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    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on March 31st, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  I attended Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants Jorge Bustamante’s press conference in Tokyo today, talking about Japan’s shortcoming’s vis-a-vis its human rights record.  You can see FRANCA’s submission and presentation to Dr Bustamante on March 23 here, listen to the entire press conference including the Q&A here, and read on to see how FRANCA’s advice was reflected (or was not) in the preliminary press release below.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    From left to right, lawyer and UN Human Rights Officer Valentina Milano, Special Rapporteur Bustamante, and interpreter. All photos by Arudou Debito

    UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR JORGE A. BUSTAMANTE PRESS CONFERENCE MARCH 31, 2010, UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRE, TOKYO, JAPAN

    PRESS RELEASE MARCH 31, 2010,

    Transcribed by Arudou Debito, errors are his

    UN MIGRANTS RIGHTS EXPERT URGES JAPAN TO INCREASE PROTECTION OF MIGRANTS

    TOKYO – The UN expert on migrants’ human rights on Wednesday praised Japan for some of the measures it has taken to alleviate the impact of the economic crisis on migrants, but, based on information provided by civil society, he noted that it is still facing a range of challenges, including racism and discrimination, exploitation, a tendency by the judiciary and police to ignore their rights and the overall lack of a comprehensive immigration policy that incorporates human rights protection.

    UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr. Jorge Bustamante, was speaking at the end of a nine-day visit to Japan, conducted at the invitation of the Government in order to observe and report on the human rights situation of migrants in the country.

    In Tokyo, Nagoya, Toyota, and Hamamatsu, the Special Rapporteur met with Ministers, officials of central and local governments, international organizations, lawyers, school teachers, academics, members of civil society organizations, as well as migrant women and men and their children.  He also visited the East Japan Detention Center, foreign schools and met with migrants’ associations.  The Special Rapporteur expressed appreciation to the Government for its cooperation as well as to various organizations that provided support for his mission, in particular the International Organization for Migration and civil society.

    The Special Rapporteur noted the Government’s efforts to address the seriousness of some of the human rights problems faced by migrant workers, in particular in the aftermath of the economic crisis.  He cited, as positive examples, the launch of an emergency programme to teach the Japanese language to those migrant children who had to leave foreign private schools to attend Japanese free public schools as a result of the financial crisis, and the provision of financial support to some foreign schools recognized by the local Governments, saying these were “noteworthy measures to work towards realizing the right to education for migrant children”.

    Mr. Bustamante said he had also learnt of some interesting programmes at the local level:  These included placing interpreters subsidized by the national public employment agencies, and establishing funds (for example in Aichi prefecture) to which companies contribute in order to pay for Japanese lessons for their migrant workers and their children.  The creation of th ecouncil of Cities with High Concentration of Foreign Residents, a forum where 27 municipalities gather to discuss how to better address the needs of migrants, is also a positive initiative, he said.

    Nevertheless, the Special Rapporteur said, many challenges still need to be addressed by the Government in order to protect the human rights of migrants and their children.  He listed some of the most important, along with some preliminary recommendations on how to improve the situation:

