definition of rape in the Criminal Code only covered actual sexual intercourse between men and women. It recommended that Japan broaden the definition of rape and ensure that incest, sexual abuse other than actual sexual intercourse, rape of men and marital rape were considered serious criminal offences. CRC noted that the Penal Code only recognized women and girls as victims of rape and related offences and that these provisions did not extend to boys and recommended that Japan ensure that all boys or girls are accorded the same protection regarding rape.

34. The HR Committee was concerned about the low age of sexual consent (13 years for boys and girls), urging the Government to raise such age.

35. CRC reiterated its concern at the prevalence and increasing sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and prostitution. It recommended adopting a plan of action to combat organized crime; treating children as victims and not as offenders; and, providing assistance to victims of sexual exploitation.

36. While noting Japan’s explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, CRC expressed concern that this prohibition was not effectively implemented. It also noted that corporal punishment in the home and in alternative care settings was not expressly prohibited by law. It recommended prohibiting corporal punishment and all forms of degrading treatment of children in all settings by law.

37. CRC recommended implementing the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on violence against children.

38. CRC was concerned that in Japan the sale of children was not included as a specific offence in its Penal Law and urged Japan to criminalize it in compliance with the OP-CRC- SC.

39. In 2010, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children noted with concern that the law does not punish the possession of pornography of children if it is not intended for sale, and recommended that the Act against Child Prostitution and Child Pornography be amended to criminalize the possession of child pornography.

40. CRC remained concerned that no legislation criminalized the recruitment of children into armed forces or groups or their use in hostilities, nor was there a definition of direct participation in hostilities and urged the Government to revise the Penal Code.

41. CEDAW and the HR Committee shared concerns about the persistence of trafficking in women and girls, and exploitation of prostitution; lack of comprehensive support and measures aimed at rehabilitating victims of trafficking; prosecution of prostitutes under the Anti-Prostitution Law; and the low number of prison sentences imposed on perpetrators of trafficking-related crimes. They urged Japan to address the root causes of trafficking and to protect and support victims. CRC welcomed the 2009 Action Plan on Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons and made recommendations regarding trafficking in children. The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children was concerned that the definition of trafficking was not as comprehensive as the definition contained in the Palermo Protocol, in particular because it did not include recruitment without kidnapping. She recommended that Japan adopt a clear definition of trafficking which includes all elements of the Palermo Protocol definition. Additionally, she recommended that trafficking in men and boys be included in the action plan and in the legislation, in order to comprehensively address this phenomenon.

42. In 2010, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children also noted that women and girls, including Japanese nationals, fall into the vicious circle of trafficking and sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence. She recommended intensifying efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and bringing perpetrators to account. She also recommended that the hotline for domestic violence be answered in the main foreign languages spoken in Japan.

48. The HR Committee was concerned that children born out of wedlock were discriminated against regarding the acquisition of nationality, inheritance rights and birth registration, and urged the Government to remove any provision discriminating against such children from its legislation. CEDAW and CRC shared the same concerns and recommendations.

49. CERD reiterated its concern about the difficulties in the family registration system and the continuing invasion of privacy, mainly of Burakumin. It recommended enacting a law prohibiting the use of the family registration system for discriminatory purposes, particularly in the fields of employment, marriage and housing, to effectively protect the privacy of individuals.

50. CEDAW was concerned that domestic and family responsibilities were primarily borne by women and encouraged to step up efforts to strike a balance between family and employment responsibilities; and improve the provision and affordability of childcare facilities for children of different age groups. CRC noted with concern the lack of a policy on alternative family-based care for children without parental care; increase of children taken into care; inadequate standards of many institutions; and widespread abuse of children in alternative care facilities.

51. CRC recommended that Japan ensure that all adoptions were subject to judicial authorization and in accordance with the best interests of the child; and maintain a registry of all adopted children.

52. CEDAW and the HR Committee urged the Government to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 for women and men; abolish the six-month waiting period required for women but not men before remarriage; and to adopt a system to allow for the choice of surnames for married couples.

