The JFE Group endorses and abides by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Human Rights and other international conventions as well as the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
The JFE Group views respect for human rights as both a corporate social responsibility and a foundation of its business. Our determination to not engage in discrimination in our business activities is clearly expressed in our Standards of Business Conduct, which we have upheld throughout our actions. In FY2018, the JFE Group Human Rights Basic Policy was established to further clarify the approach to our initiatives. While we require Group companies and their officers and employees to adhere to the policy, we also seek cooperation from all stakeholders including our supply chain to respect and protect human rights.
In addition to organizing seminars by external experts on business and human rights, starting in FY2021 we have been conducting human rights due diligence in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We will continue to promote initiatives Group-wide for realizing a society in which human rights are respected and protected.
Human Rights Basic Policy
1Respect for basic human rights
We recognize the diverse values of individuals in all aspects of corporate activities and respect and defend all human rights in accordance with international norms.
2Abolition of discrimination
We respect each person as an individual in corporate activities and shall not discriminate in any way with regard to race, nationality, ethnicity, creed, religion, social status, family origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or presence or absence of any disability.
3Prohibition of harassment
We shall not engage in harassment with respect to gender, position or in any other way, or by any behavior that demeans degrades the dignity of others or causes mental discomfort.
4Respect for fundamental labor rights
We value healthy labor-management relations and work to solve problems through constant dialogue between management and employees in good faith and in accordance with international norms, taking into account the laws and labor practices of each country. In addition, we always strive to upgrade worker safety and work environments that are rewarding for all employees.
5Prohibition of child labor and forced labor
We shall not engage in any way in child labor or forced labor in any country or region.
6Seek the cooperation to all stakeholders
Respecting and defending human rights is not only mandatory of all officers and employees of the JFE Group, we also seek the cooperation of our supply chain members and all other stakeholders to observe these principles and practices.
Promoting Human Rights
In order to steadily work on human rights initiatives, we established the JFE Group Human Rights Promotion Council, chaired by the corporate officer of JFE Holdings under the JFE Group Compliance Committee, chaired by the president of JFE Holdings. This framework allows us to define Group-wide policies and share information with departments responsible for human rights issues that have been set up at each operating company.
In addressing all human rights risks, we emphasize communicating with stakeholders through such initiatives as setting up a Corporate Ethics Hotline at each operating company and dedicated consultation desks on harassment issues at major offices, all of which accept anonymous reporting and consultation. Furthermore, we receive inquiries, including anonymous requests, concerning compliance from external stakeholders via the contact form on our corporate website. The operational status of these help desks and cases of harassment as well as other human rights violations are regularly reported to the JFE Group CSR Council and Board of Directors, which provide direction and supervision.
Human Rights Promoting Activities
We conduct human rights training courses, offer guaranteed employment opportunities, promote fair human-resource management, and work to prevent workplace harassment. Our training courses encourage employees to develop a thorough understanding of the JFE Group's Human Rights Basic Policy and the respect for human rights expected of a company in the international community. To this end, we continuously monitor and following up on seminars by designating 100% attendance as a KPI.
We seek to prevent sexual harassment, the abuse of power and other forms of harassment by addressing these issues in company regulations, displaying posters in workplaces and organizing training for each position, individual offices and executives. In FY2020, we invited an outside attorney to hold a seminar for about 200 hotline staff within the JFE Group. We regularly organize such training sessions for hotline and consultation desk personnel.
Furthermore, we actively support and take part in initiatives undertaken by public organizations and groups promoting human rights as well as groups in which private enterprises participate, such as the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo and the Corporate Federation for Dowa and Human Rights Issue, Osaka. By attending seminars and workshops of such organizations and groups, we have become increasingly aware of human rights trends and challenges as well as issues specific to Japanese business. In turn we apply this knowledge in JFE human-rights awareness training programs and related initiatives.
Respecting the Rights of Workers
The JFE Group adheres to the laws and regulations of various countries as well as collective agreements. It also respects the rights to freedom of association as well as their right to collective bargaining.
Upper management, including the president and the representative of the union, meets regularly to discuss matters such as management issues, work life-balance, working environments, and working conditions. By conducting earnest labor-management consultations, we strive to create a vigorous workplace while working to maintain healthy and sound labor-management relations.
