Every Child

Has Two Parents


UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

CRN Japan, in a 10 member coalition, has submitted a critique of Japan's Second Report to United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.  Read more...


This treaty seeks to protect the economic, social and civil rights of children'.   It contains numerous protections for the child in terms of a relationship with his or her parents also, so it is very relevant.  Japan has signed it but does not follow many of its tenants in practice.

  1. Adopted: 20 November 1989

  2. Entry into force: 2 September 1990

Japan Status

  1. Ratified: May 22, 1994

Other Countries' Status

This is a widely signed treaty, although not by the USA.  In July, 2000 President Clinton signed two protocols to the convention, to protect children from sexual exploitation and from being used as soldiers.  Somalia has also not ratified yet.

CRN Japan Position and Practical Applications in Japan

The Japan Children's Rights Network believe that this treaty defines significant rights of a child to meaningful and continuing access to both parents.  For further information, see our bilingual brief and position paper that discusses how individual articles should apply in Japanese Family Law.

As an international treaty ratified by Japan, it should be possible to use it as a legal basis in a Japanese court.  At the current time, we do not know of anyone who has tried this yet.

We believe that Japan does not uphold its treaty obligations in the following ways.

  1. Adoptions are permitted without approval of the non-custodial natural parent and without approval of a court

  2. There is no provisional visitation during divorce or other family court proceedings

  3. Child visitation is not a legal right under Japanese law

  4. Visitation, even if ordered by a court, is inadequate

  5. DISCRIMINATION RELATED CLAIMS.  Need to copy in many of the other issues also.

Sources of Treaty

  1. Text of the treaty from Save The Children website

  2. http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm

  3. http://boes.org/un/ameun-b.html  (Other language versions here also.)

Accepts Individual Complaints?

  1. Allows Non-Governmental Organizations to participate in the 4-yearly review of complaints by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  CRN Japan, in a 10 member coalition, submitted such a critique of Japan's Second Report to United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2004.

Additional Information

  1. Children's Rights Network Bilingual Brief and Position Paper on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

  2. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Japan’s International Family Law including Nationality Law - article by Yasuhiro Okuda from Hokudai Hôgaku Ronshû, Vol. 54, No. 1, 456 and based in part on a report regarding the Child Convention that the author prepared on behalf of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.  (cached copy)

  3. http://www.savechildren.or.jp/index.html

  4. http://www.commondreams.org/views/100800-105.htm (above info from here)

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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