The Cabinet on Friday approved bills to revise two laws on parental rights amid an increase in child abuse cases in Japan, with an eye on seeing them clear the ongoing Diet session.
The bills, if passed by parliament, would pave the way for a system that would put a limit of up to two years of suspended parental authority and give priority to childcare facility officials over the parents as part of efforts to protect children from parental abuse.
Cases presumed to require swift and flexible action include medical neglect, involving parents refusing to seek medical treatment when their children are sick, and when parents wrongfully take children away from shelters.
Under the current system, parents are stripped of custodial rights without a time limit. Childcare workers say the current law makes them hesitate to ask the courts to invalidate parental custody even if they are suspected of abusing their children.
Amid concerns that suspending custodial rights for an indefinite period of time could jeopardize the parent-child relationship, one of the bills seeks to revise the Civil Code to introduce a time limit, which would make it possible to restore the parents' custodial rights once the situation improves.
Cabinet OKs bills to revise parent's rights to stem child abuse - The Mainichi Daily News