White paper on crime 2010 Part5/Chapter2/Section2/5
Human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights and amendment of the Penal Code (Act No. 66 of 2005) made the buying or selling of human beings an offense. In December 2009 a Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures against Crimes formulated the 2009 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking Persons. In accordance with the Action Plan the government and local governments are making active efforts to discover and identify victims of human trafficking in the course of performing their duties while the police, immigration bureaus, and Labor Standards Inspection Offices, etc. are also making the efforts to discover victims of human trafficking in the course of controlling illegal acts. Identified female trafficking victims are provided with temporary protection by Women's Consulting Offices, etc. or entrusted to private shelters. The number of victims for whom temporary protection was provided by Women's Consulting Offices, etc. in FY 2009 was 14 (cumulative total since FY 2005 of 242) (Source: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare). If those illegally over staying are victims of human trafficking, they can be granted special permission to stay in Japan even when they already are on deportation procedures. In 2009 special permission was granted to all 11 human trafficking victims (cumulative total since 2005 of 115) (Source: The Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
In addition, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has a support program that enables human trafficking victims to return to their home countries in cooperation with the police, immigration bureaus, and Women's Consulting Offices, etc. In 2009, 32 persons from three countries (cumulative total of 176 persons and six countries since 2005) were provided with support to return to their home countries (Source: International Organization for Migration).