TIP Award Year:
Shoichi Ibusuki has been an unrelenting champion of protecting foreign workers’ rights, and he has worked tirelessly for years on behalf of foreign technical trainees to assist victims of forced labor and prevent abuse within Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program. He is the Co-President of the Lawyers’ Network for Technical Intern Trainees, the President of the Lawyers Network for Foreign Workers, and a prominent legal expert in foreign labor issues. Ibusuki’s advocacy, along with his unwavering and admirable dedication to helping foreign nationals enduring labor exploitation and protecting their human rights, have brought these issues to the forefront and raised their profile within Japan and around the world. Ibusuki has sought justice on behalf of countless foreign workers by providing legal representation for those who are taking action against former employees for labor law violations.
Ibusuki not only has represented trafficking victims, many of whom participated in Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program, but also has been an outspoken advocate about the presence of forced labor in the program. These courageous efforts have pushed the government to start identifying these individuals as human trafficking victims. Ibusuki has gone further by advocating for the government to prohibit employers from retaining foreign workers’ passports and for Japan to impose tighter control on exploitation and human rights violations by labor brokers and intermediaries in sending countries. These measures will go a long way to preventing labor abuse and exploitation, especially forced labor.