Child Protection States of Japan  Term Paper

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Therefore, although the current analysis took into consideration three of the most important countries in the world, they do not lack the problems facing each country because everywhere in the world there are poor areas and low income families who will abuse their children, will abandon them, and even torture them according to their own religious or personal beliefs. Taking these aspects into consideration, it is important to consider the three different child protection policies applied in Japan, Switzerland, and Germany in order to see the extent in which the economic development is related to the child protection policy.

Japan is well-known for the way in which the family ties and connections are mirrored in the society. More precisely, it is rather well-known the fact that in general the Japanese family is committed to their own beings and the relations that establish at the level of the family members are significantly strong. Thus, Roger Goodman argues that the current situation in Japan is rather confusing because it takes into account two distinct aspects of the Japanese society: on the one hand, there is the matter of a strong family environment which is traditional for the Japanese society; on the other hand, there is the matter of the increasing number of child protection institutions, also called yogoshisetsu (2000). These are the basic forms of institutions that are representative for the child protection system in Japan.

It is rather hard to determine the way in which the Japanese state considers most appropriate to deal with the child protection issue, precisely because of the different views on the Japanese society. From the point-of-view of the traditional aspect, the family in Japan is seen as one of the most sacred elements for the individual and the children are well taken care of and protected. On the other hand however, there are these child protection institutions which have come to be filled with abandoned children and abused ones (Goodman, 2000). This is rather contradictory because it opposes the logics of a united family and those of an abandoned child.

There are other issues related to the situation of children in Japan. The issue of pornography as well as child molestation and prostitution has become one of the most talked about aspects when addressing the matter of child protection. Due to the globalization process, there is no limit to the possibility of communication and contact. This is why internet pornography is more and more an issue for states to deal with. In the Japanese case, the state decided to take action and sign two international protocols which deal precisely with the issue of the use of children for illicit purposes. (Japan to sign Protocol, 2002) More precisely, this state initiative relates to the fact that "the Foreign Ministry said that, based on the cabinet decision, Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Yukio Sato will sign the optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (...). The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography emphasizes the criminalization of serious violations of children's rights, namely the sale of children, illegal adoption, child prostitution and pornography" (Japan to sign protocol, 2002). Therefore, from this perspective it can be said that the issue of child protection is first and foremost an attribution of the state which takes the necessary actions that would eventually help improve the condition of the society.

One of the most worrisome problem facing the Japanese society is the human trafficking and in particular children trafficking. More precisely, "Children from Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked to India for purposes of sexual exploitation. Children from South-East Asia are trafficked in large numbers to Japan and Thailand" (UNICEF, 2004). Therefore, one of the most important aspects of the means through which the states, and in particular Japan can intervene to increase the safety of its children is through an intense international cooperation process.

Concerning the German protection system, it can be said that this system is based on the family in particular. Therefore, unlike the Japanese one which deals with children and often does not consider the family of their origin, the German system revolves around the idea of the family. In this sense, the family is entitled to receive funds for supporting the child because the state considers that one of the most important causes for abandonment is the limited financial possibilities of the families (Kindler, 2007)

Another means used by the German state to try to prevent child abuse and apply a particularly efficient child protection policy has been the warning system created in Germany which implies the monitoring of children and families with issues and the possibility to intervene in case of concern.

The state tends to play a significant role in establishing the directions of the policy concerning child protection. In this sense, it has been argued that "We all think with horror of the news of child abuse, neglect and deaths... In cases where parents clearly cannot cope with the raising of their children, the state must intervene" (BBC, 2007). Therefore, following this perception, it is clear that the system in itself is governed by the state, with autonomy at the local level.

Finally, concerning the Swiss state, there are little information concerning the actual system of child protection in the country. However, there are well-known the cases which include violence against children and other means of manifestations towards abandoned children and orphans. More precisely, "in Switzerland a certain level of corporal punishment of children is permitted. Even today, the country does not have any decree or regulation prohibiting corporal punishment or similar humiliating treatment of children" (Violence against children, 2002). Therefore, it can be argued from the very beginning the fact that Switzerland, although is seen as one of the most successful countries in the world, clearly lacks the legal background and framework for creating a proper means of protection for the children.

In all the three cases, the extent of government funding is rather significant. In this sense, there are issues that have tried to be addressed by Japan and Germany, as well as by Switzerland concerning the issue of child protection. In this sense, in Japan, the Government spends a serious amount of money on the shelters for homeless or abandoned children as well as for the programs that aim to reintegrate the youth in the society. Even so, the results have been inconclusive as the initial analysis of the society points out the fact that children or the ones coming out of the child protection institutions encourage the level of poverty in low class areas (Goodman, 2000). Thus, there cannot be talk of a sensitive improvement in the quality of life of children in Japan.

In Germany, it is clear that the state interveners a lot in framing the child protection policy. This includes the organization of the attributions at the regional level as well. In this sense, there have been discussions over the means available for the state to protect children especially from child pornography, one of the most common problems of the German state. In any case, it can be said that it is the government which has the leading role in establishing the guidelines for the policy, and the federal "lands" also contribute to the implementation of the process (Kindler, 2007). So far there are little improvements being made at a first glance. Nonetheless, more action needs to be taken and on a longer period of time.

Finally, Switzerland is a real paradox for the aspect taken into consideration. It is one of the most prosperous countries in the world; yet concerning the matter of child protection, it has one of the weakest practices. The state is trying through government funding to supply families with the means available for supporting their children. However, there is little discussion over the fact that the child should or should not be taken away from his parents. In this sense, a lot of children represent a moment of poverty for their respective families. In order to help the children, the state helps the families (Violence against children, 2002). This can be considered to be a rather important aspect of the way in which the state finances the child protection programs.

Investigation of Public Policy:

There are several issues that all the three countries under examination have been facing for the last decade now. In fact, due to the globalization process and the way in which communication is possible and can be achieved at the touch of a button, it is only natural that the main aspects the states have to deal with relate to the crime of trafficking, pornography, international kidnappings. Such cases have been famous in the three countries and did not exclude the rest of the counties of…

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