Japan pushes firms to promote human rights

The government wants firms to extend the practice of conducting human rights to their suppliers, clients, joint ventures and investment portfolios.
By: | August 8, 2022

Japan is set to urge all businesses to publicly issue plans for identifying, resolving and preventing human rights violations at the workplace, according to Nikkei Asia. These will not only cover a firm’s in-house practice but also extend to its suppliers, clients, joint ventures and investment portfolios.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will propose new guidelines to relevant government agencies that are aimed to push all businesses in Japan to make “maximum effort” when conducting due diligence on human rights.

The new measures will encourage companies to monitor their supply chains and sales networks for forced and child labour, and for discrimination based on race, disability, religion and gender. It will also highlight the disadvantages faced by foreign nationals, women, children, disabled individuals and indigenous people and ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities in the workplace, and urge companies to rectify any abuses against these groups.

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Companies are also advised to take a four-step approach to potential violations: identify issues and their severity, mitigate the damage and prevent a recurrence, rate the effectiveness of their response, and release their findings to the public.

Where firms fail to prevent or resolve abuse, they will be urged to offer relief to victims, either through monetary or nonmonetary compensation.