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11 Oct 2022

Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch

Japan: Govt’s new HRDD guidelines should accelerate responsible supply chain of car companies sourcing for electric vehicles, says Human Rights Watch

"Japan’s New Rights Guidelines Could Help Clean Up Car Industry" 11 October 2022


Japan’s three largest carmakers – Toyota, Nissan, and Honda – all scored poorly in the 2020 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which ranks companies on their global human rights performance.

My own research has documented the human rights impact of aluminum production, a key material for electric vehicles. Mining for bauxite, the ore needed to make aluminum, has pushed impoverished farmers off their land in Guinea, West Africa and destroyed communities’ water sources.


Last year, Human Rights Watch wrote to Toyota and 11 other global car manufacturers about their links to human rights abuses in their aluminum supply chains. In response to our letter, Toyota referred us to their responsible sourcing standards but would not comment on “individual transactions in the supply chain.” That was unlike eight other car companies who met with us to discuss our research. At least four have since pressured their suppliers to improve.

Toyota is one of the world’s largest automakers and, like its fellow carmakers in Japan, could have a major impact on the protection of human rights and the environment if they choose to do so. Japan’s new business and human rights guidelines should be all the fuel carmakers need to speed up their respect for human rights.