Respect for human rights

Basic Ideas about Human Rights

Since its founding, The CITIZEN Group has aimed to contribute broadly to the lives of people around the world through our business activities based on our corporate philosophy, “Loved by Citizens, Working for Citizens.” As a member of a company that operates both domestically and internationally, we have been supporting, respecting, and implementing the 10 principles proposed by the United Nations regarding human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption since signing the "United Nations Global Compact" in 2005. Article 4 of The CITIZEN Group Code of Conduct sets forth the basic policy of "respecting human rights and diversity and creating safe and comfortable workplaces." In accordance with this, we have established guidelines for respecting human rights, creating a good workplace, and ensuring health and safety in the workplace, and we work with our business partners to fulfill our responsibility to respect human rights.

Establishment of The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Policy

The CITIZEN Group Code of Conduct, which serves as the basis of the Group employees’ activities, has also been expanded to include suppliers' activities, calling for business activities based on respect for employees' human rights. We have also been active in promoting awareness of human rights. With the start of the Mid-Term Management Plan 2021 in April 2019, we have reiterated the Group's stance on respect for human rights by formulating The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Policy, in addition to the company-wide challenge of sustainable management and achieving the SDGs through our business activities.

This policy commits The CITIZEN Group to respect the dignity and rights of all stakeholders with whom it conducts business, and to not be complicit in human rights abuses and to take prompt action to remedy and correct any negative impact on human rights.

In conjunction with the formulation of The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Policy, in 2019, we also announced the Statement on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking and The CITIZEN Group Conflict Minerals Response Policy (revised in January 2021 as The CITIZEN Group Responsible Mineral Procurement Policy) to share awareness of human rights issues and clarify our proactive stance as a global company in addressing these issues.

The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Policy (Established April 1, 2019)

  1. Fundamental Policy on Human Rights

    The CITIZEN Group supports and maintains international norms relating to human rights. These include the International Bill of Human Rights (International Covenants on Human Rights/Universal Declaration of Human Rights/International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights/International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), which describe the fundamental human rights that should apply to people across the world. They also include fundamental rights relating to labor as outlined by the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (including freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, the effective abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation). These policies have also been formulated based upon the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    The CITIZEN Group ensures that its business activities conform with the laws and regulations of the respective countries and regions in which it operates. If there are inconsistencies between internationally recognized human rights and the laws/regulations of individual countries or regions, the Group pursues methods that fundamentally respect international human rights.

  2. Applicable Boundaries

    This policy applies to all executives and employees of The CITIZEN Group. The CITIZEN Group also expects that all business partners related to its products and services conform to these policies.

  3. Respecting Human Rights throughout our Business Operations

    The CITIZEN Group respects the dignity and rights of all people. It works to ensure that fundamental human rights are maintained and respected throughout its business operations, and that it does not contribute to infringing on these rights. The Group ensures that these rights continue to be respected through its responses to any negative effects on human rights uncovered in the Group’s operations. The Group ensures that progress is made with its efforts to respect human rights by following the policies and guidelines it has created for the various fields it operates in. If the Group determines that its business operations are having a negative influence on human rights, it takes responsibility by both implementing remedial measures to resolve these issues and making appropriate corrective responses.

    • * Individuals in Charge
      The CITIZEN Group ensures that there is clarity regarding which executives are responsible for executing these policies, and monitors the status of their implementation.
    • * Human Rights Due Diligence
      Through its efforts towards due diligence, The CITIZEN Group aims to identify any negative influences on human rights it might have, and prevent and/or mitigate their effects.
    • * Education/Training
      The CITIZEN Group has implemented all required administrative procedures to ensure that the policy becomes incorporated throughout its business operations. It also provides appropriate education and training to both executives and employees, thus ensuring that the policies are fully understood and effectively implemented.
    • * Employment and Labor
      • (Prohibition of Forced/Child Labor)
        As defined by local laws and regulations, The CITIZEN Group does not employ children who are younger than the legally required working age. In the same way, it does not allow forced labor. The Group also requires its business partners and suppliers to follow these practices.
      • (Positive Employer-Employee Relationships)
        The CITIZEN Group promises to respect the freedom to form unions and the recognition of collective bargaining rights.
      • (Elimination of Discrimination)
        The CITIZEN Group works to ensure equal opportunities for employment, job placement, advancement, and skills development.
    • * Dialogues / Consultations
      The CITIZEN Group will consult with relevant stakeholders regarding its response to potential and actual impacts on human rights.
    • * Remedies
      If it is found that The CITIZEN Group has had a negative effect on human rights, or has contributed to such an effect in some manner, the Group will work to implement proper and effective corrective measures and remedies by taking necessary actions both inside and outside the Group.
    • * Disclosure of Information
      The CITIZEN Group reports on its human rights efforts through both its website and CSR report.
President and Representative Director
Toshihiko Sato

