Human Rights Initiatives

Human Rights Initiatives Human Rights Initiatives

Basic approach

SoftBank Corp. respects human rights in accordance with the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” and other international standards. We have established the “SoftBank Human Rights Policy” to prohibit any discrimination or harassment based on age, gender, nationality, disability, and to promote diversity and inclusion where diverse employees can exercise their individuality and abilities.

Promotion system

Under the concept of the “SoftBank Human Rights Policy” approved by the Board of Directors, SoftBank's human rights promotion activities are centered on the “Human Rights Committee,” which is chaired by the President and Representative Director, and whose members include executives responsible for Consumer Business, Corporate Business, Technology Unit, Finance, and Corporate Affairs, and the general managers of the Human Resources Division, General Affairs Division, Legal and Risk Management Division, and CSR Division.
Since FY2020, the “Human Rights Committee” has held annual meeting to promote our human rights activities through daily operations such as managing human rights due diligence, investigating and addressing potential human rights violations and enhancing internal awareness of human rights through the planning and implementation of human rights-related training programs.
Matters deliberated by the “Human Rights Committee” are discussed and reported at the Board of Directors meetings.

Human rights due diligence

In accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we have established a human rights due diligence process to clarify, evaluate, and identify human rights issues that are at risk of negative impacts due to our business activities.
For potential risks, we are taking appropriate measures to mitigate them. For actual human rights impacts, we are working to resolve the issues by removing the negative impacts and taking appropriate remedial measures for the victims, if necessary.

Grievance Mechanism

We have established a consultation service for all stakeholders involved in our company (customers, suppliers, supply chain workers, employees, etc.), and have established a system to ensure that human rights issues related to our business activities are known and addressed.

During FY 2022, there were 6 cases of human rights violations that resulted in disciplinary actions against the responsible parties, such as harassment and other human rights violations. In each case, we investigated the facts to ensure that there was no disadvantage to the consultants, took appropriate actions in accordance with internal regulations, and measures to prevent recurrence of similar cases.
Specifically, based on actual cases, we have reviewed the content of harassment prevention training for all employees and expanded the content to include types of harassing behaviors, their impact, and case studies.

[Note]
  • *
    Consultation services are provided on a webpage that supports both Japanese and English.

Human Rights Consultation Service

We have established a consultation service to receive opinions and consultations regarding human rights from all of our stakeholders. We will immediately conduct an investigation of any problems that are pointed out to us through the consultation service. In the unlikely event that an investigation confirms the fact of a human rights violation, we have established a system to promptly provide relief to the victim, address the issues, and implement measures to prevent recurrence.

In addition, personal information, opinions, and consultation contents are strictly controlled and will not be leaked outside the company without the consent of the consultant.

If you have any inquiries or comments, please feel free to contact the following contact points.

SoftBank Human Rights Consultation Service
Phone Number 0800-888-6554 (toll free)
Hours 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m weekdays (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Japanese national holidays and New Year holidays)
[Note]
  • *
    After the consultation is received at the contact point, our representative will contact the consultant by the next business day.

Compliance Hotline

The Compliance Hotline was permanently established to all SoftBank employees (Board members, full-time employees, assigned employees, part-time employees, contract employees, temporary employees) as a consultation service regarding compliance violations including human rights problems. In order to protect the privacy of those who are consulting with the hotline, anonymous consultations are also supported.

Details to Compliance Hotline

Harassment consultation service

The SoftBank Group takes reports of any kind of harassment sincerely and takes appropriate action, including fact-finding investigations, remedial measures and measures to prevent recurrence, while maintaining confidentiality to ensure that the consulter is not disadvantaged. Based on this policy, we have established a permanent consultation service for all employees (executives, regular employees, employees on loan, contract employees, temporary employees) regarding acts of harassment.

All cases reported through the consultation service will be investigated by the Human Resources Department with due consideration given to the protection of the privacy of the consulter. If a serious investigation confirms the fact of harassment, the Disciplinary Review Committee will deliberate on the punishment of the offender, and will promptly take corrective and remedial measures and implement appropriate measures to prevent recurrence. In addition, the contents of the consultation will be strictly controlled and will not be reported to any third party without the consent of the individual.

Response to customer harassment

Maintaining an appropriate working environment for employees and others at our company or subcontracted companies is extremely important for the continued provision of our services in the future.

We believe that not only maintaining good relationships with our valued customers but also protecting our employees from acts such as verbal abuse and excessive demands, and creating a work environment where they can work with peace of mind, is essential for providing better services. Therefore, we have created and published “Our Approach to Customer Harassment”.

Cooperation with stakeholders

Stakeholder dialogue

In FY2022, we held a stakeholder dialogue on the theme of “AI and Human Rights: ‘Discrimination by AI’” and Fairness. Through dialogue with experts, we have deepened our understanding of the mechanisms by which “discrimination by AI” occurs, and clarified human rights issues and points that we need to address when using AI and data in the telecommunications/IT business.
In the next fiscal year and beyond, we will continue to hold stakeholder dialogues to prevent the occurrence of human rights issues in our business by setting themes in response to changing human rights issues.

Implementation name Effective Date Speaker Description
The First Stakeholder Dialogue August 24, 2020 Keichi Ushijima, a very diligent lecturer at Tohoku University Graduate School

Communication Businesses are Respecting the Respect of the Public Service Providers

  • The current trends of human rights issues
  • Human rights risks that the company may assume
  • Ideas for our future initiatives
The Second Stakeholder Dialogue August 31, 2020 Daisuke Takahashi, Attorney at Law, Shinwa Sohgoh Law Offices

Human rights challenges posed by technological developments.

  • Impact of AI and other technologies on human rights (human rights of vulnerable groups, privacy, freedom of expression.)
  • Significance of promoting efforts to address human rights issues (human rights due diligence, grievance mechanisms)
The Third Stakeholder Dialogue February 18, 2022 Akira Hatate, Director, Japan Civil Liberties Union Understanding Foreign Workers Issues from the Ground Up - From the Perspective of Business and Human Rights
Human Rights Issues of Foreign Workers in Japan
The Fourth Stakeholder Dialogue March 15, 2023 Associate Professor Kei Narihara, Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University “AI and Human Rights: ‘Discrimination by AI’”
The mechanisms by which “discrimination by AI” occurs
Human rights issues when using AI and data in the telecommunications/IT business

Participation in international initiatives

In order to further deepen our own human rights awareness activities, we have signed the United Nations Global Compact and are exchanging opinions with like-minded companies and external stakeholders. We participate in the UN Global Compact's “Human Rights Due Diligence Workshop” and “Human Rights Education and Workshops” to engage in ongoing dialogue on human rights issues that we should recognize and address as a company.

Participation in the Tokyo Business Liaison
Council on Human-rights Enlightenment

We participate in the Tokyo Business Liaison Council on Human-rights Enlightenment, a forum that brings together 123 companies headquartered in Tokyo (with a combined workforce of some 1.5 million people). The Council spearheads a wide range of initiatives, in coordination with government agencies and business organizations, aimed at addressing social-integration and other human-rights issues from a corporate perspective.