60. CEDAW and CRC were concerned about the increase of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, among women and adolescents; the high ratio of abortion; and that women undergoing abortion could be punished under the Penal Code. They recommended promoting reproductive and sexual health education for adolescents; and amending the legislation criminalizing abortion. The 2011 World Health Organization country profile on Japan, noted that tuberculosis, infectious and difficult-to-treat diseases, such as HIV infection and new types of influenza, are still serious threats to public health.

61. CEDAW recommended reintegrating gender equality in the Basic Act on Education.

62. The HR Committee was concerned that State subsidies for schools teaching in the Korean language were lower than those for ordinary schools, and that diplomas from Korean schools did not automatically qualify students to enter university, urging the Government to address the situation. CRC made similar recommendations regarding schools for children of Chinese and other origin.

63. CERD expressed concern about the lack of adequate opportunities for Ainu children or children of other national groups to receive instruction in/or their language and about the fact that the principle of compulsory education was not fully applied to children of foreigners. It recommended ensuring that no child faced obstacles regarding education. The HR Committee made similar recommendations regarding the instruction in Ainu and Ryukyu/Okinawa languages and the inclusion of the Ryukyu/Okinawa culture and history in the regular curriculum.

65. CRC remained concerned about discrimination against children with disabilities. It recommended adopting legislation to fully protect such children; providing community- based services focused on enhancing their quality of life; providing programmes and services; and, equipping schools for the inclusive education of children with disabilities.

66. In 2011, Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation recommended that Japan eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities, including in the areas of housing and education. She especially called on the Ministry of Education to equip schools with the necessary facilities for the inclusive education of children, including by ensuring their autonomous access to water and sanitation. Furthermore, the Government must do more to ensure that all persons with disabilities have access to housing that is adapted to their needs, in particular with regard to sanitation and bathing.

71. CRC was concerned that children of Ainu, Korean, Burakumin origin and other minorities experienced social and economic marginalization, and urged Japan to ensure their equal access to all services and assistance.

75. While noting that a number of Japan’s regulations limit the possibility to register the births of children born to parents in certain situations, such as undocumented migrants, CRC recommended amending the nationality and citizenship laws and regulations to ensure the registration of all children and protect children from de jure statelessness.

77. UNHCR recommended that Japan expand the use of alternatives to detention through support from the civil society including finding shelters upon release; establish mandatory and independent review and incorporate the “UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care of Refugee Children” in its determination process . CRC expressed concern at the practice of detaining children seeking asylum and lack of a mechanism for the care of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

78. On the issue of reception conditions for asylum seekers, UNHCR recommended that Japan consider establishing criteria for lodging repeat applications; introduce a reopening system where asylum seekers with valid reasons may have their file reopened; apply an inclusive interpretation of the refugee definition; empower the Refugee Examination Counsellors with additional refugee status determination (RSD) training, a Secretariat independent from the Immigration Bureau and the authority to manage their own caseload. CRC recommended expediting the processing of the asylum claims of unaccompanied children under fair and child-sensitive refugee status determination procedures.

Summary of stakeholders' information

3. Joint Submission 10 (JS10) recommended ratifying the 2000 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. New Japan Women’s Association (NJWA) recommended taking steps for the ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

6. JS6 acknowledged the support given by Japan to the adoption of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but Japan had not indicated its intention to ratify it. JS6 recommended its ratification.

8. JS10 noted that there was no comprehensive legal framework on children’s rights. It added that the law addressing child pornography was not in compliance with international standards and recommended to provide a clear definition of the sale of children.

16. Japan Network on Education for the Advancement of Gender Equality (JNEAGE) indicated that Japan had not start to take a step forth about the enforcement of recommendations on the Rights of Children.

34. JS10 stated that the existing facilities accommodating both children and adults are not specialized enough to ensure effective support to child victims of sex trafficking.

