Our Activities in Japan
①Supporting social re-integration of juvenile delinquents and enlightenment to the civil society
Juvenile delinquents (from age 14 to 19) are generally seen as assailants; thus, such delinquents are alienated by society very often. In terms of juvenile delinquency, supporting the victims are important. However, it is the re-integration of juvenile delinquents into society and prevention of them committing second convicts that directly connect to ease up on the next victims. What is important in supporting juvenile delinquents with their reintegration is not only looking at the crimes they have committed, but also to observe closely at the background and the life they spend. One of the causes such juveniles conduct wrongdoings, is having issues such as domestic violence, poverty, and mental illness, which they cannot solve themselves. Also, the label of having been `delinquent` worsens their issues they already hold, and start a vicious circle where the youths cannot re-integrate into the society thus committing crime once again. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, probation officers, the Japanese civil volunteer who support juvenile delinquents, have to stop meeting up with them. Therefore, the urgency to support juvenile delinquents in getting used to the new lifestyle is increasing as well.
Accept International has started operations to break this vicious circle, and create a society in which juvenile delinquents themselves can reintegrate into society. Firstly, we aim to improve the limitation of probation officers offering meetup support of juvenile delinquents, and not being able to take appropriate care to them. More precisely, through the project to support the adoption of IT technologies in activities of the volunteer probation officers, we are organizing a mechanism for juvenile delinquents to re-integrate into the society. Due to the aging population of probation officers, it is necessary to enhance public awareness campaigns, especially to the younger generation. Moreover, to increase the number of young probation officers, an open and flexible system is required. Therefore, propelling projects such as practical application of online meetup with probation officers and juvenile delinquents, and advocacy activities of easing requirements to become the probation officers are prompt subjects. What is more, for juvenile delinquents that cannot obtain support from society after their time with probation officers, we will become the hub for them to connect with appropriate supporters, and establish a comprehensive system where the juvenile delinquents can reintegrate into society.
②Supporting foreign residents in Japan
As a consequence of the epidemic of COVID-19, numerous foreign residents in Japan, especially Muslims are suffering from serious problems such as joblessness. According to the actual condition survey of the foreign residents in Japan, 64% of them replied that the pandemic had a serious influence on their household finance. In the same survey, 90% of them are willing to continue their work in Japan, however, it is easy to imagine that continuing to spend their life in Japan will become hard for many of them. Since many of them are working for restaurant business or dispatched business, they have been facing one of the worst financial issues. Many have consulted to us with some high urgency contents, such as "Lost a place to live", "I don't have any money to live tomorrow". Difficulties of speaking Japanese are also a huge problem for them. The Japanese government and other supporting sectors have some alternative support that suffered foreign residents can receive. However, many of them cannot find helpful information for them, and this could be a reason why the life of foreign residents has been becoming harsh. Muslims have their own culture and community they are belongings; therefore, it is easy for them to isolate themselves from Japanese society and supportive actors.
Looking at such issues, we have established a website that publishes information foreign residents can use, and provide individual counseling. The website is running in 4 different languages -Urdu (Pakistan), Bengal (Bangladesh), Indonesia (Indonesia), and English- which are the three most popular languages in Muslim society. Also, phone calls and email for individual counseling are available on the website as well. For the individual counseling, based on the consultors needs, we have been tackling their issues they hold, such as through introducing subsidy systems and loan systems that sponsored by the government, assisting document processing, becoming an intermediation between foreign residents and lawyers or accountants, and introducing workplace that needs some foreign people. Throughout this project, we aim to not isolate foreign residents from the Japanese society even under the COVID-19 circumstances.
We are supported by partners to create maximum impacts.