Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Japan

The present publication focuses on the severe problems of sexual exploitation, given that this appears to be the main issue of concern in Japan today. It aims to present a clearer profile of human trafficking: the victims, the abuses they suffer, and the deceptions used by traffickers. It focuses primarily on the experiences of victims in order to better understand the push and pull factors of trafficking, providing details on both the situation in three main countries of origin (Colombia, the Philippines and Thailand) and the social and legal factors that make Japan a profitable market in particular for organized crime groups.

The ILO Office in Japan has taken important steps to spread awareness of trafficking in Japan as a destination country, aiming wherever possible to assist the important measures now being taken by the Government of Japan, both to enact anti-trafficking legislation and to strengthen law enforcement against trafficking. A number of public forums were organized in Japan by the ILO and publications and information kits in Japanese have been prepared over the past couple of years. In recent times there have been several signs of this growing commitment by the Government of Japan. One example is the establishment by the Prime Minister’s Office of a Coordination Mechanism on Trafficking in Persons, in April 2004. A National Plan of Action was formulated on 14 December 2004 to prevent and eradicate human trafficking, as well as to protect trafficked victims.