Child Protection States of Japan, Germany Term Paper

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¶ … child protection states of Japan, Germany, and Switzerland differ?

Child protection is considered to be one of the most important aspects states in countries from around the world try to address. This is largely due to the fact that there is an increasing number of cases of child abuse and wrong treatment of infants, regardless of the level of development in most states. However, in order to assess the way in which the development of a country is related to the child protection policy, it is important to take into account several examples which would reveal precisely this aspect. In this sense, the present paper will take into account the states, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland and compare and contrast their different child protection policies, with the wide range of issues each of them entangles.

Introduction

According to a UN report from 2006, Japan ranked the country with the highest standard of living from the three countries, on the seventh position, with Switzerland on nine, and Germany on the twenty first position (Yahoo Asia News, 2006). The top takes into account various indicators related to the status of the economy such as the "average life expectancy, education, literacy, the gross domestic product per capita and other factors, to calculate the Human Development Index" (Yahoo Asia News, 2006). It can be said from this perspective that the ranking represents a rather comprehensive blueprint of the actual situation in all these countries. Therefore, as Japan and Switzerland enjoy top ten positions, Germany is immediately below the twenty mark. Nonetheless, in Germany's case, it must be pointed out the fact that most of the public policy issues are discussed at the level of the European Union as well and that an important part in the ranking is due to the positive measures taken by Germany inside the EU. Although child protection is not one of the largest factors regarding standard of living it is in fact an important factor to determine this measure. Even so, the fact that all three countries represent some of the best developed countries in the world with flourishing economies, it can be said that the issue of public policy and of the strategies related to child protection should be according to the financial means available.

Despite this apparent conclusion, there are issues that affect this particular segment of the society and which need to be addressed. The matter of child protection is essential for the future of a nation and its society. It points out the interest the state in promoting and regulating the mechanism which will create the basis for a new society. By examining child protection across these three states, it will allow the public policy of the three countries to be compared in relation to public welfare which is again a major issue for governments as well as the population.

Even though Japan, Germany, and Switzerland all portray leadership in regards to standards of living in the "New World," it is clear that Japan in particular in comparison to Germany and Switzerland, is lacking in their attention to the political institution of child protection. This is largely due to the traditional way of approaching public policies in Japan. In the German case, the fact that it belongs to an organization that has particular interest in the social framework of the Union, it benefited from both the experience of the member states, as well as from the communitarian one determined it to take stronger actions to increase the child protection policy. Finally, Switzerland is one of the most dedicated states in terms of social policies; therefore it represents a model for most states around the world in this sense.

Comparison of Current Status of three States Standards of Living

Firstly, it is important to consider the actual aspects which determine the placement of the three countries among the first countries of the world in regard to the issue of the standard of living. However, it must be pointed out that it is of little importance the actual data used to determine the standard of living. A more important aspect is given by the evolutionary trend the countries are marching on. In this sense, the information is relevant for the tendency, rather than for its accuracy.

Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. It represents a model for economic development and technology. However, there last decade represented for Japan "a decade long economic malaise and the potential threat of a financial implosion, saw the Nikkei Stock Average rise on a day that it should have plummeted." (Clemons, 2002) Therefore, it can be said that although there are aspects which point out the fact that the technological advancements and the way in which the state is run is representative for a top ten country, some of the actual information provided show the limited capability of the Japanese state to conduct its resources towards the most important levels of the society.

Switzerland is again an important state on the map of the world. Her status of neutrality allowed it to have an independent position from both the military point-of-view, as well as the economic perspective. Moreover, it must be pointed out that the relation with the states around the world has been achieved in the last decades on the premises of the financial facilities the state offers foreign investors as well as the rest of the investing possibilities. Therefore it can be said that Switzerland has been able, given its geographical position inside the European continent but outside of any political or military affairs, maintain a working relation with most states of the world, has managed to keep relations to all the states in world, and more importantly, has been able to increase the production of its economy.

Some of the indicators which may show the extent to which the Swiss economy developed are related to the issue of investments, in the country and abroad. More precisely in this sense, "Direct investment abroad rose from CHF 563 billion to CHF 632 billion. Brisk investment activity by Swiss companies abroad, in particular, contributed to this development. The share of direct investment in total foreign assets rose by one percentage point to 21%" (National Bank of Switzerland, 2007). This is merely an example which points out the good relations the country has both economically and socially, as well as in terms of the international relations these issues entangle.

Finally, the issue of Germany is rather sensitive. On the one hand it has to do with the fact that unlike the other two countries, the economic aspects of its development are strongly connected with the European Union; therefore one cannot talk of the evolution of the German economy without taking into account the way in which the EU affected this development. However, despite the fact that there are numerous possibilities for economic thrive inside the EU, according to recent data, the economy of the German state is in decline (Deutche Welle, 2004). More precisely, "Data Report 2004" charted an increase in poverty in Germany from 12.5% in 2001 to 13.5% in 2002 as well as a growing gap in income levels. Issued by the German Federal Statistics Office, the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and the Center for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA) in Mannheim, (...) the study showed that people in the eastern parts of the country are less content than those in the west. (...) in many areas, including the material standard of living, Germany has slipped to the middle or even lower ranks in comparison to the other 14 earlier members of the European Union. Only the French, the Greeks, the Italians and the Portuguese are unhappy with their lives" (Deutche Welle, 2004). Even so, the fact that the power in the state is currently held by Christian Democrat party in coalition with the Social Party places an important attention on the way in which politics is conducted and in which the issue of social protection and child protection is regarded in the state.

Currently, Germany faces an economic revival. According to sources quoting Angela Merkel, the Chancellor considers that "Germany had taken a "good step forward" in creating more jobs.A million fewer unemployed, a million gainfully employed - who could have thought such a development possible two years ago?"(BBC, 2007) Therefore, from this point-of-view, the initiative of the German state to increase the level of security for the population in all walks of life appears to be a feasible goal.

Comparison of Current Status of 3 States Child Protection Services

According to the UN, child protection includes "preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children - including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labor and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage" (UNICEF, 2006). All the aspects mentioned in the definition offered by the world forum take into account the challenges facing children today in all the countries of the world. Regardless of the level of economic development,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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