36. According to JS1 alleged cases of child abuse had risen to their highest level since records began 10 years ago. It added that the number of child abuse cases reported to Municipal Child Centres had increased to their highest in 2010. Responding to it, Japan revised the Civil Code in 2011 and included the principle of the best interests of the child when those with parental authority discipline their children. However, for JS1 the parental authority itself remained the same as before.

37. JFBA indicated that corporal punishment in schools continued. It added that there was a lack of understanding of the complexity of bullying among children cases. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) said that the legality of corporal punishment had not changed since Japan’s UPR in 2008.

49. JS12 added that children born out of wedlock suffered discrimination, as well as children belonging to ethnic minorities, children of non-Japanese nationality, children of migrant workers, refugee children and children with disabilities.

50. JFBA indicated that a bill to amend the Civil Code discriminatory provisions against women (minimum age for marriage, waiting period for remarriage and choice of surnames for married couples) had not been submitted. The Association for the Support of Children out of Wedlock (ASCW); HRN, AI, AJWRC, NJWA and FUNDAREN expressed similar concerns.

51. SA indicated that children born out of wedlock continued to be discriminated against through the family registry system and in provisions on inheritance. ASCW recommended eliminating the concept of legitimacy from all laws and administrations and change the family registry forms.

52. JS12 recalled the 2011 CRC recommendation to avoid statelessness for children and recommended ratifying the 1954 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless persons and the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

53. HRN, as well as other organizations, indicated that freedom of thought and conscience was threatened in public schools as teachers were ordered (and punished if not) to sing the national anthem Kimigayo under the Hinomaru flag during public ceremonies. Working Women’s Network (WWN) expressed similar concerns.

59. FUDANREN further indicated that dismissals and other disadvantageous practices against women workers due to their pregnancy and childbirth were prevalent. AJWRC stated that women’s full participation in the labor force was hindered by the lack of efficient public childcare and other social services.

63. JFBA stated that in 2009, it was revealed that one out of seven children aged 17 or younger and more than half of single parents lived in poverty. It recalled CRC recommendations on the effective collection of child-support payments to eradicate poverty among children.

64. Joint Submission 4 (JS4) indicated that Japan had not taken the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to protect the right to life, survival and development, the right to health and the right to play of the children of Fukushima. The Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausíliatrice (IIMA) recommended monitoring radiation levels in schools and carry out the proper decontamination, beginning with those places most frequently occupied by children and pregnant women.

66. JS4 stated that Japan should make appropriate compensation health treatment for radiation risks for children of Fukushima and their families. It added that access to accurate information about radiation and its effect was rarely provided by the local authorities and by central government.

68. JS4 stated that local communities in the affected areas had complained about the lack of correct information about radiation and expressed serious concerns regarding impacts of the nuclear crisis. JFBA added that information on evacuation plans was not satisfactory. JNEAGE expressed similar concerns and added that measures to protect children and women from the exposure to radiation were delayed. IIMA criticized some information campaigns promoted immediately after the disaster aimed at reducing the concern about the radiation exposure to children.

69. According to IIMA, the educational system, despite its performance, was too competitive and did not encourage creativity; students did not have much freedom and rejected individual differences. IIMA indicated that discrimination in education against vulnerable groups persisted. According to JNEAGE, teachers were in a system of competition, suffering from administrative control, long working hours, discriminatory wages, forced transfer, forced training and often driven to suicides.

70. JS7 indicated that in 2010, the free high school tuition system was realized however Korean high schools were excluded from this system. It reminded the recommendation of CERD regarding no discrimination in the provision of educational opportunities. JS2 further recommended reviewing discrimination in this regard, against minority schools.

71. WWN referred to the problems caused by the education reform in Osaka Prefecture, inter alia, the involvement of the Prefectural Governor in the preparation of the Basic Plan on Education, the concern that the freedom of thought and conscience of the teachers will not be protected and the Ordinance will impoverish education in Osaka and the full development of children will be obstructed.

