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Respect for Human Rights

Toshiba Group's Corporate Philosophy emphasizes “Respect for People”. We have declared that we will respect the rights of all people associated with our company, such as our employees, customers, and stakeholders. We comply with universal principles regarding human rights and labor practices worldwide, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and respect human rights through sound business activities.

Medium- to Long-term Vision

Spreading awareness on respect for human rights

Quantitative Target

Conduct activities to raise human rights awareness in two or more regions worldwide (Toshiba, FY2016)

FY 2015 Achievements

  • Target: Implementation of workshop on human rights enlightenment
  • Achievement: Held workshops on global human rights for human resources and procurement managers in Thailand
  • Held human rights awareness seminars in Japan for human resources and general affairs managers

Future Challenges and Approaches

We will continue to monitor human rights risks, including potential ones, indicated by the human rights impact assessment and improve efforts to avoid and mitigate such risks. We will also communicate with human rights experts and stakeholders to deepen understanding of human rights issues.

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Policy on Respect for Human Rights

In October 2014, we revised the Toshiba Group Standards of Conduct to which Toshiba Group’s executives and employees must adhere. We designated the newly created “Respect for Human Rights” as Article 1.

In addition to complying with laws and regulations, our Standards of Conduct stipulate respect for basic human rights and oppose child labor and forced labor. They also explicitly state that we shall embrace basic human rights, individuality, privacy, and a diverse set of values from all individuals, and refrain from human rights violations such as physical violence, sexual harassment, abuse of power (workplace bullying or harassment), and discriminatory remarks and actions against race, religion, gender, nationality, physical or mental disability, age, and sexual orientation.

They also state that we must communicate regularly with stakeholders in order to comply not only with the laws and regulations of countries and regions in which we operate, but also with the international principles on human rights and demand our suppliers to take actions against basic human rights violations.

Toshiba Group Standards of Conduct 1. Human Rights

Toshiba Group participates in the UN Global Compact, which supports universal principles on human rights and labor, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and show our determination to put these principles into practice. We also refer to various international standards including the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights(1.08MB).

  • UN Global Compact
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • ISO 26000 (Guidance on social responsibilities)

We recognize the importance of implementing our human rights policies not only within the Group but also throughout our supply chain. To this end, we stipulate this policy as “Supplier Expectations” in Toshiba Group Procurement Policy and request all parties’ adherence, which we monitor through CSR surveys.

Toshiba Group Procurement Policy

UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

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Framework for Respecting Human Rights

Human Rights Enlightenment Committee, chaired by the executive officer in charge of human resources, leads our efforts to promote human rights awareness under the basic principle of Respect for Human Rights. We set up Internal Human Rights Enlightenment Committees in each corporate section and in-house company (including group affiliates) to plan and execute training courses covering key topics to educate and enlighten employees on human rights. Moreover, Business and Human Rights Center serves as point of contact on human rights issues for all group companies. They formulate basic principles on human rights, enforce the practice of their essence and contents, and provide instructions and support to promote the concept of Respect for Human Rights throughout Toshiba Group.

Promotion Structure (Toshiba Corp.)

Promotion Structure (Toshiba Corp.)

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Identification and Monitoring of Human Rights Risks

Toshiba Group continuously investigates potential human rights risks in its business activities through reviews on ISO 26000, the international standards providing guidelines for corporate social responsibility.

In the past, we performed a human rights impact assessment in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a US-based CSR promotion organization, in order to further understand how our business activities impact human rights issues and recognize priorities.

Human Rights Impact Assessment: Methodology

Human Rights Impact Assessment: Methodology

Major Human Rights Issues Identified by The Human Rights Impact Assessment

Based on the result, we will enhance our efforts to address human rights concerns, which vary depending on the business area; country or region, through dialogue with relevant stakeholders. Also, to monitor the implementation of human rights initiatives, we will continue to perform audits by the Internal Audit Division, the gap analysis based on ISO 26000 guidelines, CSR surveys targeting both overseas Group companies and our suppliers, and Conflict Minerals surveys.

CSR surveys targeting overseas Group companies

CSR surveys targeting our suppliers

Conflict Minerals surveys

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Education and Enlightenment on Respect for Human Rights

Our Human Rights Enlightenment Committee is the driving force to raise awareness about respect for human rights among employees. It aims to increase the familiarity of all employees at the facilities and Group companies with the Toshiba Group Standards of Conduct and provide trainings on human rights at the time of hire and before/after employees get promoted or appointed to managerial positions.

Human Rights Week Lecture

In December every year during Human Rights Week, Toshiba holds a Human Rights Week Memorial Lecture at the Toshiba headquarters as a Toshiba Group CSR month event. In FY2015, the theme of the lecture was “Human Rights and Internet” and 115 managers from general affairs, human resources, and other administrative departments of Toshiba Group companies attended the lecture.

Disclosure of Risk Management Case Studies Regarding Human Rights

Toshiba publishes case studies from outside the company regarding violation of human rights on our company intranet, in order to improve employee awareness. We summarize and introduce the key points of management risks, and related laws in a comprehensive fashion.

Workshops on Human Rights

In order to promote the understanding of human rights issues within Toshiba Group, we call on BSR, an US-based non-profit organization that promotes CSR, to hold workshops on business and human rights at various locations.

