Through contribution from the Toyota Foundation, IOM implemented the project entitled “Facilitation of Sustainable Migration/Return of Japanese-Filipino Children from the Philippines to Japan: through Multisectoral Networking and Pilot Cases” from 2008 to 2011. The objective of the project was promoting the welfare and human rights of Japanese-Filipino Children (JFCs) and to build a sustainable migration/return scheme for the JFCs from the Philippines to Japan.
1. Establishment of Multi-sectoral Networking
The First Phase of project implementation was the holding of regional consultations in Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao in the Philippines through partner NGOs to identify the issues and concerns of the JFCs and their mothers. A similar consultation was held among JFCs living in Japan in cooperation with Japan based NGOs.
Following the regional consultations, two national conferences were held in Manila in June 2009 and Tokyo in September 2009. The National Conference in the Philippines was attended by key Government representatives, major NGOs, and other parties concerned. It aimed at formulating strategies based upon the reports of the regional consultations. The National Conference held in Japan brought together JFCs from the Philippines and Japan, as well as the NGOs in both countries that issued their joint statements.
2. Facilitation of Sustainable Migration/Return of Japanese-Filipino Children from the Philippines to Japan (Model case)
The Second Phase included the nomination of candidate JFCs from the NGOs, screening and interviews, and finally the selection of two (2) JFCs who were provided with support and assistance for safe and legal migration from the Philippines to Japan. Various assistance was provided to the two beneficiaries such as language training; pre-departure and post-arrival activities including monitoring to assist in their integration into their life in Japan.
There were disturbing reports of JFCs in the Philippines lured into exploitative jobs in Japan and becoming victims of human trafficking.
Dubious “helping foundations” in the Philippines target JFCs under the guise of offering them “assistance.” But upon arrival in Japan, they were made to work under exploitative conditions.
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