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Type of document: News
Topic: Actions/initiatives/projects
Law enforcement
Policy and Planning
Geographic descriptors: Japan
Language: English
Publisher: News.inq.7
Source: news.inq7.net/common/print.php?index=1&story_id=25814&site_id=18
Date of publication: 29 January 2005
Long Abstract: AT least nine migrants and women's groups expressed support for the Japanese action plan against human trafficking, which would deprive 80,000 Filipino entertainers in Japan of work, INQ7.net learned Friday.

The organizations Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), BATIS, Center for Migrants Advocacy (CMA), Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), Kanlungan Center Foundation Inc., Scalabrini Migration Center, Third World Movement Against the Exploitation of Women, WomenLead, and the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch signed the statement.

"We are aware that the short term impact of the policy changes in Japan will negatively affect women and their families," the statement read. "Strategically, however, these policy changes will strengthen the professionalization of the entertainment industry and weed out the undesirable and exploitative aspects of the business."

The groups admitted that this type of migration brings "denigration of the integrity of genuine Filipino artists, the sexual exploitation and abuse of our women, a culture of dependency, and generations of abandoned Japanese Filipino children." They recommended that the Philippine government raise the age requirement for Filipino artists to be deployed abroad from 18 to 21 years old.

In the short term, however, they want the Philippine government "to prepare and implement a concrete and realistic contingency plan to retrain and provide decent and gainful local employment for women who will be dislocated by the new immigration policy of Japan."

They pointed out that overseas work everywhere, including those by overseas performing artists, should not be a permanent solution to the country's unemployment problem.

The migrants and women's groups also called on the government to immediately implement the Anti-Trafficking Law of the Philippines 2003 (Republic Act 9208) and prosecute recruiters and traffickers of Filipina entertainers to Japan. This move, they said, would complement and strengthen the "firm resolve of Japan to address trafficking."

They asked the Japanese government to give trafficked women the option to stay or return to the Philippines. "Filipina entertainers who find themselves in Japan in the course of the implementation new immigration policies must be humanely treated and protected," they added.

The human rights advocates requested that Japan strictly monitor the operations of their entertainment establishments and to ensure that Filipino artists are employed in "decent and dignified entertainment establishments."

Japan, they said, also needs to address the demand side of trafficking, particularly the male demand for sexual services that creates the conditions for trafficking. In international diplomacy, they asked Japan to immediately ratify the United Nations Optional Protocol on Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children.

Lastly, they asked Japan to take measures to prevent the use of fake marriage arrangements as means to enter Japan. The groups also called on both Philippine and Japan governments to address the issue of Filipino-Japanese children as a consequence of the massive deployment of Filipina entertainers to Japan.
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