SocialRespect for Human Rights

Our Views on Respect for Human Rights

The Marubeni Group conducts business from 133 locations*1 across 68 countries and regions, employing more than 40,000 people*2 from a diverse range of nationalities and ethnicities. We are active in a wide range of businesses and conduct global, multi-faceted activities. With serious human rights violations by the overseas operations of companies against local workers and residents now a burgeoning issue, we have a responsibility as a global enterprise to address these issues. We believe respect for the human rights of those people affected by our business activities is indispensable. Furthermore, we are obliged to take appropriate corrective measures if there is evidence that our business activities have had a negative impact, since failure to do so would pose a significant risk of impairing corporate value. The Marubeni Group seeks to create sustainable value by conducting business activities that respect human rights.

1 As of April 1, 2021

2 As of March 31, 2021

Due Diligence on Human Rights

The Marubeni Group is developing methods for assessing the potential risks from a business sustainability perspective as part of risk management to build resilient supply chains that are sustainable, and respect human rights. Within the “Social” category of risks, we take a comprehensive stance to include items that relate to social, human rights or labor-related aspects of international standards associated with corporate social responsibility. We also include supply chain risk management items to reflect the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other guidelines. We have introduced these risk assessment methods to internal processes, such as surveys of consolidated subsidiaries and risk analysis of new investments.

Basic Policy on Human Rights

In the spirit of the Company Creed of “Fairness, Innovation and Harmony,” the Marubeni Group is proudly committed to promoting social and economic development and safeguarding the global environment through fair and upright corporate activities. We recognize that respecting the human rights of persons affected by our business activities and endeavoring to take responsibility for doing so are of utmost importance, and to this end we have formulated our Basic Policy on Human Rights (“the Policy”), based on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Our Basic Stance on Human Rights

We support and respect all international rules on human rights, including the UN’s International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Human Rights), the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact.

Scope of Application

This Policy applies to all executives and employees of the Marubeni Group. We also ask that stakeholders (vendors, service providers, contractors, third-party manufacturers, joint venture partners, outsourcing partners, customers and other business partners and local communities) and other related parties observe the intent of the Policy and take appropriate action if a negative effect on human rights caused by them is directly related to the business activities of the Marubeni Group.

Responsibility for Human Rights

We will carry out our responsibility to respect human rights by ensuring that we do not violate human rights. If it should come to light that any of our business activities are having a negative impact on human rights, we will take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

• Human Rights Due Diligence:
We will create and continue using a system for carrying out human rights due diligence.

• Redress:
We will create a system (complaint resolution mechanism) for reporting when our business activities have a negative effect on human rights or we have been involved in human rights violations. If such reports are received, appropriate procedures for redress will be taken once the facts are sufficiently ascertained.

• Dialogue and Discussion:
We will engage in sincere dialogue and discussion with relevant stakeholders in order to promote initiatives in line with this Policy.

• Compliance with Relevant Laws:
We will observe the laws and regulations of the countries or regions where we conduct business activities. If national laws are in contradiction with internationally recognized human rights, we will pursue solutions in which we can respect human rights principles.

• Education and Training:
We will conduct appropriate training and skill development for our executives and employees to ensure that this Policy is understood and effectively put into practice in all our business activities.

• Information Disclosure:
We will report on our initiatives, etc. for fulfilling our responsibilities to respect human rights through our official website and other avenues.

The above Policy includes the following policies with regard to those who are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses:

• Policy Regarding the Rights of Children:
In addition to supporting the Children’s Rights and Business Principles*1, which are intended to protect children’s rights in the course of our business activities, we will undertake social contribution activities to strengthen children’s rights and by so doing will contribute to improving children’s rights.

• Policy Regarding the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
When conducting our business activities in countries or regions with indigenous peoples, we will acknowledge the native culture and history of indigenous peoples, and we will give due consideration to the laws of the country or region in question and the rights of indigenous peoples set out in international rules.

• Policy Regarding Use of Security Services:
We are aware of the inherent risk to human rights related to the use of weapons for security. With regard to the use of security services when conducting business activities, we will observe the laws of the countries or regions where we operate, support international rules and related practices and endeavor to respect human rights.

1Children’s Rights and Business Principles: A comprehensive set of principles formulated by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children covering various actions that enterprises can take in the workplace, the marketplace and the community in order to promote respect for children’s rights.

Risks to Human Rights in the Supply Chain

Marubeni has established a Basic Supply Chain Sustainability Policy, which includes respect for human rights in the guidelines, and continues to work diligently to obtain the understanding and cooperation of business partners.

Basic Supply Chain Sustainability Policy

Following the enforcement of the Modern Slavery Act in the U.K. in October 2015, Marubeni Europe plc, some Group companies in England, and the Marubeni Head Office, which has a certain level of control over the business of these companies, each issued a statement by the end of September 2020.

FY 2020 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

FY 2019 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

FY 2018 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

FY 2017 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

FY 2016 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

FY 2015 Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The U.K. Modern Slavery Act applies to companies that operate within the U.K., with annual turnover of £36 million or more worldwide. In order to confirm that there are no abuses of human rights, such as slavery or human trafficking, within the company or its supply chain, companies are required to implement measures step-by-step, and to issue a statement by the following fiscal year.