    • While Japan started receiving migrant workers 20 years ago, it has yet to adopt a comprehensive immigration policy that provides for the protection of migrants’ rights. A clear and comprehensive immigration policy should, therefore, be adopted, which would go beyond managing the entry and stay of migrants. It should establish institutionalized programmes designed to create the necessary conditions for the integration of migrants into Japanese society and the respect of their rights, including to work, health, housing and education, without discrimination. In this context, the ad hoc provisional measures recently adopted by the Government should be transformed into long-term policies.
    • Racism and discrimination based on nationality are still too common in Japan, including in the workplace, in schools, in health care establishments and in housing. As recommended by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Japan should adopt specific legislation on the prevention and elimination of racial discrimination, since the current general provisions included in the constitution and existing laws are not effective in protecting foreign residents from discrimination based on race and nationality.
    • The industrial trainees and technical interns programme often fuels demand for exploitative cheap labour under conditions that constitute violations of the right to physical and mental health, physical integrity, freedom of expression and movement of foreign trainees and interns, and that in some cases may well amount to slavery. This program should be discontinued and replaced by an employment programme.
    • The Special Rapporteur heard recurring complaints about the fact that the judiciary does not recognize the rights off migrants as spelled out in national legislation but instead favours Japanese nationals. The Special Rapporteur was also informed by some migrants that the police in many instances refuse to address complaints submitted by migrants or that relate to conflicts between migrants, including complaints by foreign women on domestic violence. According to a number of migrants, urgent measures should be taken within the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to guarantee the effective implementation of the rights of foreigners without discrimination.
    • The policy of detention of irregular migrants raises a number of concerns, in particular in relation to the generalized policy of detaining irregular migrants, including asylum seekers, parents and children themselves, for prolonged periods – in some cases as long as two or three years – which amounts to de facto indefinite detention. Clear criteria should be established in order to limit detention to the cases where it is strictly necessary, avoiding detaining persons such as those who are ill or who are the parents of minor children. Importantly, a maximum period of detention pending deportation should be set, after which foreigners should be released. Moreover, there are serious concerns with regard to appropriate health care not being provided to migrants in detention centers, and the lack of effective mechanisms to monitor human rights violations occurring in detention centers, and to examine complaints.
    • The Special Rapporteur said he is concerned by the high incidence of domestic violence against migrant women and frequently against their children as well. He is particularly concerned by the fact that foreign women depend on their husbands for the renewal of their residence permits, even when they are victims of domestic violence, and that courts decide on children’s custody on the basis of the existence of these permits.  Appropriate policies to protect and assist single mothers and their children who find themselves in this extremely vulnerable situation are lacking and should be adopted and implemented urgently.
    • A considerable number of migrant children in Japan do not attend school.  Governmental efforts should be increased to facilitate that foreign children study either in Japanese or foreign schools, and learn Japanese.  The Special Rapporteur heard many cases where parents of children born in Japan or who have lived there for up to 15 years have been recently deported or detained, resulting in the children being separated from their parents simply because of their irregular residence status.  In accordance with the principle of the best interest of the child, families should not be separated.
    • The Special Rapporteur heard repeated complaints in relation to open discrimination against migrant workers by their private employers with regard to remuneration, promotion opportunities, access to health care for accidents in the workplace and threats of unfair dismissal.  In many cases, migrant workers, both regular and irregular, informed that they are employed under precarious and discriminatory conditions, with temporary contracts that do not entitle them to access social security services.  Therefore, special attention should be given to monitoring the conditions under which private companies employ migrant workers.

    The report of the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Japan will be submitted to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council later in the year [NB:  He said in the press conference Q&A that submission would be in September or October.]

    ENDS

    /////////////////////////////

    JAPANESE VERSION

    * 移住者の人権に関する国連の特別報告者ホルヘ・ブスタマンテ氏は、9日間にわたる訪日調査を終えるにあたり、下記のプレスリリースを発表しました。

    移住者の人権に関する国連専門家、訪日調査を終了
    (仮訳*)
    http://unic.or.jp/unic/press_release/1548/

    移住者の人権に関する国連特別報告者は、経済危機が移住者へ与える影響を低減するために日本が採った措置を評価する一方で、市民団体から提供された情報によると、人種主義、差別や搾取が存在し、司法機関や警察に移住者の権利を無視する傾向があり、また人権の保護を含む包括的な入国管理政策が欠如しているなど、一連の課題が存在することに注目している。

    国連移住者の人権に関する特別報告者ホルヘ・ブスタマンテ氏は、日本における移住者の人権状況を調査し、国連人権理事会に報告するため、日本政府の承認を得て、2010年3月23日~31日、訪日し、本日、9日間の日本滞在の最終日にあたり、以下の見解を表明する。

    特別報告者は、東京、名古屋、豊田、浜松を訪れ、大臣、国や地方の行政機関及び国際機関の職員、弁護士、学者や教員、市民団体のメンバー及び移住女性・男性・子ども達と面談し、東日本入国管理センター、外国人学校、移住者団体等を視察した。特別報告者は、実態調査をするにあたり、日本政府や国際移住機関(IOM)、市民社会団体などの諸機関・団体に支援をいただいたことに、感謝の意を表明する。

