HRN Submits Oral Statement to Human Rights Council on Japan’s Immigration Detention

HRN has submitted an oral statement on Japan’s immigration detention to the 48th Human Rights Council session for meeting on September 20 of the Working Group (WG) on Arbitrary Detention. The statement notes that the death of a Sri Lankan woman in immigration detention last March has brought renewed attention to the failures of Japan’s detention policy to meet its human rights obligations, as reported by the WG, and we call on the government to take the WG’s criticisms seriously and to accept the WG’s invitation for a country visit.

A video of the oral statement is below. You can also read a transcript of the oral statement below that and in pdf format from the following link: HRC48_OS_Japan_Immigration_Detention.pdf

(Note that for technical reasons the oral statement was ultimately not aired at the HRC session.)

Transcript of Oral Statement on Immigration Detention in Japan

The death last March of a Sri Lankan woman held in immigration detention in Nagoya due to gross mistreatment has brought renewed attention to the clear human rights failures of immigration detentions in Japan.

Last year, this Working Group issued an Opinion expressing concern that such detentions in Japan were arbitrary and inconsistent with the government’s international obligations, and this March it joined an open  letter criticizing the amendment bill on the detention policy, which was later withdrawn, as falling short of human rights standards.

Rather than take these criticisms seriously, the Japanese government’s response was entirely insufficient, dismissing them based on specious technicalities and with no serious consideration of the identified inconsistencies with human rights standards.

Human Rights Now is deeply concerned with the Japanese government’s refusal to take valid criticisms of its detention policy seriously. We request the Working Group to urge the government to take the following steps: to accept the Working Group’s invitation for a country visit, which the government has unreasonably not accepted yet; to ensure that detention is only used as a necessary means of last resort and for a maximum and reasonable defined period; to implement independent appeals, monitoring, and investigations; to improve the treatment of detainees; and to seriously consider and address all other recommendations of the Working Group and civil society.