The JFE Group complies with laws and regulations related to salary payments and sets salaries above the minimum wage designated by country, region and industry sector. In addition to meeting legal requirements concerning the upper limits for overtime and other mandates, the JFE Group establishes challenging and satisfying work environments by providing our employees with one of the top levels of employment conditions in the industry as well as performance-based bonuses linked to company profits.
We regularly review the wage situation in each region and business sector and engage in honest discussions with the labor union to ensure a fair return to our employees while also paying due consideration to management and business performance.
Respect for Freedom of Expression
The JFE Group upholds basic human rights in its Human Rights Basic Policy and is committed to respecting and protecting the human rights of each individual throughout its corporate activities. We pay due care to prevent violations of the freedom of expression, as recognized by the International Covenant on Human Rights and other international conventions, and to fully protect the right to privacy.
Respect for Children's Rights
The JFE Group supports the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Children's Rights and Business Principles and will seek to eliminate child labor and respect every child's right to survival, right to development, right to protection and the right to participation, the four pillars of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The JFE Group Human Rights Basic Policy upholds recognizing the diverse values held by each individual in all aspects of corporate activity as well as respecting and protecting the human rights of each person in compliance with international conventions. It also explicitly prohibits child labor and forced labor. To promote concrete initiatives, the JFE Group has focused on nurturing the next generation as a key area of its public service and is engaged in activities that support the sound development of younger generations.
Respecting Human Rights across the Supply Chain
JFE Steel recognizes that human rights violations and environmental issues pose actual business risks in procuring raw materials. It therefore established the Raw Material Purchasing Policy to develop and operate a sustainable procurement system for sourcing raw materials and practice purchasing with due respect for human rights, regulatory compliance and environmental protection. JFE Steel also established Business Conduct Guidelines, asking suppliers to comply with this initiative, and seek to publicize the guidelines across the supply chain via its website.
Tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold produced in certain regions, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are defined as conflict minerals under the U.S. Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. There is concern that such minerals provide a funding source for militias causing human rights violations and environmental destruction. In our Business Conduct Guidelines, it is clearly stated that the company's policy is to avoid purchasing conflict minerals. Furthermore, JFE Steel complies with Japanese and overseas regulations governing the responsible procurement of minerals as well as international rules and investigates and confirms with suppliers that they are not selling conflict minerals.
For more on the procurement of raw materials, refer to the following information.Business Conduct Guidelines of the Raw Materials Purchasing Policy
Human Rights Due Diligence
The JFE Group has adopted human rights due diligence based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In FY2021, we conducted human rights due diligence centered on the Company and major Group companies such as JFE Steel. We will continue to identify the JFE Group's human rights risks, consider and implement corrective measures, and consistently facilitate information disclosure and other relevant processes to ensure respect for human rights across the supply chain.
Human Rights Due Diligence Process
Starting in FY2021, the JFE Group has been implementing a human rights due diligence process to identify, assess, and mitigate any potential adverse human rights risks in the supply chain and disclose the information.
We examined various human rights risks related to the JFE Group's supply chain by referencing international rules and guidelines including the International Bill of Human Rights and International Labour Organization (ILO)'s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and by confirming human rights risks associated with the industry. As a result, we identified occupational health and safety, prohibition of discrimination and human rights violations by suppliers as the JFE Group's human rights risks, among others.
We ascertained the current status of the risk management system and activities by examining our disclosure of policies on child labor, forced labor and various other human rights risks, such as the Raw Material Purchasing Policy, our whistleblowing system for ensuring access to remedial action, our initiatives on compliance including prevention of corruption, and other initiatives, systems and rules concerning internal and external human rights issues.
Having identified our human rights risks, we will assess these in relation to the degree of severity and probability of occurrence. We will also determine the status of our initiatives on respecting human rights through written surveys and interviews in order to better reflect that status in our future endeavors. During the risk assessment, we will determine the negative impacts of human rights risks on the JFE Group and its stakeholders.
We will consider measures and systems to mitigate, address, prevent and remedy key risks with particularly significant adverse impacts.
We will establish a system for reducing human rights risks by continuously implementing measures for mitigating human rights risks identified in FY2021 and disclosing information concerning our responses. We will also assess and improve our initiatives to raise effectiveness under the supervision of the JFE Group CSR Council and Board of Directors.