    特別報告者は、移住者が直面する人権問題の深刻さに対処するため日本政府が行っている努力、特に経済危機後に進めた取り組みに注目する。(1)金融危機の結果、私立の外国人学校を退学し、日本の公立学校に転入する移住者の子どものための日本語指導の実施、(2)地方行政により認可された一部外国人学校への助成などは、移住者の子どもが教育を受ける権利を実現する注目すべき取り組みであり、積極的な例として挙げられる。

    さらに、地方行政レベルにおいても、国からの助成金を受けて公共職業安定所に通訳を配置したり、日本語学習支援基金の創設(愛知県など)により、企業が移住労働者やその子ども達向けの日本語学習教室を負担するなど、興味深い取り組みが進められていることが分かった、とブスタマンテ氏は述べた。移住者のニーズにどう対応すべきか議論する場として、27の自治体が集まって設けた、外国人集住都市会議も、また積極的な取り組みである、と特別報告者は述べた。

    しかしながら、移住者及びその子どもの人権を保護するために、政府が取り組まねばならない課題も残されている、とブスタマンテ氏は述べた。状況改善に向けて最も重要性の高い懸念及び予備的な勧告として、以下のような課題が挙げられる。

    ○ 日本は、20年前から移住労働者を受け入れるようになったが、移住者の権利保護を保証する包括的な移民政策は実施されていない。移住者の上陸・在留を管理するだけでなく、移住者の社会統合及び就労・医療・住宅・教育を含む、移住者の権利を尊重する条件を、差別なく作り上げる制度を実現するための、明確かつ包括的な移民政策の実施が必要である。日本政府による、近年の一時的なその場しのぎの措置は、長期的な政策に変換していく必要がある。

    ○ 国籍に基づく人種主義及び差別意識は、日本に未だ根強く、職場、学校、医療施設、住宅などにおいて見られる。国連の人種差別撤廃委員会が勧告で示したように、外国人住民を人種又は国籍に基づく差別から、効果的に保護する規定が、憲法や現行の法律に欠けているため、人種差別の撤廃と防止のための特別な法整備が求められる。

    ○ 研修・技能実習制度は、往々にして研修生・技能実習生の心身の健康、身体的尊厳、表現・移動の自由などの権利侵害となるような条件の下、搾取的で安価な労働力を供給し、奴隷的状態にまで発展している場合さえある。このような制度を廃止し、雇用制度に変更すべきである。

    ○ 特別報告者は、司法組織が国内法の規定に従い、移住者の権利を認めるべきであるにも関わらず、日本人を優遇しがちであるとの証言を多く聞いた。また、警察が外国人による苦情、又は移住者同士の争いなどに対応しない(外国人女性が関わるDVの案件を含む)という実情も移住者から聞いた。一部の移住者によると、司法・法執行機関内で、外国人の権利が差別なく実質的に保障されるよう、緊急な対策が必要である。

    ○ 非正規滞在の移住者に対する収容政策、特に庇護希望者、子どもの保護者及び子ども自身を含む、非正規滞在者の全体収容主義、また場合によっては2~3年という事実上無期限収容に相当する長期収容が存在することなどに懸念を表明する。収容を必要な場合のみに制限し、病気を患う者、未成年者の保護者などの収容は避けることができるよう、明確な基準を示すべきである。退去強制過程における最大収容期間を定め、期間が満了した時点で、被収容者を解放すべきである。さらに、収容所において適切な医療が提供されていない、人権侵害に対する有効な不服申し立て及び監視制度がないことも深刻な懸念材料と言える。

    ○ 特別報告者は、移住女性及び往々にその子どもに対する家庭内暴力(DV)の頻発に懸念を表明する。外国人女性が、たとえDVの被害者であっても、在留資格の更新において夫の協力に頼らなければならない状況や、またその在留資格の有無に基づいて、子どもの親権が裁判で定められる状況に、特に懸念を表明する。非常に弱い立場に置かれた、シングル・マザー及びその子どもの保護・支援のための適切な政策が不足している。至急、政策を策定し、実施するべきである。

