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FOCUS March 2023 Volume 111

Living Without Fear


Stateless persons, those without permission to stay in a country and even those with temporary permission to stay have restricted access to services that directly affect their health, livelihood and security.

Also, stateless persons and those without permission to stay in a country hide from authorities for fear of getting arrested and deported. This situation prevents them from availing of services that the government might offer to them.

On 25 March 2022, Catholic Bishops petitioned the Japanese government not to deport children who were born and/or raised in Japan and whose non-Japanese parents did not have residence status. As their petition states in part:

As many as 300 such children are at risk of deportation. Sending children born or raised in Japan to another country where they have no foundation to make a living or separating parents and children would violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child which Japan has ratified. Why must people born and raised in Japan suffer in this way? Is our country so inhumane?

People who lack permission to reside in a country or have temporary permission to stay deserve to have access to services that support their welfare and permit them to lead normal lives. Their reason for staying in a country deserves serious attention. In some countries, "regularizing" their stay brought benefit to society rather than the feared adverse consequences.