Respect for Human Rights

Concept of Human Rights

Eisai established the Charter of Business Conduct as our global code for conducting business activities, 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.

We enacted Eisai 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. We will fulfill our human rights responsibilities in accordance with our Human Rights Policy.

Human Rights Policy and Our Commitment

The Human Rights Policy was formulated based on the internationally recognized international norms on human rights * and was issued in March 2020 after the approval of the Executive Committee, which is the highest decision-making body for business execution, and the consent of the Board of Directors. As stated in the policy, we are committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights, supporting the 10 Principles as a member of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, and implementing initiatives in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We also require all business partners, including suppliers, to respect human rights in line with this Policy.

 * The international norms on human rights:

- International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
- ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Eisai Human Rights Policy

Governance System

We have established a cross-organizational "Business and Human Rights" project in order to carry out activities that respect human rights based on the Human Rights Policy. This project consists of a working group that practice activities in each organization and the project secretariat that leads those activities. The project secretariat includes representation from the 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, the Vice President of General Affairs and Environmental & Safety, and the Vice President of Stakeholder Communications.

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. The Business and Human Rights project and the Human Rights Awareness Committee are working together to promote human rights efforts.

Human Rights Due Diligence

In accordance with the human rights policy, we perform human rights due diligence for major stakeholders related to our business such as "patients and consumers (including clinical trial participants)", "business partners (business partners including suppliers)" and "employees". Human rights issues for these key stakeholders 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.
The identified eight significant human rights-related areas are access to medicines, human rights of patients, human rights of clinical trial participants, product safety and quality, ethical marketing, health and safety of employees, workplace environment, and human rights of business partners including suppliers.

The Human Rights project team works with the Human Rights Awareness Committee to assess these key issues, prioritize these issues, identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. For our stakeholders, we are addressing these challenges as follows:

Human rights of patients and consumers:
We recognize that improving “access to medicines” in developing countries is an important issue to be addressed, and we are continuously committed to it. In addition, we provided support for Covid-19 infection control in developing countries in order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on access to medicines.

Human rights of clinical trial participants:
Clinical trials are an indispensable process for assessing the safety and efficacy of new drugs and delivering superior novel drugs to the world. It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to respect the human rights of those who participate in such clinical trials and give the utmost consideration to safety. Therefore, before we begin clinical trials, we perform due diligence to identify all possible potential safety risks and take measures for them in advance. We strictly adhere to compliance and ethics based on the guidelines of ICH (International Council for Harmonization of Pharmaceutical Regulations) and regulatory authorities in each country. In addition, in all clinical trials, it is stipulated as a guideline to comply with regulations such as ICH-GCP (Good Clinical Practice) and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and to carry out activities with high ethical standards. In particular, when conducting the first clinical trial in human, we have established a system in which a committee independent of the new drug development project evaluates the entire proposed clinical trial in advance. The committee evaluates the clinical trial implementation plan, the clinical trial implementation system, and the quality of investigational drugs and risk management from an ethical and scientific point of view, and decides whether or not to conduct clinical trials of new drugs.

Human rights of employees:
We continue to work on respect for diversity, prohibition of all discrimination regarding race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, prevention of harassment, facilitation of the participation and advancement of female employees in the workplace, and development of work environment and systems for decent work. In addition, we respect the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and we continue to hold labor-management consultations with the labor union and work in concert to resolve a wide range of issues between labor and management. Since Covid-19 was a major risk factor for employee health in fiscal 2020, we focused on measures to prevent Covid-19 infection in order to maintain employee health.

Human rights of business partners:
We have created "Code of Conducts for Business Partners" that summarizes sustainability-related matters that we would like our business partners to comply with. Human rights-related items in the Code of Conduct require business partners to prohibit forced labor and child labor, provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment, respect freedom of association, comply with regulations on working hours and minimum wage, and provide a safe and healthy working environment. The process of action is introduced in the "Human Rights in the Supply Chain" section.

The table below summarizes the risks identified and the actions in fiscal 2020.

