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Japan: Foreign workers ordered to terminate pregnancies or go home

Reports are coming to light of foreign workers in Japan as part of the Technical Trainee Internship Programme (TITP) being prohibited by their employers from ‘romantic relations’, and being fined for having become pregnant while in Japan. One ‘intern’ from Vietnam who found she was two months pregnant states she was told ‘terminate the pregnancy of we will send you back to Vietnam - it’s your choice’. 

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Article
+ 日本語 - Hide

Author: 朝日新聞、平山亜理

外国人の技能実習生が妊娠し、強制帰国や中絶を迫られる例が相次いでいる。受け入れ機関側から「恋愛禁止」や「妊娠したら罰金」と宣告されるケースもあり、専門家は「人権上問題だ」と指摘している。…西日本のある研修施設の規則には「異性との恋愛行為は一切禁止」「外出は2人以上の行動とし、単独行動はこれを一切禁止する」とあり、実習生に署名させている。「男性と女性はお互いの部屋を行き来しないこと」とも書かれている。研修施設での順守事項だが「企業実習に於(お)いてもほぼ同様の規則となるので今から三年間は気を緩めず厳守すること」とある。施設の元担当者は「会社は実習生を効率よく働かせたい。妊娠したら生産能力が落ちる。実習生に産休をとらせる会社など聞いたことがない」と理由を話す。

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Article
2 December 2018

Japan: Trainees forced to choose between abortion and job loss if found pregnant

Author: Ari Hirayama, The Asahi Shimbun

"Expectant trainees told to end pregnancy or leave Japan," 02 December 2018

Torn between having an abortion to keep working to pay off her family's...debt or give up her internship...a 22-year old technical trainee from Vietnam decided to flee her workplace.

Many pregnant technical trainees are being forced to make a tough decision by their employers and related organizations.

Sentouitsu Workers Union...which organizes individual workers irrespective of their company affiliation, arranged for the trainee to flee her direre situation. 

At a pre-internship training facility... technical trainees are required to sign a letter of consent that forbids them from "having any romantic relationship with the opposite sex"...

Syoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer familiar with the issues surrounding foreign technical trainees, said, "It is a clear violation of human rights and an unacceptable practice to forbid trainees from getting involved in romantic relationships and becoming pregnant."

In 2013, a Chinese technical trainee filed a lawsuit against her employer in Toyama Prefecture, alleging that she suffered a miscarriage after the company attempted to forcibly send her back to China because of her pregnancy. The court ruled in favor of the trainee.

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