Appeal for Human Rights Relief on the Treatment and Protection of Children of Foreign Nationals Detained in Immigration Centers (Warning and Recommendation)
December 9, 2010
【Warning: Minister of Justice (December 6, 2010)/Director of the Tokyo Immigration Center (December 7, 2010), Recommendation: Governor of Tokyo (December 9, 2010)】
An appellant who was later granted a special residential permit was detained in the Tokyo Immigration Center, despite the fact that the said appellant had four minor children. In addition, the children, who were in the middle of their classes at the time, were taken by Tokyo Immigration Center vehicles to a child guidance center in Hachioji City and another facility where they were subjected to illegal and unfair treatment. Regarding this case, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) sent a warning to the Minister of Justice and the Tokyo Immigration Center stating that this detention of the appellant infringed upon the right to personal liberty, the right of the appellant's family to a family life, and the children's right to receive education. It also urged that detention of a foreign national should not be based on a mandatory detention regime but rather that the necessity of detention of the individual foreign national in each case should be carefully determined. In particular, in the event that a foreign national is the parent of minors who are unable to maintain independent livelihoods, he/she should, in principle, not be detained. Even in cases where the detention of such a parent-foreign national is deemed unavoidable, it is important to carefully consider the most appropriate method of requesting his/her children to accompany the relevant authorities voluntarily while taking into account the possible adverse effects on the children. The JFBA also made a recommendation to the Governor of Tokyo stating that, given the fact that the Hachioji child guidance center and the other facility involved had treated the children in such a way that it had infringed upon their human rights including the rights to family life, bodily safety, education and a peaceful life, the Tokyo Government should thoroughly instruct the staff members and enhance the human resources of child guidance centers in order to avoid future recurrences.