A bill to create a Japanese version of DBS was approved by the Cabinet and submitted to the Diet. DBS is a system that originally started in the UK, and was established to check whether people who work with children have a history of sexual crimes, in order to protect children from sexual assault.
The Japanese version of the DBS requires schools and daycare centers to check their employment, and those with a history of sexual offenses are subject to restrictions such as being barred from employment for up to 20 years after completing their sentence. The Children and Families Agency will build and operate the system.
I hear that there was a lot of discussion surrounding the Japanese version of DBS, and that it was quite difficult to bring it all together.
The biggest problem is the definition of ”work that involves working with children”. In Japan, anyone under the age of 18 is defined as a child, but teachers and childcare workers are not the only people who work with children. There are cram school instructors and sports instructors, and in a sense, doctors and nurses have jobs that involve working with children. The same goes for toy stores and candy stores. The same applies to staff at baby supply stores. Companies sometimes hold events for children as part of their CSR efforts, but what happens to the staff involved in these events?
It is surprisingly difficult to draw the line as to how far the scope should be expanded. Even after the establishment of Japan BDS, there seems to be a lot of room for improvement, so it is expected that the system will be revised.
The Japanese version of BDS is a useful system in the sense of protecting children from sexual damage, and it needs to be developed with care. We will probably move forward while taking measures such as guidelines.
It is generally accepted that sex offenders tend to repeat the same crimes over and over again. From this perspective, it seems reasonable to keep adults who are found to have a tendency to commit crimes against children away from children under the Japanese version of the DBS. It also increases the sense of security for parents.
If you don’t like children, you won’t want to work with children, but do you treat children as individuals with personalities or as sexual objects? As sexual crimes are occurring frequently, it is important to identify them. (Kei Kitajima)