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15 Apr 2022

Human Rights Now

Japan: Human Rights Now publishes recommendations on HRDD legislation, calling for urgent implementation of UNGPs

[ 【提言書】「指導原則の趣旨を実現する観点から 人権デューディリジェンス法制化に向けた提言書」 ] 15 April 2022

[Japanese-to-English translation: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

[...] Human rights violations related to corporate activities, particularly in supply chains, still exist. The international human rights NGO Human Rights Now has published recommendations for the legalisation of human rights due diligence in order to call for further efforts to realise the objectives of the UN Guiding Principles as soon as possible.

[「指導原則の趣旨を実現する観点から 人権デューディリジェンス法制化に向けた提言書」 ] 15 April 2022

[Japanese-to-English translation: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]


3. Issues to be addressed in the legislation

○Requirements for companies

  • Require the implementation of HRDD in line with UNGPs 17 to 21 and the establishment of a grievance mechanism in line with UNGPs 29 and 31 and the disclosure of the status of its implementation
  • Cover all human rights issues and not limited to forced labour
  • Require companies to conduct HRDD for all value chains


○Size of target companies

  • Impose legal obligations on large companies first, leaving room for the scope of obligations to be expanded through future amendments to the law. Meanwhile, when the law is enacted, provisions of endeavours should be introduced for small and medium-sized enterprises.


○Content of disclosure

  • Require comprehensive disclosure in line with UNGPs


○Mandatory stakeholder engagement

  • Require mandatory stakeholder engagement


○Enforcement and monitoring

  • Establish responsible enforcement and monitoring systems
  • Imposes fines on companies that fail to comply with disclosure obligations
  • Promote positive government initiatives facilitating corporate HRDD


○Civil liability of companies

  • Specify civil judicial remedies for companies that fail to comply with HRDD
  • Clarify that mere disclosure of HRDD does not exempt civil liability


○HRDD in public procurement

  • Government itself to conduct HRDD and exclude human rights risks from public procurement
  • Exclude companies that do not implement HRDD from public procurement


4. Management of import

In addition to making HRDD mandatory for companies as mentioned above, the Customs Act should be amended so that import bans can be imposed on goods originating from extremely serious human rights risks, such as forced labour and child labour.


Part of the following timelines

Japan: Govt. publishes HRDD guidelines after finding 1 in 5 companies have no human rights guidelines or safeguards in first national survey of corporate efforts on human rights in supply chains

Japan: Advocacy grows for mandatory human rights due diligence