    ○ 多くの外国人の子どもが、日本において不就学の状況にある。外国人の子どもが、外国人学校又は日本の学校で学べるよう、また日本語を効果的に学習できるよう促進する措置を、政府は強化するべきである。特別報告者は、日本で生まれ、10~15年間暮らしていた子どもの親が、退去強制処分となったり、収容されたりし、非正規滞在という在留資格のみに基づいて、親子が離れ離れになった数々の実態を聞いた。子どもの最善の利益の原則に則り、家族は分離されてはならない。

    ○ 特別報告者は、移住労働者に対する民間雇用者による雇用、昇格機会、労災の際の医療へのアクセス、不当な解雇脅迫における明らかな差別の状況を聞いた。正規・非正規を問わず、移住労働者は多くの場合、短期契約で働いているため、不安定で差別的な条件で雇われ、社会保障及び医療サービスへのアクセスがないと信じている。民間企業が移住労働者の雇用条件を監視する制度に、特別な注意を払うべきである。

    今回の訪日の報告書は、国連人権理事会の年内のセッションに提出する予定である。

    * *** *

    *この仮訳は、国連人権高等弁務官事務所(OHCHR)が作成しました。

    ends

    10 Responses to “Mar 31 UN Rep Bustamante’s Full Press Release on Japan’s Human Rights Record”

    1. debito Says:

      LEAD: U.N. expert urges Japan to terminate intern program for foreign workers

      by Takaki Tominaga

      TOKYO, March 31 KYODO

      A visiting U.N. expert on migrants’ human rights urged the Japanese government Wednesday to terminate its industrial trainee and technical intern program for workers from foreign countries, saying it may amount to ”slavery” in some cases, fueling demand for exploitative cheap labor in possible violation of human rights.
      ”This program should be discontinued and replaced by an employment program,” Jorge Bustamante, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights of migrants, said at a press conference held at the U.N. Information Center.
      The program was introduced with the aim of transferring technology and skills to developing countries, but critics say a number of program participants are forced to engage in long hours of labor without protections generally applied to Japanese workers in accordance with the labor law.
      While praising some of Japan’s measures to alleviate the impact of the economic crisis on the foreign population, Bustamante noted that the country still faces a range of challenges, including racism, discrimination and exploitation of migrants, based on information provided by civic groups.
      ”Racism and discrimination based on nationality are still too common in Japan, including in the workplace, in schools, in health care establishments and housing,” he said.
      ”Japan should adopt specific legislation on the prevention and elimination of racial discrimination, since the current general provisions included in the Constitution and existing laws are not effective in protecting foreign residents from discrimination based on race and nationality,” Bustamante said.
      Prior to embarking on his first official visit to Japan in the U.N. post, Bustamante had received a number of complaints about the mistreatment of foreigners in Japan in possible violation of their human rights, including one this year and two last year, he told Kyodo News after the news conference.
      Since his arrival in the country on March 23, Bustamante has interviewed migrants and their families, including Filipinos and Brazilians in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, and held discussions with officials of ministries and agencies concerned.
      Japanese civic groups supporting migrants said it is significant that a U.N. expert has conducted an assessment on the human rights of migrants in Japan, which has yet to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
      Bustamante will submit a report on his visit to the U.N. Human Rights Council to present his findings, conclusions and recommendations possibly in September or October after submitting a draft to the Japanese government.
      Following his meetings and discussions in Japan, Bustamante pointed out that a number of parents of Japanese-born children or those who have lived in the country for a long time have been deported or detained due to their irregular residence status.
      ”In accordance with the principle of the best interest of the child, families should not be separated,” he said.
      Assigned in July 2005 to the post created in 1999, the main responsibilities of which include examining ways to overcome obstacles to the protection of migrants’ human rights in given countries, Bustamante has officially visited countries such as Britain, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, assessing the conditions of migrants in those countries as the special rapporteur.
      ==Kyodo

      March 31, 2010 22:57:47

    2. debito Says:

      The Japan Times Thursday, April 1, 2010

      U.N. rights rapporteur says end foreign trainee program ‘slavery’
      Kyodo News

      A visiting U.N. expert on the rights of migrants urged the government Wednesday to terminate its industrial trainee and technical intern program for workers from overseas, saying it may amount to “slavery” in some cases, fueling demand for exploitative cheap labor in possible violation of human rights.

