• Contact
  • <

Honorable Francisco Sierra

Japan , Class of 2004

Honorable Francisco Sierra

Active in:

TIP Award Year:


As the Ambassador from Colombia to Japan, the Honorable Francisco Sierra was able to address a unique problem: people who were being trafficked from Colombia to Japan.

Realizing that this issue needed to be addressed, he brought it to the attention of his embassy staff, directing them to watch for any victims, and making sure they were aware of the problem. He also engaged with local law enforcement to try and combat this problem in Tokyo and throughout Japan. This issue, he understood, was not just at the destination but also at the source. He actively encouraged the Colombian government to take preventative steps, and to try and combat modern-day slavery, and specifically that related to the migrant workers that he saw coming to Japan. Using his diplomatic ties as an ambassador, he has pursued other embassies throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia in order to co-operate on this issue. He was appointed to be the Ambassador to Singapore as well in 2004. He recognized that trafficking is not just an isolated problem, but is connected to organized crime and is a sophisticated and complex type of criminal activity. His background was in engineering, prior to his appointments. He and his wife founded the Technical Institute of Yamaha in 1995, and he has worked for Incolmotos Yamaha S.A., a Japanese motorcycle corporation, since the late 1970s. His appointment as Ambassador ended in 2007, and he is currently the president of Incolmotos Yamaha. He won a Trafficking in Persons Report in 2004 for his efforts.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Japan was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking victims. Labor trafficking is still prevalent, including migrant workers in one government program, and sex trafficking is still occurring to both Japanese and non-Japanese nationals. The government is making efforts to comply with the minimum standards. 

Meet more heroes working with

Forced Labor