Project “Trafficking in Persons Issues from a Human Security Perspective”

“Trafficking in Persons Issues from a Human Security Perspective—A Cornerstone of Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality”

Key questions

  • What is the current situation of forms of TIP and exploitation routes?
  • What are effective policy measures to reduce “demand” in Japan, which is among the largest of destination countries?

Research Purpose and Approach

Trafficking in Person (TIP) is a serious violation of victims’ human rights, mostly women, and a threat to the human security of global society as a leading source of profits for organized crime regardless of whether they live in developing nations or developed nations. TIP is a touchstone issue for gender equality and multicultural conviviality. Although Japan is expected to make efforts in international cooperation, Japanese society is a major recipient country of trafficked women and girls for sexual exploitation. Surveys and research in order to contribute to solving TIP are required urgently.

This project aims : 1) to elucidate the highly complicated and sophisticated tactics of traffickers and the actual conditions of TIP that react to the laws in Japan; 2) to conduct detailed analysis and action-oriented research of the interviews of the victims returned from Japan, and examine the effective preventive and supportive measures in the sending country; 3) to conduct national representative quantitative as well as qualitative surveys on commercial sex transactions in order to seek an effective measure of raising awareness and reducing “demand” in Japan, and also to identify a wide safety net to protect and support TIP victims both at home and abroad; and 4) to collect information on the actual situations of “demand” reduction and protection measures and support activities in foreign countries.

This project conducts surveys and research in close cooperation with governmental institutions and NGOs in Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines. This project also focuses on the empowerment approach and cooperates with the returned women as co-researchers. Furthermore, it is planned to provide short-term internships for young researchers who have an interest in international cooperation, promotion of legal literacy, and development. It is a research project full of international exchange.

Research Activities

In FY2009, we organized a general meeting on a regular basis. In February 2009, we co-hosted a workshop on Human Security and Trafficking in Persons – the Case Report from Thailand. Some of our project members visited the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany in order to interview organizations about initiatives focusing on countermeasures of “demand” in developed countries.

In FY2010, we will continue to organize general meetings and to conduct research surveys. We will also make further analysis of the interview surveys on the “returned women” who have returned to their native country after having been trafficked to Japan. In addition, we will discuss specific measures that prevent human trafficking and support its victims in the sending country based on the results of surveys conducted in FY2009.



Project Leader



Professor, The University of Tokyo, Institute of Social Science

Research Fields

Social Policy






Name Affiliated Institution/Organization
Hara, Hiroko Josai International University, Faculty of International Humanities (Visiting Professor)
HARA Hiroko Josai International University, Faculty of International Humanities (Visiting Professor)
BANDO Mariko Showa Women’s University (President)
HASHIMOTO Hiroko Jumonji University (Vice President), Faculty of Human Life Studies (Professor)
Glenda S. ROBERTS Waseda University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (Professor)
YOSHIDA Yoko Ritsumeikan University, School of Law (Professor)
TANAKA Yumiko Japan International Cooperation Agency (Senior Advisor)
KUSAKABE Kyoko Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), The School of Environment, Resources and Development、Gender and Development Studies (GDS) (Associate Professor)
OTSUKI Nami The University of the Sacred Heart, Faculty of Liberal Arts (Associate Professor)
NAKANO Hiroe National Women’s Education Center (Director and Senior Researcher of the Office of Research and International Affairs)
AOYAMA Kaoru Kobe University, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies (Associate Professor)
HATANO Keiko University of Fukui, Faculty of Education and Regional Studies (Associate Professor)
WATANABE Miho National Women’s Education Center (Researcher)
KOMORIDA Akio Kanagawa University, Faculty of Law (Professor)
IKEGAMI Masako Department of Political Science, Stockholm University (Professor)
TAKAMATSU Kana International Christian University, College of Liberal Arts (Associate Professor)
MINAGAWA Masumi The University of Tokyo, Institute of Social Science (Research Fellow)
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