New book: “Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight” by Hepburn & Simon (Columbia UP, 2013). Includes Japan.
Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 14th, 2013
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Hi Blog. After using the resources and contacts of Debito.org, the author of the following book, Stephanie Hepburn, contacted me two days ago to say that her research on worldwide human trafficking, including Japan, has just been published by Columbia University Press. I am pleased to notify Debito.org Readers as follows:
Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight
By Stephanie Hepburn and Rita J. Simon
Columbia University Press: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-16144-2/human-trafficking-around-the-world
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/human-trafficking-around-the-world-stephanie-hepburn/1113895525
Published by Columbia University Press, this unprecedented study of sex trafficking, forced labor, organ trafficking, and sex tourism across twenty-four nations highlights the experiences of the victims, perpetrators, and anti-traffickers involved in this brutal trade. Combining statistical data with intimate accounts and interviews, journalist Stephanie Hepburn and justice scholar Rita J. Simon create a dynamic volume sure to educate and spur action.
Among the nations examined is Japan, which has not elaborated a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Although the government took a strong step forward in its 2009 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons by acknowledging that sex trafficking is not the only form of human trafficking, forced-labor victims continue to be marginalized. As a result of ethnocentric policies, the government prohibits foreign unskilled laborers from working in Japan. But the disparity between the nation’s immigration posture and its labor needs has created a quandary. With a demand for inexpensive labor but without an adequate low wage labor force, Japan uses the government-run Industrial Training Program and Technical Internship Program to create a temporary and low-cost migrant workforce for employers. The stated purpose of the program is to transfer skill, technology, and knowledge to persons of other nations and thereby play a central role in the economic growth of developing nations, specifically those in East Asia. Instead, it has created opportunities for exploitation and human trafficking.
“I recommend this comprehensive study to anyone wanting to understand the fight against the modern day slave-trade. The book stands apart by augmenting nation by nation accounts of trafficking realities with critiques of existing local anti-trafficking measures and consideration of local obstacles. Supported by diverse sources, the authors set forth clear policy recommendations to combat trafficking.”—Lori J. Johnson, staff attorney, Farmworker Unit, Legal Aid of North Carolina
“This volume demonstrates ways that global migration policies and programs facilitate human trafficking by focusing on enforcement rather than promoting uniform labor standards. Its broad focus help readers compare practices between countries and understand the transnational impact of national legislation and policies on human trafficking around the globe.”—Gretchen Kuhner, author of the American Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Assessment Tool Report
“Stephanie Hepburn and Rita J. Simon demonstrate that economics, geography, civil unrest, societal inequality, and gender disparities play a major role in how trafficking manifests itself.”—Christa Stewart, New York State Office of Human Trafficking, Office of Temporary Disability Assistance
“Stephanie Hepburn and Rita J. Simon delve beneath the surface of policies and legislation within the various countries they study by involving those who are involved at a grassroots level and have come up with a fascinating account of these practices.”—Carol Bews, assistant director, Johannesburg Child Welfare Society
Stephanie Hepburn is an independent journalist whose work has been published in Americas Quarterly, USA Today U-Wire, Gender Issues, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Rita J. Simon is a University Professor in the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C.
I have not read the book yet, but it looks to be an important work and am pleased to tell you about it. Arudou Debito