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Respect for Human Rights

Last Updated: 2024.03.22
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Fast Retailing Group Human Rights Policy

As a company with operations around the world, Fast Retailing has established the Fast Retailing Human Rights Policy in accordance with international standards including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), and promotes initiatives to respect human rights, particularly as they apply to employees, our supply chain, and customers, where our business has significant impact. This policy applies to all employees of the Fast Retailing Group. We also continually urge our production and business partners to cooperate and adopt similar policies to respect human rights.

Our code of conduct and guideline on conduct ensure compliance with the Human Rights Policy. See links below.

Governance (Human Rights Committee)

Fast Retailing established a Human Rights Committee to promote initiatives aimed at respecting human rights. We appointed an outside expert, who has experience working as the head of the Human Rights Bureau in the Ministry of Justice in Japan, to head the committee, and the committee members are made up of outside directors of the board and auditors, along with Fast Retailing full-time auditors and executive officers in charge of the Legal and Compliance Department, Human Resources Department, Production Sales Department, and Sustainability Department. See Composition of Committees for more about committee membership and roles.
The role of the Human Rights Committee is to provide advice, recommendations and supervision to the business divisions to ensure that we fulfill our obligations to respect human rights based on the Human Rights Policy, and that business operations are conducted appropriately. For example, based on the report from our department which implements sustainability measures, the committee provides advice and supervision regarding education and awareness-raising activities on human rights protection, human rights due diligence activities, and investigations and remedial action of human rights violations reported to the hotline by any stakeholder.

During fiscal 2023, the Human Rights Committee held six meetings with the main agenda as follows:

  • Employee human rights due diligence: Reported human rights survey results. This included employee voices obtained through surveys conducted in our Philippines and Japan businesses, and five production offices, and was followed up with countermeasure planning.
  • Human rights due diligence at partner factories:
    • - Discussed the results of a survey on the current situation of the technical intern trainees in Japan and the company's response to the identified issues.
    • - In addition to garment factories and fabric mills, third-party audits were conducted for cotton spinning mills, and the results and counter measures were reported and discussed.
  • Human rights due diligence at non-factory business partners: Discussed the framework for human rights due diligence in the logistic area (aiming for due diligence at the same level as production in the future)
  • Respect for customers' human rights: Discussed measures to strengthen internal checking systems to ensure that FR product design and marketing do not have a negative impact from human rights perspectives.
  • Response to customer harassment: Discussed global measures against situations where customer service dynamics are exploited. This includes scenarios where staff members are subjected to unreasonable demands, or harassment from customers.

Fast Retailing established a Risk Management Committee to complement the effective functioning of the Board of Directors. The Risk Management Committee is responsible for the central management of group-wide risks. The Committee has recognized human rights related risks as one of the group-wide risks. The executive officer in charge of Sustainability is a member of the Risk Management Committee, in charge of human rights.
The Board of Auditors also receives reports and monitors the efforts to respect human rights as appropriate.

Related Links

Human Rights Education

Human Rights Education for Employees

Fast Retailing promotes human rights education to deepen the understanding of the respect for and protection of human rights among its employees. The Fast Retailing Group Code of Conduct covers fundamental matters concerning human rights, and each year we utilize e-learning to widely disseminate this information so that all employees can gain a deeper understanding of these issues.

Our target is to provide the human rights training to all group company employees. We conduct training on harassment every year via e-learning for management, including store managers, in Japan.

Human Rights Training for Executive Officers and Officers Responsible for Global Operations

In July 2023, a training session on discrimination and harassment was conducted for executive officers and officers responsible for global operations. The session introduced human rights due diligence outcomes and behaviors that could be considered discrimination or harassment. This was followed by discussions and a Q&A session that deepened participant understanding of human rights issues that could occur in the apparel industry.

Training on Human Rights on Product Design and Marketing Activities

Using concrete examples of human rights violations, we regularly conduct training on respecting human rights in product design, product development, marketing and advertising for employees in charge of those areas in Japan and other countries and regions.

