Respect for Human Rights

Initiatives at Eisai

Eisai established the Charter of Business Conduct as our global code for conducting business activities, to enable us to realize our corporate philosophy of human health care (hhc). The Charter of Business Conduct states that we must respect human rights wherever we do business. In March 2019, we enacted our Human Rights Policy to complement the Charter of Business Conduct and to show Eisai's specific policies that underpin our corporate responsibility for respecting human rights.

Human Rights Policy

In the international community, more than ever, companies are being required to commit deeply and contribute to respecting human rights. In October 2018, we launched a cross-organizational human rights project team consisting of representation from multiple Eisai business departments. The team’s purpose was to formulate our Human Rights Policy and advance our human rights practices in line with international standards. The process for formulating this policy included deepening the project team’s knowledge of international human rights standards required of global companies, examining and analyzing our actual and potential risks regarding human rights, and consulting with outside experts. The policy was approved by the Executive Committee, which is the highest decision-making body for business execution, and gained the consent of the Board of Directors.

As stated in the policy, Eisai is committed to respecting human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We also support the ten principles required of United Nations (UN) Global Compact signatory companies. Furthermore, we have stated in the policy that we will carry out due diligence based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We also state our compliance expectations for business partners, including suppliers.

Eisai Human Rights Policy

Governance System

Our cross-organizational “Business and Human Rights Promotion Working Group” coordinates activities related to our Human Rights Policy. The working group is led by a project secretariat, which includes representation from the Policy, Advocacy & Sustainability Department, General Affairs and Environmental & Safety Department, Talent Innovation Head Quarters, and Corporate Compliance and Risk Management Department. The working group reports to the “Business and Human Rights Steering Committee”, consisting of the Chief Talent Officer, who is responsible for the implementation and management of the Human Rights Policy, as well as the Chief Compliance Officer and the Vice President of Corporate Affairs.

In 1980, we established the Human Rights Awareness Committee within Eisai, which mainly deals with raising awareness activities to eliminate various kinds of discrimination and harassment at work places in Japan. The “Business and Human Rights” Steering Committee is a newly established committee that focuses on global human rights responses and human rights due diligence enforcement based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Human Rights Due Diligence

In fiscal 2018, we conducted a human rights risk assessment to identify high priority human rights issues relevant to our business. Human rights issues were assessed based on magnitude of potential impact and likelihood, through analyzing case studies from the pharmaceutical industry to date. This analysis highlighted which human rights issues could present the most material risk to our business, namely: access to medicines; human rights of patients; human rights of clinical trial participants; product safety and quality; human rights related to business partners including suppliers; and ethical marketing.
For each of these six priority issues, we conducted a gap analysis between how these issues are currently managed internally and globally leading practices, to identify priority opportunities for improvement.
Going forward, we will prioritize action towards these six higher-risk issues, including implementing measures to prevent or mitigate negative impacts, tracking our progress, and disclosing results. As a goal for fiscal 2019, we plan to hold internal training on the Human Rights Policy and on managing human rights risks in the supply chain.

Education and Training

Our Human Rights Awareness Committee, which is chaired by the Chief Talent Officer, has approved the plans in fiscal 2018 that guide our internal awareness raising activities, including human rights training for Eisai Network Companies (ENW) in Japan, e-learning, an e-newsletter related to human rights called “Human Rights Plaza”, and an employee engagement program calling for slogan submissions for internal human rights messaging.

 In fiscal 2018, a total of 5,432 people attended 34 human rights training sessions across ENW in Japan. Key themes included:  

  • Maintaining a corporate culture that does not allow discrimination or other unfair treatment based on race, gender, age, physical and mental disability, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other status;

  • Maintaining a corporate culture that respects freedom, equality and dignity; and

  • International standards of human rights.

Our goal is to establish respect for human rights as a core part of our corporate culture and to fully meet our corporate social responsibility.

As the next step, we will focus on how best to expand training and e-learning to disseminate human rights policies and global human rights trend across ENW in Japan and also internationally.

UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

To comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, which came into force in the United Kingdom, Eisai Europe Ltd. released the following statement in July 2018:

Eisai's Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Human Rights in the Supply Chain

Under Eisai’s “Code of Conduct for Business Partners,” business partners are required to respect all internationally recognized human rights. The Code of Conduct also states that Eisai will not tolerate the use by business partners or their supply chains of child labor, forced and compulsory labor, human trafficking, slavery and any behavior that does not maintain human dignity and respect.

We conducted a questionnaire survey of the status of compliance with the Code of Conduct among major primary suppliers of products procured by domestic plants in Japan. In 2018, the survey was conducted among 135 major suppliers, and responses were collected from 111 companies. According to the analysis of the questionnaire, there were no suppliers who were particularly at risk in terms of human rights. Currently, we are considering other initiatives such as establishing a supply chain management system for human rights overseas and carrying out supplier risk assessments.


We believe it is essential to also externally raise awareness and understanding of human rights as a global issue, and therefore participate in several initiatives, such as our membership at the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo. As a member company, we proactively take part in meetings*1, lectures*2, events*3 and other initiatives to discuss global trends, issues and topics. In addition, we joined the Global Compact Network Japan, through which we participate in human rights-related subcommittee activities. This enables us to keep updated on the latest global trends in human rights, and acquire know-how regarding human rights due diligence and leading practices for promoting respect for human rights throughout the company.

  • *1
    General Assembly of International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism Japan Committee (IMADRA JC) and Universal Declaration of Human Rights Commemorative Gathering in Tokyo
  • *2
    Human Rights Seminar, Human Rights Awareness Top Layer Workshop
  • *3
    Human Rights Festa Tokyo