Girls' & Women's Rights


It has been frequently reported that many young women in Japan who were scouted as TV personalities or models, were deceived, and tricked into performing in pornographic films.

Human Rights Now conducted an investigation by interviewing the victims and their supporters to determine the facts. It revealed that in many cases, these young women who signed to agencies without knowing what would happen and were subsequently threatened. Threats made included things such as “You can’t reject the job, you have signed a contract,” “if you refuse to work, you are responsible to pay for the damages,” or “your parents will find out about your work”. The women felt they had no other choice but to participate in the filming of pornographic movies.

Taking advantage of inexperienced and distressed young women, forcing them to perform non-consensual sexual acts in front of the camera and the crew, and later publishing such material publicly is not only humiliating but presents serious violations of human rights.

Image by Dingzeyu Li

"I entered into an agreement with the production as a model only to discover that I had to appear in pornographic videos."

These women are held in a subordinate position due to fear of financial penalties. This is similar to “debt bondage” where people are compelled into slavery through the unlawful threat of “debt”. It also constitutes violence against women. The consequences of coerced appearance in the pornography are grave. Some victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or commit suicide after suffering from the humiliation of having the material distributed through the internet and stores, and some undergo repetitive plastic surgeries.

Human Rights Now has been requesting that relevant parties in Japan consider measures to prevent further damages. Since the press conference was held in Tokyo following the release of the investigative report, the issue of forced appearances in pornographic films in Japan has been widely covered by media around the world. Moreover, many victims have courageously come forward to testify or become advocates to demand justice and legal reforms to end sexual violence against girls and women. Despite backlash from the pornographic industry, Human Rights Now has been continuously promoting further awareness on the issue in collaboration with many civil society actors. Human Rights Now-NY has also joined this fight to raise more awareness on the issue.