Header image for news printout

Clarification of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography following her end-of-mission press conference in Japan


GENEVA (2 November 2015) - "In view of the reactions that followed to my end-of-mission press conference of 26 October 2015, I would like to issue the following clarification:

Regarding the estimate of minors allegedly involved in compensated dating (the so-called “joshi kôsei” or “JK business”), there was an error of interpretation during the press conference, and the percentage I cited (13%) was mistranslated as 30%. In this respect, a corrigendum has been posted in the websites of the UN Information Center in Tokyo and the Japan National Press Club.

During my visit to Japan, I received no official statistic on the scope of the “JK business” in the country. However, many of my interlocutors referred to it as a worrying trend which can easily lead to sexual exploitation of the minors involved in this lucrative business. In the press conference, I made reference to estimates I had seen in open sources to highlight a phenomenon that must be urgently tackled. The bottom line is that the so-called “JK business” is a very serious matter that needs to be looked into – and official data compiled on it – urgently. I reiterate my call to the Government of Japan and relevant authorities to conduct comprehensive research on the scope, root causes and impact of the “JK business” and other activities that lead or can amount to sexual exploitation of children, in order to inform evidence-based preventive policies.

In my multiple meetings with a vast array of stakeholders while in Japan, I have taken note of several efforts deployed by the Government and other actors to combat sexual exploitation of children, a number of which could be replicated as good practices in other countries. Despite all these efforts, the country faces various challenges in this area, and my aim is to assist the authorities in determining how to best overcome them in compliance with international human rights norms and standards. The full and comprehensive report that I will present to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016 will aim at supporting Japan’s efforts in eradicating and preventing the sexual exploitation and sale of children."

Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (Netherlands) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2014. She served as Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe between 2002 and 2012. Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio spearheaded the adoption of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. She is the President of the European Federation for Missing and Exploited Children. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Children/Pages/ChildrenIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization, and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Japan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/JPIndex.aspx
For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Nekane Lavín (nlavin@ohchr.org) or write to srsaleofchildren@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

For your news websites and social media: Key messages about our news releases are available on UN Human Rights social media channels, listed below. Please tag us using the proper handles
Twitter: UNrightswire
Facebook: unitednationshumanrights
Google+: unitednationshumanrights
Youtube: unohchr