TIP Award Year:
Senator Kassebaum had always been a socially conscious politician, actively speaking out against Apartheid during the 1980s, and advocating for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Nicaragua. As human trafficking awareness began to grow, she became an advocate for this issue as well. During her time in Japan, she and her husband organized an unprecedented conference in order to create and foster the conversation between government and civil society about human trafficking. NGOs, law enforcements officials, and other regional government officials were all in attendance. The conference was put on in partnership with the ILO, and the Vital Voices Global Partnership. She also advocated for human trafficking by building awareness of the issue in Japan. Her contributions helped put this issue front and center. She visited shelters, and worked with the embassy officials to figure out ways to increase the government’s awareness, and response, to the crime of human trafficking.
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.