Statement Regarding Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

This statement was created in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. It describes that CITIZEN Group (CITIZEN WATCH Co., Ltd. and its Group companies) strives not to infringe on human rights or be complicit in human rights abuses through both its businesses and supply chain, and is committed to the elimination of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Respect System

In 2019, the Group Human Resources Committee, chaired by the director in charge of human resources at CITIZEN WATCH, was established under the Sustainability Committee as a central organization to ensure respect for human rights. Human resources departments in each domestic group company participate in this committee as committee members, and they share decisions on measures concerning respect for human rights for the entire group as well as the status of initiatives at each company. Committee decisions are reported to the Board of Directors through the Sustainability Committee as part of the Group Materiality Policy.

The Human Resources Department of CITIZEN WATCH serves as the secretariat for group-wide efforts to respect human rights. Departments in charge of human resources at each group company in Japan are responsible for the deployment of decisions made by the Group Human Resources Committee and for respecting human rights and responding to risks in the course of business activities. For deployment to overseas offices, the Human Resources Department and the CSR Department work together to disseminate decisions made by the Human Resources Committee, etc.

Group HR Committee Organizational Chart

Respect for Human Rights / Human Rights Due Diligence Initiatives

The CITIZEN Group is developing communication activities and training measures to inform and disseminate various policies and regulations to employees and suppliers to ensure respect for the human rights of all stakeholders related to our business activities. Regarding human rights due diligence, we conduct awareness surveys of employees of domestic group companies to identify human rights risks. We also utilize an internal reporting system (including a "Speak Up" system) to receive reports, consultations, opinions, and suggestions regarding human rights issues from employees, and we use this system to address risks and prevent them from occurring. For suppliers, we ensure that they are aware of risk identification and human rights compliance through responses to the SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire) based on the Group CSR Procurement Guidelines.

The CITIZEN Group, as a member of the international community, fulfills its responsibility to resolve human rights issues by disclosing the "Statement Regarding Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking" at the beginning of each year, since it has a company covered by the UK Modern Slavery Act. For foreign employees, we implement CSR human rights survey checklists translated into their native languages and conduct interviews, etc., to investigate human rights risks in the workplace environment at each Group company.

The CITIZEN Group’s Value Chain and Stakeholders

Progress on the Roadmap on Respect for Human Rights

Fostering Awareness of and Respect for Human Rights

In FY2022, we continued to promote awareness of human rights through e-learning training for Group employees in Japan, as in the previous fiscal year. The participation rate was 99.6% (average of 11 Group companies), up 0.6 percentage points from the previous year. In FY2023, we plan to conduct an e-learning program on the basics of human rights and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We also designated December as “The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Month” and deepened the understanding of human rights by introducing the activities of the Group Human Resources Committee in the company newsletter and by holding a "Human Rights Panel Exhibition" at domestic group companies and overseas offices in Europe, America, and Australia to introduce our human rights policies and the contents of the full range of the 30 principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In FY2023, we will expand awareness-raising activities to other overseas Group companies.

Articles on human rights are published in the company newsletter to publicize the issue.
Human Rights Roadmap