Initiatives for human rights issues for major stakeholders in fiscal 2020

*You can scroll to the left or right here

StakeholdersPriority IssuesActions

Patients and consumers

・Covid-19 infection prevention

・Improving access to medicines*2

- Supporting activities by providing in-house products, protective equipment, and funding to NPOs, local governments, and medical institutions that respond to the spread of infection in Japan and overseas

- Provision of protective equipment to the African region for the resumption of mass drug administration to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

- Provision of DEC tablets to lymphatic filariasis endemic countries and disease awareness activities*1

- Continued participation in Access Accelerated, IFPMA's global initiative to improve access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries


・Covid-19 infection prevention

・Harassment prevention

・Promotion of health maintenance and improvement activities*3

・Labor-management cooperation

- Recommendation of remote work and off-peak commuting

- Compliance training

- Monitoring and correction of long working hours, achievement of smoking cessation at all offices, 100% medical checkups, improvement of health literacy

- Certification of Eisai as an Outstanding Health and Productivity Management Organization in the large enterprise category for the fourth consecutive year in 2021 (White 500)

- Continuous labor-management consultations meeting (16 times in fiscal 2020)


Respect for human rights in the supply chain

- Development of the Supplier Code of Conduct "Code of Conduct for Business Partners" (revised edition)

- Evaluation of the sustainability of business partners using the EcoVadis platform*4 and strengthened engagement with business partners by providing feedback on the results.

Education and Training

We believe that respect for human rights must be firmly established as a corporate culture in order to fulfill our corporate responsibility for respecting human rights.
In fiscal 2020, the following education and training activities were carried out to promote respect for human rights.

  • Implemented the second "business and human rights" e-learning for employees
  • Implemented human rights awareness training for employees

  • Implemented human rights awareness stratified training for new employees and newly appointed organizational managers
  • Distributed "Human Rights Plaza" electronically
  • Solicited entries for human rights slogan

Eisai has focused on human rights awareness training in order to implement business activities thoroughly based on respect for human rights. With the aim of understanding and practicing the "Eisai Human Rights Policy," in this fiscal year, we conducted human rights awareness training using Webinar for domestic ENW employees, and 5,145 people participated. In addition, as measures to prevent harassment, we conducted e-learning and compliance training. We are also incorporating human rights training into our stratified training programs for new employees and newly appointed organizational managers.

Eisai’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

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 May 2021: 

Eisai's Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Human Rights in the Supply Chain

Child labor, forced labor and human trafficking in the supply chain are recognized as important human rights risks internationally. In order to examine the possibility that the purchase of raw materials for pharmaceutical products has an indirect negative impact on human rights, we conduct risk assessment of the purchased raw materials from the perspective of the geographical location and the industry of the country of origin. Currently, we are proceeding with risk assessment for pharmaceutical additives such as carbauna wax, which are purchased in small quantities but are native to developing countries.

In terms of business relationships, we ask our business partners to comply with the "Code of Conduct for Business Partners" and require the same respect for human rights as we do. Risk assessments regarding human rights and labor, safety and health at our business partners are managed by implementing sustainable procurement.

In fiscal 2018, we conducted a written survey of the compliance status of the "Code of Conduct for Business Partners" for Tier-1 suppliers of raw materials for domestic factories. 111 of 135 major primary suppliers responded to the survey. From the analysis of the survey, no supplier was found to have any particular human rights risks.

In fiscal 2019, we launched a sustainable procurement project. This project is responsible for assessing overall sustainability, including human rights and labor, in the supply chain. For the sustainability evaluation of our business partners, we adopted the EcoVadis platform from the viewpoint of objectivity of evaluation and suitability for continuous monitoring.

In fiscal 2020, we held the first business partner briefing session to explain our policy on human rights and sustainability, and we requested suppliers to submit an agreement to the Code of Conduct for Business Partners. We received consent from 43 of the 44 domestic manufacturing suppliers of important direct materials that participated in the briefing. We conduct individual interviews with business partners who do not meet the standards set by us in the evaluation score on the EcoVadis platform, and mutually confirm items to be improved. We had a meeting with a company that was judged to be at high risk in terms of labor and human rights scores, but confirmed that improvement measures had already been completed. No significant human rights risk such as forced labor or child labor was found in any company assessed.


In order to collect the latest information on human rights issues in Japan and overseas, share information on human rights issues among companies, and solve the issues, we believe that it is important for us to cooperate with other companies and work with human rights NPOs and human rights NGOs. Eisai participates in several initiatives, such as our membership at the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo. As a member company, we actively 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 NPOs, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), the Global Compact Network Japan and PSCI (Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative) through which we participate in several seminars and 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