On 7th February, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child advised Japan to do more so that the country’s children are able to remain a child and enjoy their childhood and innocence. In fact, excessive pressure shouldn’t be put on them or they should be subjected to corporal punishment at home or even in school.
The human rights watchdog also requested Japanese authorities to take a look into the root cause behind the increase of adolescent suicide rates, which is presently a 30-year high. According to authorities, a total of 250 children took their own lives in the year to last March; whereas the all-inclusive suicide number is regularly declining.
Kirsten Sandberg, one of a panel of 18 independent experts, reported during a news briefing that the committee requested Japan to take preventive action to assure that children are able to enjoy their childhood and their childhood as well as growths isn’t affected by the competing nature of society.
Japanese law forbids corporal punishment in schools but the prohibition is not successfully enforced, while many children also undergo corporal punishment at home, according to the U.N. panel.
Last March, Japan was shocked by the death of a 5-year-old Yua Funato, who left a handwritten notes asked for pardon from her abusive parents. The U.N. panel stated that children should able to have easy approach to a 24/7 helpline.
The UN panel also condemned Japan for lowering the minimum age for criminal punishment from 16 to 14 years, and stated that children were often separated from families and placed in establishments without a proper order from the court order as they can presumably commit a crime.
Masato Ohtaka, of Japan’s foreign ministry, informed the panel that Japanese children confronted challenges like abuse, bullying, poverty, and sexual exploitation. Japan tries to set up a strong social system in which all generations would be able to enjoy peace of mind.
In July, the Japanese government pledged emergency steps in order to raise the number of child welfare workers by 60% within five years.
The Committee executes a two-day review of nations’ records every five years.