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  FY2022 FY2023 FY2024 FY2030
  • Establishment of human rights due diligence (identification of negatives - formulation of goals and plans), compliance with labor-related laws and regulations, and dissemination of the Basic Health and Safety Policy.
  • Establishment of human rights due diligence (goals, plans, operation, and monitoring), compliance with labor-related laws and regulations, and dissemination of the Basic Health and Safety Policy.
  • Compliance with the Group's human rights policy (monitoring and redress process), compliance with labor-related laws and regulations, and establishment of the Basic Health and Safety Policy.
  • 100% participation rate in human rights e-learning
  • Compliance with laws and regulations regarding overtime and annual paid leave
  • 100% participation rate in human rights e-learning
  • Compliance with laws and regulations regarding overtime and annual paid leave
  • Reduce the rate of work-related lost-time injuries by at least 50% of the FY2019 actual rate
  • Compliance with laws and regulations regarding the treatment of regular/non-regular employees
  • Establishment of human rights due diligence at overseas sites
  • Zero lost-time injuries from work
  • Promotion of “The CITIZEN Group Human Rights Month” and "Human Rights Panel Exhibition"
  • Implementation of a human rights e-learning program
  • Plan to follow human rights due diligence process at domestic sites
  • Legal compliance monitoring
  • Promoting awareness of the Basic Health and Safety Policy (Japan)
  • Implementation of a human rights e-learning program
  • Plan to follow human rights due diligence process at domestic sites
  • Legal compliance monitoring
  • Promoting awareness of the Basic Health and Safety Policy (Japan)
  • Continuation of activities to disseminate the Basic Health and Safety Policy at domestic and overseas bases
  • Monitoring and legal compliance
  • Promoting awareness of the Basic Health and Safety Policy
  • Establishment of consultation services for employees at all locations
  • Improving the human rights due diligence process
  • Monitoring and legal compliance
  • Continuation of activities based on the Basic Health and Safety Policy

Efforts to Build Human Rights Due Diligence

Cycle to identify negative impacts

In FY2021, we embarked on operationalizing human rights due diligence, primarily centered on identifying potential adverse impacts on human rights. This encompassed the comprehensive process of data collection and risk analysis.

Guided by the Human Rights Due Diligence Questionnaire, comprising 22 key components, and meticulously aligned with the ILO Declaration*1 and UN Global Compact standards, we successfully executed human rights risk assessments across our operational spectrum. This initiative encompassed 14 domestic companies, including Group affiliates, as well as 41 overseas entities—comprising 12 production sites within Group overseas affiliates and 29 sales companies.

While the survey results yielded no significant human rights issues either in Japan or overseas, they were instrumental in highlighting potential forthcoming risks. These encompassed areas such as harassment, disparities in treatment based on gender and age, potential overworking risks, employment stability, occupational health and safety, and collective bargaining. These emergent concerns were duly reported to the Sustainability Committee for further evaluation.

FY2022 witnessed the application of the PRIDE Index—an evaluative gauge for assessing LGBTQ*2 and other sexual minority inclusive workplace practices. This involved conducting a field survey to identify challenges and evaluate the status of relevant initiatives at CITIZEN WATCH.

Looking forward to FY2023, our resolve to enhance the working environment remains unwavering. We are slated to execute human rights seminars and foster one-on-one dialogues with management staff. These measures are devised to proactively alleviate potential risks and foster a more inclusive and equitable working atmosphere.

In addition, we regularly conduct supplier questionnaires and employee awareness surveys. When a risk case falls under a human rights-related item on the 360-degree feedback form, we interview the subject person and make the required improvements.

Continuing our commitment to risk identification through employee reporting, we have maintained a centralized approach through The CITIZEN Group Compliance Hotline, similar to the preceding fiscal year. This platform facilitates the internal reporting of concerns by employees, ensuring a streamlined and consistent mechanism.

Furthermore, CITIZEN WATCH has proactively taken steps to enhance the work environment. This includes the establishment of a dedicated consultation desk within the Human Resources Department, specifically tailored to address issues related to harassment. This initiative aims to foster an environment where employees feel comfortable and at ease when seeking advice or reporting concerns, thereby promoting a supportive workplace culture.

During FY2022, an instance of overwork was identified within a subsidiary of the Group. In response, we have initiated a comprehensive set of corrective actions to prevent any recurrence. These measures include augmenting the workforce to ensure adequate staffing levels and the equitable distribution of responsibilities.

As we look ahead to FY2023, our commitment to preventing overwork and enhancing the work environment remains resolute. Our focus is steadfastly set on ensuring strict adherence to laws and regulations, bolstering our endeavors to foster a workplace environment that is compliant, equitable, and conducive to the well-being of our employees.

  1. ILO Declaration: Prohibition of child labor, forced labor, discrimination, freedom of association, and collective bargaining
  2. LGBTQ: Acronyms for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/ Questioning

International Human Rights Risk Initiatives

In relation to the Modern Slavery Act, in FY2019, we started self-assessments for suppliers by sending SAQs to promote initiatives to reduce the risk of human rights violations. At the same time, we also obtain opinions on The CITIZEN Group's human rights initiatives from third parties such as NGOs and experts.