      “This program should be discontinued and replaced by an employment program,” Jorge Bustamante, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights of migrants, told reporters at the U.N. Information Center in Tokyo.

      While praising some government measures to alleviate the impact of the economic crisis on the foreign population, Bustamante noted the country still faces a range of challenges, including racism, discrimination and exploitation of migrants, based on information provided by civil society.

      “Racism and discrimination based on nationality are still too common in Japan, including in the workplace, in schools, in health care establishments and housing,” he said.

      “Japan should adopt specific legislation on the prevention and elimination of racial discrimination, since the current general provisions included in the Constitution and existing laws are not effective in protecting foreign residents from discrimination based on race and nationality,” Bustamante said.

      Rest at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100401a6.html

    3. debito Says:

      「日本には外国人差別が根強い」、国連特別報告者が法整備要請
      http://www.afpbb.com/article/politics/2715225/5556513
      【4月1日 AFP】国連人権理事会(UN Human Rights Council)のホルヘ・ブスタマンテ(Jorge Bustamante)特別報告者(移民人権問題担当)は前月31日、「職場や学校、医療施設、家庭などで、国籍に基づく人種主義や差別意識がいまだ日本には根強く残っている」述べ、日本に滞在する外国人の権利を守る取り組みを強化するよう促した。

       ブスタマンテ氏は閣僚や政府関係者、移民、弁護士、教育関係者、市民社会活動家などへの聞き取り調査を行った後、憲法や法律が外国人居住者を守るために効果的に機能していないと述べ、「日本は人種差別を防止・撲滅するための特別な法整備をすべき」と主張した。

       外国人が研修生や技能実習生として来日するプログラムについて、実態は搾取され、低賃金で長時間働かされているとして、プログラムの中止を訴えた。

       また、不法移民や難民が何年にもわたり収容される場合があることについて、本国送還までの期限を設けるべきと主張した。

       最終報告書は、暫定報告書に対する日本政府の意見を受けた後、10月までに国連人権理事会に提出される。(c)AFP

    4. debito Says:

      国連:初の日本への移民人権調査 「DV被害外国人女性の保護を」
      毎日新聞 2010年4月1日 東京朝刊
      http://mainichi.jp/select/world/news/20100401ddm007030145000c.html

       日本への移民の人権を調査するため来日中の国連人権理事会のホルヘ・ブスタマンテ特別報告者が31日、東京都内で会見し、「外国人女性が家庭内暴力(DV)の被害にあっても、在留資格の更新などで夫に頼らざるを得ないケースが多い」などと指摘。泣き寝入りする女性らを保護する制度の必要性を訴えた。日本への移民の人権について国連担当者が実地調査するのは初めて。年内に詳細な報告書をまとめ、同理事会に提出する。

       同氏は23~31日の間、東京や愛知、静岡県を訪問。移民の中国人やフィリピン人、ブラジル人らから聞き取り調査し、外国人学校や入管当局などを視察した。同氏は、日本で未就学の外国人児童が多い点や、捜査機関が外国人同士の争いにあまり対応しない点なども課題に挙げた。【篠田航一】

    5. debito Says:

      「外国人研修・技能実習は奴隷制度」国連特別報告者声明

      朝日新聞 2010年3月31日23時38分
      http://www.asahi.com/international/update/0331/TKY201003310369.html

       国連決議に基づき、日本に住む移住者の人権状況を調査しているホルヘ・ブスタマンテ国連特別報告者が31日、都内で記者会見し、外国人を研修生の形で労働者として最大3年間受け入れる「外国人研修・技能実習制度」について、「奴隷制度になりかねない」と批判する声明を発表した。事業の中止と通常の「雇用事業」に衣替えすることも求めている。

       声明は同制度について「搾取的で安価な労働力への需要を増幅させ、言論や移動の自由、身体や精神的健康の権利を侵害するような条件下の労働だ」と指摘。ジュネーブの国連人権理事会に対し今秋、改善への具体的提言を盛り込んだ報告書を出すとした。

       ブスタマンテ氏は23日に来日し、担当省庁や、外国人が多い浜松市などで聞き取り調査をした。中国からの研修生らの訴えも直接聞いたという。朝日新聞の取材に対し「問題があると感じた。解決策が必要だと思う」と強調した。(前川浩之)

