February 5, 2017


Young People at Japanese NPO Delve into Social Inequality Issues

Keywords: Resilience Well-Being 

Image by pmbbun.

POSSE, a Japanese non-profit organization, was established in 2006 to address labor issues and engage young people in the decision-making that will shape future society. The organization is run by 40 to 50 members, the majority of whom are in their 20s.

When POSSE was founded, few people talked about inequality being the cause of the worsening employment situation in Japan. It was believed that changes in the attitudes of young people were to blame for the rise in non-permanent workers and working poor. Hoping to take initiative in addressing this situation, a group of young people, many university students studying labor law in a university seminar course, founded POSSE and started mediating workplace disputes.

During its consultations, NPO members visit the working environments of those seeking consultation and provide advice on how to resolve illegal practices in accordance with the law and using public programs. The organization also provides information on such varied subjects as how to settle back-payments, apply for work accident insurance, and stop power harassment. In addition to its legal assessments, the organization also provides full support for resolving problematic situations, including psychological support.

POSSE advises approximately 3,000 cases per year. Its consultation service was also introduced in the Job Handbook for Young People, a magazine issued by Setagaya City to support workplace assimilation. As it continues to mediate workplace disputes and tackle labor issues, the group also hopes to submit policy proposals based on research results, address poverty and various other issues facing contemporary Japanese society related to sustainable lifestyles and culture.