Without Dreams: Children in Alternative Care in Japan

This report examines Japan’s alternative care system for children—a structure that includes infant care institutions, child care institutions, short-term therapeutic institutions, group homes for independent living, and foster care and family homes. It analyzes the system’s organization and processes, and highlights the problems found in the institutionalization of most children (including infants), as well as abuses that take place in the system. It also considers the difficult post-institutional environment that many children experience once they have left alternative care and the many continuing problems in the foster care system. Finally, it examines the experience of orphans of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Human Rights Watch finds that while there have been improvements in alternative care made in the aftermath of a spate of high-profile abuse cases in recent years, as well as a move to more fostering and other positive policy initiatives, an array of practical problems and specific abuses still plague the system.

These problems include physical and sexual abuse by both caregivers and children; poor physical conditions; overly large institutions in which physical space is limited and chances for bonding and learning life skills are limited; and insufficient mechanisms for children to report problems. Lack of support for children once they leave the alternative care system leaves them prone to homelessness, low-paying work, little opportunity for higher education, and difficulty navigating a social and employment structure in which a “guarantor” is crucial.

This report concludes with a series of recommendations for the Japanese diet and the Japanese government.

Published 2014-07-10

Document Information

Publication year
2014
Format
pdf, 129p.
Rights
© Human Rights Watch 2014
Country
Japan
Content Type
ReportsAnalysis
Identifier
ISBN: 978-1-6231-31227

Related Documents

Document Information

Publication year
2014
Format
pdf, 129p.
Rights
© Human Rights Watch 2014
Country
Japan
Content Type
ReportsAnalysis
Identifier
ISBN: 978-1-6231-31227