    6. debito Says:

      外国人差別なお根強い=日本に改善求める−国連特別報告者
      時事通信 (2010/03/31-18:16) 
      http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=soc_30&k=2010033100833

       日本国内の移民の人権問題を調べるため来日した国連人権理事会のホルヘ・ブスタマンテ特別報告者は31日、都内の国連大学で記者会見し、あくまで「予備的な勧告」と断りつつも「国籍に基づく人種主義、差別意識は日本にいまだ根強い」と指摘、人種差別防止に向けた法整備を求めた。
       また、(1)研修生や技能実習生は権利侵害となるような条件下、奴隷状態に発展している場合さえある(2)外国人女性が家庭内暴力の被害者であっても在留資格更新で夫に頼らなければならない状況がある(3)外国人の子供が日本において不就学の状況にある−などと問題点を列挙した。
       さらに、両親が不法滞在で強制退去を命じられたフィリピン人一家の中学生カルデロン・ノリコさんの例などを念頭に「日本で生まれ10〜15年間暮らしていた子供の親が強制退去処分となり親子が離れ離れになった数々の実態を聞いた」と強調。子供の利益を優先し「家族は分離されてはならない」と訴えた。(2010/03/31-18:16)

    7. debito Says:

      Japan’s treatment of migrant workers criticised
      By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo
      Financial Times Published: March 31 2010 15:11 | Last updated: March 31 2010 15:11
      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a079de12-3cc3-11df-89ca-00144feabdc0.html

      Foreign migrant workers in Japan face racism and discrimination and often work under conditions that in some cases ”may well amount to slavery”, a United Nations investigation has found.

      Amid a declining population, Japan has come to rely increasingly on migrant labourers particularly from developing Asian countries such as China and the Philippines to fill jobs widely shunned by local workers.

      While the government has made efforts to address some serious human rights problems, “Japan is still facing a range of challenges, including racism and discrimination, exploitation, a tendency by the judiciary and police to ignore (migrants’) rights and the overall lack of a comprehensive immigration policy that incorporates human rights protection”, Mr Bustamante said.

      The findings, which are to be published in an official report in the autumn, are the result of the UN’s first on-site examination of Japan’s treatment of foreign migrant workers, carried out at Tokyo’s invitation.

      Although Japan does not formally allow the hiring of foreign unskilled workers, it has allowed hundreds of thousands of such workers to come for a maximum of three years under a training programme ostensibly aimed at transferring industrial skills to developing countries.

      In 2008, 101,879 trainees came to Japan on this programme, which Mr Bustamante criticised as fuelling the exploitation of cheap labour.

      There are also widespread reports of unregistered migrant workers, particularly from China, working on farms in Japan for a few months at a time during harvests.

      Japanese advocacy groups and labour unions have long pointed to human rights abuses against foreign workers, many of whom are forced to work long hours on wages that are allegedly well below the minimum wage.

      Mr Bustamante also raised concerns about Japan’s policy of detaining irregular migrants, including asylum seekers, and raised alarm over the high incidence of domestic violence not only against migrant women but frequently against their children as well.

      The Japanese foreign ministry on Wednesday declined to comment on Mr Bustamante’s preliminary report, saying it would respond once the official report is published by the UN.
      ENDS

    8. debito Says:

      UN urges Japan to protect immigrants’ rights
      The Hindu, March 31, 2010
      http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article346921.ece

      Nearly 20 years after Japan first allowed in immigrant workers, many of them still face discrimination as the government has failed to protect their rights, a U.N. official said on Wednesday.

      U.N. Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante said immigrants are often exploited in Japan as cheap labour and discriminated in terms of salary, promotion, health care and compensation for accidents at work. Their children are often left out of the local school system, he said.

      “Many challenges still need to be addressed by the government in order to protect the human rights of migrants and their children,” Mr. Bustamante said at the end of a nine-day visit to investigate immigrant conditions.

      He urged Japan to take steps to integrate migrants into society and adopt legislation to eliminate rights violations against them.

      “Racism and discrimination based on nationality are still too common in Japan, including in the workplace, in schools, in health care establishments and housing,” he said.

