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Thousands languishing in Japan children's homes: Human Rights Watch

Published on May 1, 2014 1:54 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Almost 90 percent of children taken from their families in Japan end up in institutions rather than foster care, a rights group said on Thursday, expressing shock at the rate - the highest among developed nations.

Just 12 percent of children who have been removed from their natural parents are placed with foster families, leaving tens of thousands of other youngsters to languish in understaffed children's homes, Human Rights Watch said.

That figure is the lowest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of rich nations, and is just a fraction of that in Australia, where 93.5 percent of these children live in a family home.

"It's heartbreaking to see children crammed into institutions and deprived of the chance for life in a caring family setting," said Kanae Doi, Japan director at Human Rights Watch.

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