TIP Award Year:
The Solidarity Network with Migrants has assisted a large number of migrant workers who are trapped or who have escaped from exploitative situations including situations of forced labor. They have provided direct assistance to over 4,000 migrants, and shelter to some of those. They have further provided over 1,200 people in the Japanese Industrial Trainee and Technical Intern Program (TTIP), a program that is often exploited by traffickers who then place people in forced labor situations. Although the program is government run, concerns have been expressed by many for years about the oversight of the program, which recruits people to work in unskilled positions in factories or on farms. The SMJ has been incredibly influential in highlighting some of these issues, and in reaching those workers who are trapped within forced labor situations. They have also engaged in several national and international awareness campaigns. Ippei Torii’s persistent leadership has helped spread the word about forced labor in Japan and around the world.
In the 2014 TIP Report, Japan was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is a source, destination, and transit country for both sex trafficking and forced labor. The TIP Report mentions the TTIP, and the problems and issues that surround that program. It is often misused, and forced labor situations still exist within the program. While prosecutions are high, there are gaps in the legislation, and better victim assistance is necessary.