Training for Production Partners

We also provide regular training for our production partners to ensure their proper understanding of our "Code of Conduct for Production Partners" and the latest working environment standards.

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Human Rights Due Diligence

To ensure respect for the human rights of those affected throughout our business and supply chain, we continuously conduct human rights due diligence in accordance with the UNGP. Through human rights due diligence and stakeholder engagement, we also assess and respond to risks associated with new transactions and entry into new countries and regions of operation.

Human Rights Due Diligence Process

Human Rights Due Diligence Process


As a global retailing company, Fast Retailing has a large team of employees of varying backgrounds. We also have an increasingly diverse set of customers around the world who enjoy our products and services, with whom we communicate regularly.

As we continue to grow our business internationally, issues such as harassment and discrimination present as potential Human Rights risks. Fast Retailing commissioned external experts to conduct an independent risk assessment in fiscal 2019, which confirmed that these issues represent a risk to our business. Accordingly, we have put measures in place to safeguard the rights of all stakeholders, proactively working to prevent any kind of harassment or discrimination occurring in our business. For example, we provide employee training, evaluate employee approaches, conduct an employee human rights survey, and have implemented anonymous employee hotlines worldwide. We continue to pursue various other preventive measures.

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Supply Chain

Our business carries a risk that workers operating outside our own company, but connected to our supply chain, may be vulnerable due to economic or social factors in locations where we have manufacturing bases. We identify human rights issues through dialogue and partnerships with international organizations, groups and individuals with deep knowledge and experience of the issues, as well as through monitoring factories and operating anonymous hotlines. Human rights issues that pose a particularly high risk of occurrence include child labor, unethical recruitment practices of migrant workers, forced labor, oppression and harassment, discrimination, serious safety and health deficiencies, serious violations of freedom of association, insufficient wage payments, and long working hours. We assess the severity and likelihood of occurrence of each issue, strengthen working environment monitoring and grievance mechanisms, and collaborate with expert organizations to prevent issues before they occur and to respond appropriately if they do arise.

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Fast Retailing respects the human rights of customers in all locations where we conduct our business. In addition to respecting the privacy of customers, protecting their personal information, and ensuring the dissemination of information on product safety and other issues, our human rights policy stipulates that we do not discriminate in any way in our product design, marketing and advertising activities, and that we do not use expressions* with potential for negative impact, such as violating children's rights or impeding their healthy development. We prevent and address these issues through information security and personal information protection initiatives, product quality and safety management, human rights training and use of checklists and case studies regarding product design, marketing and advertising activities, and responses to customer requests through customer centers in each market and region.

*These include expressions that may cause a sense of fear or anxiety, expressions that are reminiscent of discrimination or bullying, expressions that promote stereotypes about gender or other issues, and excessive sexual expressions.

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Hotlines and Remedial Measures

We have set up a hotline in the locations in which we operate not only for employees, but also for all stakeholders including customers, local communities, business partners* and people working in core partner sewing factories and fabric manufacturers. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and can be used anonymously in local languages. When a report is received, the department in charge of the hotline conducts an investigation, and considers remedial measures. Serious matters are brought up to the Human Rights Committee, which discusses remedial measures to be taken and provides recommendations to related departments. Throughout the course of each hotline case, we protect the privacy of, and prohibit retaliation against individuals involved, including legal action, dismissal, and violence. We prohibit any discriminatory treatment, including requiring individuals involved to waive their legal right to file a complaint through judicial or non-judicial processes. Also, we do not obstruct affected stakeholders to access to other remedies and we are open to collaboration that provides remedy.

Fast Retailing's Hotlines

Human Rights Hotline and Remedial Measures
*The hotline for business partners is setup in Japan only.

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Our promise to Society

Fast Retailing is committed to acting with integrity in all of its business activities, complying with national and regional laws regarding work environments and human rights. We have published statements based on the following laws and regulations.

  • California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657)
  • UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015
  • French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law (Law No. 2017-399)
  • Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018

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