72. JS11 stated that ethnic schools such as Korean schools, Chinese schools and Brazilian schools were not entitled to receive financial subsidies or preferential tax treatment. It added that graduates from these schools were not recognized as qualified to sit university entrance examinations and were excluded from the application of government school health policies.

74. JNEAGE stated that the restoration and reconstruction of schools in the stricken areas was delayed. It added that because of the widespread disaster radioactive materials, school children could not study in a safe environment. Measures to protect children from radioactive materials, such as evacuation in a body, had not been taken.

76. IIMA noted that despite several laws and measures adopted by Japan in favour of children with disabilities, deep rooted discrimination still existed especially in the access to public schools where they continued to have limited access due to lack financial resources for the necessary equipment and facilities, as well as adequate programs. IIMA further stated that children with disabilities were generally educated in special schools. However the number of these schools was inadequate.

80. JS11 expressed concerns for low school attendance and education enrolment rate and illiteracy among Buraku women. It added that occupational opportunities and wages were affected by their origin.

81. AJWRC stated that minority women and migrant women continued to face discrimination and marginalization in terms of employment, education, participation in decision-making, access to social security, and access to justice. AJWRC added that under the new immigration control system legislated in 2009, foreign-born spouses of Japanese nationals who had failed to perform as spouse without legitimate reasons may lose their residence permits, which may increase risks for victims of domestic violence. JS2 expressed similar concerns.

82. JFBA stated that there had not been any progress in the development of domestic laws aiming at guaranteeing the rights of immigrants, and discrimination existed in the areas of labor, education, social security and public participation.

89. HRN stated that most of the evacuation centers were set up without taking measures to protect privacy and without giving due consideration to the needs of residents, in particular children, women, people with disabilities and the elderly. It added that the condition of the shelters was poor and some of them located in hazardous risk areas.


Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

No recommendations were accepted or rejected.

The following recommendations are pending or no clear decision was taken:

P - 147.14. Withdraw its reservation to article 37(c) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) regarding the separation of children deprived of liberty from adults (Austria);

P - 147.15. Consider the early ratification of the third Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communication Procedure (OP-CRC-IC) (Slovakia);

P - 147.27. Continue its efforts to finalize its ratification of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). Canada acknowledges Japan's progress to date in this regard, notably its development of domestic legislation for Diet approval, and encourages progress towards ratification and implementation to continue in a timely fashion (Canada);

P - 147.28. Consider ratifying the Hague Convention (Slovakia);

P - 147.29. Promptly complete the ratification of the Hague Convention (Ireland);

P - 147.30. Accelerate the procedure to accede to the Hague Convention (Italy);

P - 147.38. Continue the efforts to review existing legislation related to the family, in particular the regime applicable to children born out of wedlock (Chile);

P - 147.39. Take legal measures to adopt a comprehensive law on child rights and fully bring in line the legislation with the Convention, as well as adopt and implement a national plan of action for children to address inequalities in income and living (Iran (Islamic Republic of));

P - 147.40. Take legal measures to eliminate discrimination against children of ethnic minorities, non-Japanese nationality and children with disabilities (Iran (Islamic Republic of));

P - 147.41. Consider reviewing its legislation with a view to criminalizing the possession of child pornographic materials (Brazil);

P - 147.42. Amend the Civil Code and Family Registration Law in accordance with Japan's international human rights obligations and in this regard make particular efforts to address the concluding observations of CEDAW (Finland);

P - 147.43. Bring the legal age of marriage to18 for women as for men (France);

P - 147.48. Speed up the process of establishment of a human rights commission ensuring its independence and full compliance with the Paris principles (Spain);

P - 147.49. Continue to promote the establishment of a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Nicaragua);

P - 147.50. Swiftly conclude the process of setting up a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles (Tunisia);

P - 147.51. Establish a national independent human rights institution, in compliance with the Paris Principles (Ukraine);

