Protection of Human Rights (Human Rights Counseling, Investigation and Remedies, Human Rights Promotion, etc.)

Chart of Human Rights Organizations

Investigation and Remedies for Human Rights Infringement Cases

 There are various Human Rights Infringement Cases (cases where human rights infringements are suspected): assault and maltreatment against women, children, the elderly, etc.; bullying at schools; compulsion and coercion of sexual harassment, “power harassment” and stalking behavior; and defamation and invasion of privacy on the Internet. Pertaining to these human rights infringement cases, to remedy and prevent damage, the organizations provide assistance to victims (e.g. introduction of competent authorities or other organizations, giving legal advice, etc.), adjust relations of the parties involved as well as give “instructions” or make “recommendations” to the other end when infringement of human rights is identified.
Number of Human Rights Infringement Cases (from Jan.1 to Dec,31,2014)

Human Rights Promotion

 Human rights promotion activites are one of the most important duties of the Human Rights Organs. The aims of promotion activities are that the necessity and importance of respecting human rights are understood by the people and the idea of respecting human rights is spread among the people.

Promotion Activities

 Promotion activities are widely carried out for the general public through various means. Generally, the Human Rights Organs annually set a priority theme, and according to the theme, activities are conducted by means of holding symposiums, lectures, movie events; organizing various events; and utilizing mass media such as TVs, Radios and the Internet.
 “Parent and Child Symposium” on Hansen’s Disease
 “Parent and Child Symposium” on Hansen’s Disease

Promotion Activities Aimed at Children

 《The National Human Rights Essay Contest for Junior High School Students》
 The National Human Rights Essay Contest for Junior High School Students is a promotion activity for the purpose of enabling junior high school students to deepen their understanding of the importance and necessity of respecting human rights and to acquire richer awareness of human rights through writing essays on human rights issues.

《Human Rights Class》
 The Human Rights Class is a promotion activity aiming to deepen a feeling of compassion and to learn the preciousness of life among children by creating opportunities to think about bullying, and so on. The classes are aimed mainly at elementary school children, with Human Rights Volunteers across the country playing a central role.

《The Human Rights Flower Campaign》
 The Human Rights Flower Campaign is a promotion activity carried out mainly for elementary school students.
 In the campaign, children are given flower seeds or bulbs and grow them by cooperating together. Through the experience, they realize the preciousness of life, nurture a warm-hearted spirit and learn tenderness and compassion.

The Human Rights Flower Campaign
The Human Rights Flower Campaign


Human Rights Counseling

 Human Rights Counseling is available for all kinds of human rights problems, and counselors give advice depending on the content. When human rights infringements are suspected, the Human Rights Organs initiate investigation in accordance with the consulter’s disposition.
The counseling services are free of charge, easy to use and strictly confidential.

Human Rights Counseling Offices

 Human Rights Counseling Offices are permanently-installed at Legal Affairs Bureaus, District Legal Affairs Bureaus and their branches across the nation; interview-style counseling, phone counseling and Internet counseling are available. In addition, counseling services with interpreters at Human Rights Counseling Offices for Foreign Nationals are available at Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, etc.


Children’s Rights SOS Letter-Cards

 Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus are actively responding to consultations by children through “Children’s Rights SOS Letter-Cards” (letter paper with a pre-stamped envelope). They are distributed to elementary and junior high school students nationwide as part of efforts for solving children’s human-rights problems (e.g. bullying and corporal punishment at school and abuse of children at home).

Children’s Rights SOS Letter-Cards (for junior high school students)
Children’s Rights SOS Letter-Cards (for junior high school students)


Counseling Services

Human Rights Volunteers

 Human Rights Volunteers are counseling partners in your town. They are selected from private citizens recommended by mayors of municipalities and appointed by the Minister of Justice. The system of Human Rights Volunteers was introduced in 1948 based on the concept that the Government and private citizens should work side by side to protect human rights of local inhabitants.
 About 14,000 Human Rights Volunteers (about 6,000 of them are female) are placed in municipalities (including wards of Tokyo) across the country, handling human rights problems including Human Rights Promotion Activities and Human Rights Counseling in cooperation with officers of the Legal Affairs Bureaus and the District Legal Affairs Bureaus.


The Basic Plan for Promotion of Human Rights Education and Encouragement

 In accordance with the Act for Promotion of Human Rights Education and Encouragement (Act No. 147 of 2000), the Basic Plan for Promotion of Human Rights Education and Encouragement, which suggested fundamental ways of promoting human rights education and enlightenment as well as efforts for various human rights issues, was approved in the Cabinet meeting in March 2002.
 The issue of abduction by North Korean authorities was added to the list of human rights issues in the Cabinet meeting in April 2011. The Japanese government is promoting comprehensive and systematic measures on human rights education and enlightenment.