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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 27 - July 3  > Opposition parties: increase child welfare specialists to protect children from abuse and neglect
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2018 June 27 - July 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Opposition parties: increase child welfare specialists to protect children from abuse and neglect

June 29, 2018

The Japanese Communist Party together with other opposition parties on June 28 summoned officials of the Welfare Ministry and the National Police Agency for a hearing on government measures to prevent child abuse. It was the first time that the opposition force held a hearing on this theme.

JCP lawmakers Takahashi Chizuko (House of Representatives) and Kira Yoshiko (House of Councilors) took part in the hearing.

Recently, child abuse cases such as the recent five-year-old girl’s death in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward have attracted much public attention. Under this increase in public awareness of the issue, a bill to revise the laws on child welfare and child abuse prevention was submitted on June 26 to the House of Representatives jointly by the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic Party, the Democratic Party for the People, independents, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party. The main pillar of the bill is to increase the number of qualified child welfare workers. The required number of workers cited in the opposition-proposed bill is 1,200 more than that cited in the government plan.

In the hearing session, the chief of the Welfare Ministry’s child abuse task force, Miyakoshi Yasuko, explained government efforts to protect children from abuse and neglect, referring to a lack of workers specializing in this field.

The government in 2016 drew up a four-year plan which seeks to add 550 child welfare specialist jobs. However, as of April 2017, the total number of child welfare professionals increased only by 145 to 3,253.

Opposition lawmakers stressed that a drastic increase in the number of child welfare experts is essential to safeguard children from maltreatment.
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