Give Japanese freelancers, performers and entertainment industry workers legal protection

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Japanese version

In May 2019, a harassment law was made in Japan, but only company employees are protected by it. It doesn’t apply to freelancers or those seeking employment.

We - the Japan Actors’ Union, the MIC Freelance Liaison Group and the Association of Freelancers - carried out a survey and gathered 1218 people’s experiences. Here are some examples of their responses:

1. One thirty-something male video technician wrote that he was punched and kicked and the next day he couldn’t work and had to go to hospital.

2. One twenty-something female illustrator, having asked for the copyright to her illustrations, was told she was being greedy and forced to apologise.

3. One twenty-something female actor was called to the home of a producer to rehearse and was made to drink alcohol there and then sexually assaulted.

These are just a few of the responses we got to the survey. 61.6% of those surveyed said they had suffered power harassment. 36.6% said they had suffered sexual harassment. They couldn’t speak out to anyone. It would have meant risking losing work.

In spite of their circumstances, many people - 1218 - spoke out in this survey because they are desperate to change this situation. And this autumn, there will be a meeting at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which we hope will improve the situation about protection from harassment.

We ask them to improve the situation regarding harassment towards freelancers. Please join our campaign by signing this petition.