Records of Workshops on Human Rights
Time Place Participants Contents
Apr 2015 Thailand 33 people and managers from general affairs and human resources, procurement departments of 14 Toshiba Group companies in Thailand
  • Learning about global human rights issues, and about human rights violations in Thailand
  • Exchanging opinions and sharing information between Group companies about potential risks in each company
Dec 2014 Japan 53 people from general affairs and human resources departments of 24 Toshiba Group companies in Japan
  • Learn about global standards on human rights such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Hold Workshop to detect possible human rights risks at each step in each business's value chain
Nov 2014 China 54 managers from general affairs and human resources departments of 31 Toshiba Group companies in China
  • Learn from case studies about global issues, and potential risks and the impact they might have on our business
Feb 2014 Philippines 45 managers from human resources department of 9 countries in Asia and others
  • Lectures on cases of human rights violations, and outlines of international principles
  • Group discussions on human rights risks in the country

A workshop in Thailand

A workshop in Thailand

Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Power

The Toshiba Group Standards of Conduct, a code of conduct for executives and employees, prohibit sexual harassment, abuse of power, and other actions that disregard the dignity and individuality of others.

In accordance with this policy, our employment regulations and collective agreements also prohibit sexual harassment and abuse of power and stipulate disciplinary action for anyone involved in wrongdoing.

We also provide consulting services, training for newly promoted employees, and human rights training courses at each workplace on a regular basis.

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Establishment of Whistleblower System and Consulting Service

Toshiba Group receives internal reports and consultations concerning human rights through points of contact for employees and client companies.

Whistleblower System “Risk Hotline” for Employees

In January 2000, Toshiba established a whistleblower system “Risk Hotline” to collect internal information via email and telephone on Toshiba Group Standards of Conduct violations, particularly those concerning laws and regulations, and to deal with wrongdoing. Under this system, an employee can report an incident and seek advice. Employees are protected from retaliation and must not be treated disadvantageously on the grounds that they provided such information. Moreover, an overview of the reports and consultations that the Risk Hotline receives are periodically published on our intranet.

Whistleblower System for Employees: "Audit Committee Hotline"

Toshiba established a new Audit Committee Hotline in FY2015 that allows employees to report directly to the Audit Committee, which is not under the command of the President and CEO. The Audit Committee Hotline has been established primarily to prevent any occurrence of compliance violation risks, such as violations of laws and regulations, and improper transactions, as well as to accelerate the resolution of issues.

Whistleblower system “Clean Partner Line” for Suppliers

In April 2006, Toshiba set up a supplier whistleblower system “Clean Partner Line” to receive reports from suppliers and business partners to prevent noncompliance and unfair trading practices by employees in charge of procurement and order placements for construction and other works.

Risk Management and Compliance

Consulting Services “Employee Consultation Room”

We established an “Employee Consultation Room,” where employees can get individual advice. Employees can anonymously consult full-time counselors on workplace culture and interpersonal relations, personnel moves, sexual harassment, or bullying, etc. by phone, FAX, e-mail, or letter. One male and one female counselor address employee concerns together to create an inclusive and comfortable working environment.

Fair Evaluation and Talent Development

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Activities with Stakeholders

Participation in Human Rights Initiatives

Toshiba Group is actively participating in initiatives developed by international and industrial organizations to review human rights issues.

  • Participation in the Japan Human Rights Study Forum hosted by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a US-based CSR promotion organization (FY2012)
  • Participation in the Human Rights Due Diligence Study Group organized by the Global Compact Network Japan (GC-NJ) (from FY2013, FY2014)
  • Participation in Research on Respect for Human Rights in Business Development in Developing Countries conducted by Business Policy Forum, Japan (BPF) as a committee member (FY2012)
  • Participation in events hosted by Caux Round Table (CRT) Japan in FY2014: the Global Conference on CSR and Risk Management 2014, a seminar on human rights, and the Stakeholder Engagement Program, which involves practical debates on specific human rights issues and measures
  • Participation in the human rights seminars hosted by Caux Round Table (CRT) Japan: 2015 Business Human Rights Conference in Tokyo, and the 2015 Stakeholder Engagement Program (FY2015)
  • Participation in the Human Rights Subcommittee Meeting (Global) held by BSR, a U.S.-based CSR promotion organization (FY2015)

Support for Human Rights NGOs

  • Co-sponsoring the Amnesty Film Festival hosted by Amnesty International Japan, a human rights NGO, to present films that focus on human rights since FY2011
  • Co-sponsoring Gontiti Spring Charity Concert hosted by Amnesty International Japan in FY2014
  • Children who attend pre-school in TanzaniaChildren who attend pre-school in Tanzania

    In collaboration with the public-service corporation Save the Children Japan, we're implementing Early Childhood Development fund-raise programs in rural area of Tanzania with aims to provide pre-school age children with education and improved nutrition. In December 2014, as part of the Toshiba Group Simultaneous Social Contribution Action, we collected donations from employees and held talks on the topic of “Human Rights for Children,” together with Save the Children Japan. At the same event in December 2015, we held a report session to present the findings of the on-site survey, and to explain the value of the donations, and the uses to which the money will be put. The events were attended by many employees (FY2014, FY2015).

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