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Japanese Catholic Church fights against sexual exploitation

This year, up until September, 80 women were taken into custody who were engaged in prostitution in Tokyo. It is a significant growth compared to 51, in whole of 2022.

The problem is most severe in Kabukicho district in the Japanese capital, a district famous for its nightlife. Here, even more and more women are forced to sell their bodies.

The most common case is when a young woman is in high debt and works in a nightclub offering adult entertainment. These women, usually aged between 20 and 46, are the victims of organized crime groups owning the nightclubs.

Sadly, these groups can use a gap in Japanese legislation. In Japan, the act of selling sex is not prohibited; only the promoting and selling of sex in public places is.

Fortunately, there are people and organizations trying to help the victims. Several Catholic Church associations, like Nippon Kakekomidera, are working on this cause.

This reception centre for sexually exploited women was founded by Hidemori Gen. Only in recent months his centre received more than 300 people. It is often the parents of the victims who are asking for help from him because they are ashamed in front of their friends, and the police are not able to act due to current legislation. He said,

“We are talking about women with a promising future who remain trapped.”

The Catholic Church is determined to help these women escape prostitution. For many years now, they have been managing safe homes and temporary housing where the women are offered rehabilitation programs and legal advice as well as spiritual support.

Caritas Japan and Talitha Kum Japan are among the most active organizations in this area.

Source: AsiaNews

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