P - 147.52. Update the Council by December 2013 on the progress of the launch of its national human rights institution, with specific reference to its adherence to the Paris Principles (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

P - 147.53. Accelerate the process of creating a Human Rights Institution in conformity with the Paris Principles (Benin);

P - 147.54. Continue its process of implementation for a national human rights commission in conformity with the Paris Principles (Burkina Faso);

P - 147.55. Take steps to ensure that the National Human Rights Institution, which Japan is to create, is consistent with the Paris Principles (France);

P - 147.56. Accelerate the process to establish a human rights commission in accordance with the Paris Principles (Indonesia);

P - 147.57. Continue working on establishing a national human rights institution, in accordance with the Paris Principles (Jordan);

P - 147.58. Continue its efforts to establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Malaysia);

P - 147.59. Establish an independent National Human Rights Commission in conformity with the Paris Principles (Mexico);

P - 147.60. Continue its policies on improving the rights of the child (Jordan);

P - 147.61. Consider adopting the National action plan for children to address inequalities in living standards and disparities by gender, ethnic origin and disabilities (South Africa);

P - 147.62. Continue to further enhance its dialogue with civil societies and implement policies and measures in order to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities (Bhutan);

P - 147.71. Take urgent measures to promote gender equality and effectively protect women and children's rights (China);

P - 147.74. Implement legal reforms and measures necessary to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, particularly regarding the age of marriage and the possibility of keeping the maiden name (Spain);

P - 147.78. Ensure equality and non-discrimination of children born out of wedlock in issues related to the acquisition of nationality, inheritance rights and birth registration (Slovenia);

P - 147.79. Adopt comprehensive measures against discrimination towards children and repeal all legislation that discriminates against children born out of wedlock. Promote awareness campaigns and education programs about the human rights of all boys, girls and adolescents, particularly in relation to the acquisition of nationality, inheritance rights and the right to identity (Uruguay);

P - 147.80. In line with requests by CEDAW and the CRC, review the situation of children born out of wedlock who do not enjoy nationality, inheritance and birth registration rights (Botswana);

P - 147.81. Take the necessary measures to ensure universal birth registration, including for children born out of wedlock and regardless of the parents immigration status (Mexico);

P - 147.82. Address those situations (in protecting children's rights) that still raise concern, such as the lack of criminalization for the possession of pornographic material regarding children (Italy);

P - 147.96. Take immediate measures to abolish the death penalty for persons that were under-age at the time of the crime, as well as for those convicted individuals having significantly impaired mental ability or mental illness (Norway);

P - 147.114. Strengthen the human rights education of the law-enforcement agencies, public servants, especially on the rights of women and children (Azerbaijan);

P - 147.126. Expressly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings (Hungary);

P - 147.129. Adopt the Special Rapporteurs (regarding trafficking in persons) recommendation to intensify efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and to bring perpetrators to account (Trinidad and Tobago);

P - 147.132. Step up efforts to combat trafficking in persons including by defining trafficking in persons in accordance with the Palermo Protocol and invite the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Belarus);

P - 147.134. Strengthen measures to fight human trafficking, especially of women and children, in line with international legal standards in this area (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya);

P - 147.139. Adopt a plan of action to combat sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and prostitution and provide assistance to victims of sexual exploitation (Republic of Moldova);

P - 147.140. Further increase its efforts to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and to prosecute the authors of such acts (Algeria);

P - 147.141. Take measures, at the national level, against the sexual exploitation of minors (Costa Rica);

P - 147.142. Ensure provision and adequate and timely assistance, including judiciary assistance and interpreters, to victims of sexual exploitation, both women and children, or other gender-based violence, regardless of their nationality, race or origins (Thailand);

P - 147.153. Take all necessary measures to ensure adequate access to water and sanitation by children with disabilities in all Japanese schools (Portugal);

P - 147.154. Promote reproductive and sexual health education for adolescents in view of importance of preventive measures to fight increase sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS (Ukraine);

 

pdf: http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=29675

Countries

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