      Mr. Bustamante said he will report his findings to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council later this year.

      Japan’s Justice Ministry said it had no immediate comment.

      In the early 1990s, Tokyo relaxed its tight immigration laws to allow special entry permits for foreigners of Japanese ancestry, mostly from South America, to fill a labour shortage at then-booming factories, taking jobs largely shunned by Japanese. The immigrants, mostly from Brazil and Peru, are culturally distinct and not always fluent in Japanese.

      Mr. Bustamante also alleged some companies exploit a government-funded industrial training programme by using interns from developing countries as cheap labour that “in some cases, may well amount to slavery.”

      Under the programme, Japan accepts interns from more than a dozen countries for up to three years. Japan last year accepted some 50,000 interns, mostly from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

      Mr. Bustamante said the training programme should be replaced by an employment programme.
      ENDS

    9. debito Says:

      Racism and discrimination common in Japan: UN envoy
      By Kyoko Hasegawa (AFP) – March 31, 2010
      http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5izX9cQtCaHZwcwwjVlRa5FawsXYQ

      TOKYO — Racism and discrimination remain common in Japan, a United Nations envoy warned on Wednesday, urging greater efforts to protect the rights of foreign minorities.
      Jorge Bustamante, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, issued the warning after interviewing government ministers and officials, migrants, lawyers, teachers, academics and civil society activists.
      Problem areas included immigrant detention centres, work programmes that exploit foreign industrial trainees, and a lack of educational services for many migrant children, Bustamante said.
      “Based on information provided by civil society … (Japan) is still facing a range of challenges, including racism and discrimination,” he said after a nine-day visit to Tokyo, Toyota City, Nagoya and Hamamatsu.
      Bustamante also visited the East Japan Detention Centre near Tokyo and schools for foreign children, and interviewed Chinese, South Korean, Brazilian, Peruvian and Philippine migrants.
      “Racism and discrimination based on nationality are still too common in Japan, including in the workplace, in schools, in health care establishments and housing,” he said.
      “Japan should adopt special legislation on the prevention and elimination of racial discrimination since the current general provisions included in the constitution and laws are not effective in protecting foreign residents.”
      The UN envoy called for a programme to be stopped in which overseas workers come to Japan as trainees and technical interns but often find themselves exploited, working long hours for little pay.
      “Industrial trainees and technical interns programmes often fuel demand for exploitative cheap labour under conditions that constitute violations of the right to physical and mental health,” he said.
      “This programme should be discontinued.”
      Bustamante also said that “a considerable number of migrant children in Japan do not attend school”.
      “Government efforts should be increased to facilitate that foreign children study either in Japanese or foreign schools, and learn Japanese,” he said.
      He said that in many cases “parents of children born in Japan or who have lived there for up to 15 years have been recently deported or detained, resulting in the children being separated from their parents.”
      “In accordance with the principle of the best interest of the child, families should not be separated,” he said.
      He also raised concerns about the detention of illegal migrants, including parents with children, as well as asylum seekers, often for years, recommending that “a maximum period of detention pending deportation should be set.”
      Bustamante said he would issue a final report by October after listening to the Japanese government’s reaction on his tentative report and submit it to the UN Human Rights Council.
      ENDS

    10. debito Says:

      国連報告官、のり子さん一家「分離」を批判
      http://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye4393290.html

       不法滞在だった両親と離れ、ひとり日本に残ったフィリピン国籍のカルデロンのり子さんの問題などについて、来日した国連の人権理事会の報告官が「家族は分離されてはならない」と述べ、日本政府の対応を批判しました。

       国連の人権理事会のブスタマンテ報告官は、日本に住む外国人の人権問題を調査するため22日に来日。外国人の子どもなどの学習支援を行う団体への調査のほか、不法滞在だった両親の滞在資格が認められず、ひとり日本に残ることになったフィリピン国籍のカルデロンのり子さん(14)とも面会しました。

       会見したブスタマンテ報告官は「のり子さんのようなケースの実態を数多く聞いた」と述べ、「子どもの最善の利益の原則に則り、家族は分離されてはならない」として、日本政府の対応を批判しました。

       早ければ、9月までに報告書をまとめるとしています。(01日02:22)
      ENDS

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