Human Rights Initiatives

SoftBank’s human rights policies

  • 1.
    Promises with respect to human rights
    All of the executives and employees of SoftBank Corp. and its Group companies (hereinafter, “We“) contribute to the development of a sustainable society by respecting human rights in every aspect of our corporate activities.
  • 2.
    References and scope
    We strive to avoid involvement in discrimination and the violation of human rights in all services, products, and business activities in accordance with the international principles of human rights*1 while also requiring suppliers and business partners to respect and refrain from infringing on human rights under these principles.
  • 3.
    Emphasis on diversity
    We respect the diversity of the colleagues that we work with and do not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, birthplace, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation, age, disability, or illness. Opportunities shall be equal at all times, and hiring, placement, evaluation, remuneration, and promotion are conducted based on individual abilities, experience, and performance.
  • 4.
    Prohibition of forced labor and child labor
    We prohibit any and all forms of forced labor and human trafficking as well as child labor and undertake the revision and eradication of labor practices which violate human rights.
  • 5.
    Respect for the freedom of association and the exercise of the right to collective bargaining
    We respect the right to form labor unions based on the wishes of individual employees as well as the right to choose whether or not to participate, and we affirm the exercise of effective collective bargaining rights. The company shall negotiate in good faith through constructive dialog with labor representatives.
  • 6.
    Benefits and wages
    We endeavor to comply with applicable laws regarding wages, working hours, overtime, and benefits. In addition, we endeavor to reduce excessive working hours which are not limited to legal compliance and provide employees with remuneration that exceeds living wages and is competitive when compared with other labor markets in the region and industry.
  • 7.
    Employee safety and health preservation
    We comply with the laws, regulations, and rules concerning safety and health while providing a sound and intelligent working environment and maintain such compliance through implementing the appropriate measures for health risks.
  • 8.
    Freedom of expression and the protection of privacy
    We recognize the freedom of expression and the protection of privacy in telecommunications and the Internet and communications on social media and take the utmost care not to infringe on such rights. In addition, we serve all customers in a fair and equitable manner while providing reliable and highly convenient services.
  • 9.
    Initiatives and systems directed at the respect of human rights
    We construct mechanisms for effective countermeasures to prevent the violation of human rights by establishing the appropriate reporting point of contact. In order to evaluate the impact of business activities on human rights, we carry out human rights due diligence, continuously monitor the impact, and report to the appropriate parties. In the unlikely event that business activities should have a negative impact on human rights, we shall respond appropriately using fair and equitable remedial actions to mitigate and resolve such effects.
  • 10.
    The promotion of this charter is under the jurisdiction of the human rights committee which includes the Chief Executive Officer, and the contents of the charter shall be disseminated to all executives, employees, and external stakeholders through the proactive promotion of activities concerning the awareness of human rights.
  1. *1
    Refers to the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” “Children’s Rights and Business Principles,” and the “Eight Fundamental ILO Conventions.”

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. In addition to prohibiting all discrimination and harassment based on age, gender, nationality, and disability, we engage in proactive initiatives aimed at promoting diversity which enables diverse human resources to display their individuality and abilities.

Promotion system

Under the “SoftBank Human Rights Policy” approach approved by the Board of Directors, SoftBank Corp.’s activities to promote human rights awareness are carried out primarily by the “Human Rights Promotion Committee” which is led by the President and Representative Director and composed of executives in charge of Consumer, Wholesale, Technology units and Finance, and General Affairs and Human Resources functions as well as the Heads of the Human Resources Division, General Affairs Division, Corporate Legal Division, and the CSR Division. This committee plans and executes human rights training for the internal development of human rights awareness, manages human rights due diligence, investigates and handles possible human rights violations which are reported to the point of contact, and other daily activities to promote human rights education within the SoftBank Corp. and among external stakeholders.

Initiatives concerning human rights problems

Human rights risk assessment

In order to identify human rights risks pertaining to all of our business activities, we are undertaking initiatives including human rights due diligence which covers the SoftBank Corp. and its Group companies as well as important suppliers. Within that process, we identify human rights risks as well as categorize and assess the impact of the identified risks. The appropriate remedial actions are carried out with respect to problems which are judged to have high risk to engage in effective problem solving. Human rights due diligence is also carried out for new businesses with continuous monitoring and other forms of mitigation applied to minimize risks.

Respect for privacy

SoftBank Corp. believes that “respect for privacy” is a human rights issue which is deeply connected to business. In providing telecommunications services, SoftBank Corp. is entrusted with the private information of customers and other parties. In order to engage in the appropriate handling of private information relating to privacy, we are engaged in efforts which include the education of all employees, enhancement of security measures, and the maintenance of internal audit systems based on the “Personal Information Protection Principles.”

Human rights educational training

In addition to establishing provisions concerning respect for human rights and prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the “SoftBank Code of Conduct,” awareness of the respect for human rights is cultivated internally by conducting human rights educational training for employees. In addition to training by level for new employees and newly appointed managers, employees at the managerial level and above receive periodic training and training at the time of appointment regarding how to handle reports and consultations concerning bullying and harassment.
In October 2019, SoftBank Corp. received the highest “Gold” rating in the “PRIDE Index”* for LGBT initiatives for three years in a row.

  1. An index formulated by the “work with Pride” (Japannese Only) voluntary association. See here for more details.

Participation in international initiatives

In order to deepen our human rights educational training, SoftBank signed the United Nations Global Compact and exchange views with companies and external stakeholders with the same goals. Under the United Nations Global Compact, we participate in human rights due diligence workshops to engage in continuous dialog about the human rights issues which companies must recognize and address.

Two consultation services

We operate two consulting services which cover all executives, permanent employees, contract employees, and dispatched employees, etc. that work at the SoftBank Group to establish a mechanism for learning about and responding to human rights problems involved in business activities without fail.

Compliance Hotline

The Compliance Hotline was permanently established 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. Furthermore, SoftBank Corp.’s hotline was verified to be in conformance with the “Guidelines for Private Enterprises Regarding the Development and Operation of Internal Reporting Systems Based on the Whistleblower Protection Act (December 9, 2016, Consumer Affairs Agency)” and was registered under the Internal Reporting Systems certification (self-declaration of compliance) of the Consumer Affairs Agency on February 28, 2020.

Harassment consultation service

A consultation service was permanently established to handle inquiries regarding acts of harassment such as sexual harassment, power harassment, and bullying which includes human rights violations.