In addition to this, in the supply chain sustainability surveys, Marubeni is investigating the status of supplier efforts related to risks to human rights, such as forced labor and child labor. While promoting the discovery of risks to human rights, we are also working on measures to prevent the spread and expansion of such risks. In the supply chain sustainability surveys conducted since February 2011, we survey the status of human rights risks at our suppliers through questionnaires and on-site assessment. No cases of violation of human rights or labor standards have been found in these surveys.

Participation and Cooperation in Human Rights Initiatives

The Marubeni Group has declared its support for the UN Global Compact, the principles of which include support and respect for human rights.
We also participate in the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, and strive to share our experience and grasp the latest trends for promoting respect for human rights among corporations, based on the UNʼs Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, we participate in the theme-based working groups of the Global Compact Network Japan. Through the Human Rights Due Diligence Working Group, we study due diligence best practices for preventing human rights violations and apply these in initiatives for ensuring respect for human rights within the Company and throughout our supply chain.

Dialogue with External Stakeholders regarding Human Rights Risk and Impact

The Marubeni Group conducts dialogues with external stakeholders about the risks and impacts of human rights violations in the Groupʼs business through organizations such as the NGO Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. The results of these dialogues are reflected in the spirit of the Marubeni Groupʼs Basic Policy on Human Rights.

Basic Policy on Contribution to Local Communities

The Marubeni Group recognizes that contribution to local communities is vital for conducting and growing business. Our sales activities contribute to the establishment and expansion of economic and social infrastructure in each country and region, and social investment via business activities and various regional support activities contribute to the development of local communities. Specifically, we help to address wealth inequality and regional unemployment by creating employment in the areas where we do business. We also help to stimulate local economies by procuring goods and services within the region as far as possible. Furthermore, we engage proactively with the community to promote regional development as we conduct business activities that promote mutual growth of the Marubeni Group and the region.

Initiatives for Global Health Issues

At our operating company in the Philippines, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad), we run programs related to health issues and prevention of infectious diseases for our employees and local residents. For employees, we provide an annual health check and monitor individual results.
Since 2009, we have provided low-priced access to vaccinations, including for influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, chicken pox, rabies, tetanus and cervical cancer. In 2017, 1,703 employees received vaccinations. We also provide free vaccinations against rabies and tetanus for employees working at wastewater treatment facilities.
In 2012 and again in 2015, in order to prevent dengue fever, we distributed mosquito trap kits to residents of our service area, which covers the cities of Quezon, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa, and we are looking into continuing this initiative. Maynilad aims to reduce dengue fever infection rates in its concession service area by raising disease awareness and implementing anti-mosquito measures.

  • Mosquito trap kits
    Mosquito trap kits
  • Lectures to residents of our service area
    Lectures to residents of our service area
  • Lectures to residents of our service area
    Lectures to residents of our service area

Elsewhere, from December 2018, at Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development Ltd., which has been developing an industrial park project in Myanmar, we began providing tuberculosis testing for every employee at tenant companies (2,463 people as of December 2018). We will continue to conduct testing at the start of each month and take measures to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.
The Marubeni Group will continue taking measures to address health issues among employees and local residents, and to prevent infectious diseases.

Compliance Manual

The first matter highlighted in Compliance Manual is “respect for human rights and prohibition of any form of discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace bullying.” Here, the notion of human rights includes the fundamental human rights stipulated in the Constitution of Japan, the Labor Standards Act, and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also includes human rights prescribed in the International Labor Standards (ILO)*2 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

2The International Labor Standards establish fundamental standards for labor. The standards are comprised of 8 conventions in 4 categories, namely: (1) freedom of association, (2) prohibition of forced labor, (3) prohibition of discrimination in employment, and (4) prohibition of child labor.

Compliance Manual[3.3MB]

Marubeni Hotline (formerly, “Door of Courage”)

For cases where circumstances warrant counseling and reporting to be carried out outside the regular reporting channels, the Marubeni Group has established the Marubeni Hotline (formerly, “Door of Courage”) reporting and consultation hotline.


Respect for Employee’s Right to Unionize and Bargain Collectively

Marubeni has declared its support for the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, which calls for the support and practice of universal principles concerning human rights, labor, and other areas. Accordingly, Marubeni respects the right of employees to unionize and bargain collectively for the purpose of conducting negotiations between labor and management on working conditions, wage levels, and other matters.

Relationships with Labor Unions

Initiatives to Address Human Rights Issues

Human Rights and Discrimination Issues Committee

This committee (established in 1981) is chaired by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and its members comprise the general managers of the corporate staff group and business groups, as well as the general managers of the branches.

Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo

We participate in the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo and continue to raise awareness of human rights of the Directors, the Executive Officers and the employees by sharing issues and holding dialogues with its member companies.

Selection of Officers for the Promotion of Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Awareness

At the Tokyo Head Office and the Osaka branch, Officers for the Promotion of Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Awareness are nominated and notification of their appointment is made. In this way, the company has established fair recruitment systems.

Promotion and Training on Human Rights

To establish a corporate culture of respect for human rights, Marubeni holds training seminars for the Company’s executives and employees throughout its organization.
Also, Marubeni continuously engages in awareness activities by updating the intranet with the company’s basic policy on human rights, training materials, etc. Marubeni also regularly holds campaigns to raise awareness of human rights.

To promote understanding of respect for human rights, Marubeni had executives and employees participants in e-learning programs in order to obtain a better understanding of respect for human rights and other important social issues. In the year ended March 31, 2019, a total of about 3,500 personnel had participated in the training programs. The target of participation rate is 80%. Marubeni will continue to update the content every year and conduct the education and training programs.