Business and human rights issues have attracted vigorous debate since the surge in economic activities that extend well beyond traditional national boundaries in the 1990s. More recently in 2011, the United Nations issued its "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights" (generally referred to as the Ruggie Framework). A substantial number of companies around the world have incorporated this framework into their efforts to promote business development.
Against this backdrop, Panasonic also engages in business activities that place the utmost emphasis on respecting human rights. This emphasis extends across every facet of the Company's global business endeavors from the recruitment of personnel from around the world to the worldwide supply of a wealth of products and services in partnerships with worldwide suppliers.
Panasonic has clearly stipulated the need to respect human rights and do its best to understand, acknowledge and respect the diverse cultures, religions, mindsets, laws and regulations of people in the different countries and regions where the Company conducts its business in the Panasonic Code of Conduct. Moreover, Panasonic supports the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as well as other guidelines. The essence of these principles has also been incorporated into the Company's Code of Conduct.
Meanwhile, Panasonic consults with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011. As a member of the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), Panasonic also submits public comments regarding the ICT Sector Guidance being drafted by the European Commission. Based on these initiatives, the Company is adopting the proactive approach of accurately reflecting global trends and conditions into its management and operating activities.
In concert with its employees as well as its worldwide network of suppliers and business partners, Panasonic is looking to gain an accurate understanding of the laws and labor practices of each country. At the same time, the Company will pursue business activities while working to consistently improve labor-management relations.