A shocking new study report published in Japan, which revealed that the child athletes have routinely suffered sexual, physical and verbal abuse from their respective coached, which forced athletes to take their own lives.
The report was released in the week the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were due to begin in the country. The report also includes the testimonies from the several Japanese athletes, who are competing in more than 50 different sports categories. These athletes have disclosed the inhumane and humiliated behavior their coaches adopted with them, which results in physical disabilities, sexual assault, trauma and tension.
One victim said, “I was hit so many times I can’t count”
The report said, “Participation in sport should provide children with the joy of play, and with an opportunity for physical and mental development and growth.”
“Athletes interviewed by Human Rights Watch described a culture of impunity for abusive coaches. Of recent child athlete interviewees who experienced abuse, all but one reported that there were no known consequences for the coach,” report adds.
“In order to end abuse of child athletes in Japan, the country will need a unified approach, guided by clear mandates and standards,” adds the report. “As a start, the government should explicitly ban any form of abuse as a coaching technique in sport, and establish a Japan Center for Safe Sport, an independent body tasked solely with addressing child abuse in sport,” said report.
“This body should have the responsibility to create and maintain standards for child athlete protection, and should serve as the central administrative authority for investigating abuse claims and issuing proportionate sanctions against abusive coaches. Abuse cases involving criminal behavior should also be referred to police and prosecutors for concurrent criminal investigation,” report said.
“Japan has a unique opportunity to show the world how it cares for its child athletes, and to lead in making sport safe for all,” says the report. “In doing so, Japan, as a pathfinding country of the UN Global Partnership to End Violence, would honour its commitment to ending violence against children,” the report added.