CHILD RIGHTS PROJECT:
CHILD LABOUR DOES EXIST IN JAPAN
The ILO estimates the number of child labourers in developed nations as two million out of the total number of 152 million in the world (2017). Child labour does exist in Japan, though official data on child labour is not available. As child poverty becomes a serious problem, child labour is expected to increase.
The problems that Japanese children face, such as poverty, neglect, abuse, bullying and long-term absence from school, are considered to be associated with the risk of child labour.
ACE conducts activities to prevent and eliminate child labour to contribute to the achievement of SDG 8.7, which includes the target of the elimination of all child labour by 2025, and broadly protect the rights of the child and the youth in Japan.
2 MILLION CHILD LABOURERS
IN DEVELOPED NATIONS
DEFINITION OF CHILD LABOUR IN JAPAN
Japan ratified the ILO Conventions No. 138 (Minimum age for work) and No. 182 (Worst forms of child labour). Their contents are reflected in the Labour Standards Act.
The Act stipulates:
>the minimum age for work at 15 years old (after completing compulsory education; and
> the prohibition of hazardous work which harms the health, safety or morals of children below 18 years old.
Exception (1) - Children who are 13 and above may be employed in light work which does not harm their health and welfare, with the permission of relevant government agency, outside of school hours
Exception (2) - Children who are employed in the production of motion pictures and theatrical performance can work with the permission of relevant government agency irrespective of age.
WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR IN JAPAN
VIOLATIONS OF LABOUR STANDARDS ACT
Commercial sexual exploitation of children
Enjo-kosai (compensated dating)
Engagement in illicit activities
Hazardous construction work
Night-time entertainment business (hostess clubs, host clubs, bars and clubs)
Part-time high school workers doing late night-time work and long working hours
We conduct research on the different forms, cases and factors of child labour in Japan.
Take a look at our latest report, "Child Labour Exists in Japan: Its Forms and Cases" (2019).
We conduct various activities to raise awareness of Japanese child labour, as many people do not believe it exists.
In order to inform the public about what child labour is in Japan and prevent children from child labour, we produce leaflets for children and employees and distribute them to high school students, organizations working for children, businesses, trade unions, school teachers and other relevant stakeholders.
“Anata no arubaito wa daijobu?” [Is your part-time work OK?] (left)
“Anata no shokuba de nenshosha no rodo-kankyo ga mamorarete-imasuka?” [Do you ensure safe and legal working conditions for children?] (right)
Please take a look at our Awareness Program for more information on our activities in Japan.
We plan to start projects for the prevention and elimination of child labour in cooperation with schools and communities in Japan. The targets include children who work after completing compulsory education, drop-outs from high school and children working part-time while in education.
UPDATES COMING SOON
In Japan, there is neither law nor designated government department that is dedicated to the elimination of child labour. We lobby to the government to take immediate and proper action to eliminate and prevent child labour in Japan as well as in other countries.
Go to our Advocacy page for more information.
December 31, 2020 Published report, “Child Labour Exists in Japan: Its Forms and Cases”
December 21, 2019 Submitted public comments on “the Fundamental Principles regarding Anti-child Poverty Measures"
October 18, 2019 Raised awareness regarding NHK's documentary, “The situation of children of foreign workers: behind the increase in its numbers”
October 11, 2019 Organized a roundtable meeting “The linkage between child poverty and child labour” in Okinawa
March 10, 2019 Organized a documentary screening and discussion event “The Price of Free” in Okinawa
June 18, 2018 Organized a seminar, “Child labour exists in Japan”, in Diet Member's Building (Japanese parliament)
January 10, 2018 Released a statement on the death of fifteen-year-old Japanese child labourer