Amnesty International comments on the Noriko Calderon case

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    Amnesty International has posted its view about the case of Noriko Calderon, a girl born in Japan to illegal immigrant parents:

    “Japan must uphold their international obligations by placing the interests of the child as the primary consideration in all actions and deporting Noriko’s parents would clearly be counter to her best interests,” said Roseann Rife, Asia-Pacific Deputy Programme Director.

    Article 9 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Japan is a state party, provides that “State Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child”

    Japan has attempted to circumvent this obligation by declaring that it interprets this provision as inapplicable to a case where a child is separated from his or her parents as a result of deportation in accordance with its immigration law.

    Amnesty International believes that this interpretation is unacceptable. “The principle of placing the child’s interests first, lies at the very heart of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and simply cannot be set aside. We urge Japan to abide by its international obligations, as well as heed the voice of common sense and basic humanity, and allow the family stay united in Japan,” said Roseann Rife.

    As the organization seems opposed to the idea of breaking up the family by deporting only the parents, maybe they’d be more satisfied if the Japanese government had not given the Calderons the option of letting their daughter stay in Japan?

    The Japanese government announced a few days ago that Noriko’s parents would be allowed to visit their daughter in Japan if they made the decision not to take her back to the Philippines. (Those deported for violations of immigration law are usually banned from entry to Japan for 5 years.)

    Update: Noriko’s father has been detained and her mother has been granted another week of permission to stay in Japan. The Calderons are still insisting that they all be allowed to stay in Japan, but the government has stated that the parents must be deported.

    The decision to only detain one parent and grant a one week extension to the other is, quite frankly, odd.

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