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Social Challenge 7
Respect for human rights


Why it matters

Respecting human rights is an important foundation for creating a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable society, and striving to correctly understand and recognize each country and region's laws, cultures, religions, and values is the social responsibility of companies.

What can be accomplished

We will respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights in all our corporate activities. We will strive to ensure that we are not directly or indirectly involved in discrimination or other human rights violations.

Future vision

The NTT Group is making every effort to implement internal training to ensure that there are no violations of human rights. Based on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we will use the human rights due diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate, and correct any human rights issues identified on a global scale, and strive to raise awareness and management of human rights across the Group.
Human rights due diligence will be conducted throughout the entire value chain, including business partners, to ensure that the NTT Group is not indirectly involved in human rights violations.

Business Activity 22
Compliance with the NTT Group Global Human Rights Policy

Our commitment

We are committed to proactively working to eradicate human rights issues and promote work environments in which our diverse workforce can work vigorously.

Our objectives


Human rights training and attendance


Number of confirmed cases of human rights violations

Policies and Concepts

NTT is committed to respecting global human rights and believes it is an important corporate social responsibility. The NTT Group will strive to correctly understand and recognize each country and region's laws, cultures, religions, and values. We aim to create a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable society by fulfilling this responsibility.
We included parts of NTT Group's existing Human Rights Charter in the NTT Group Global Sustainability Charter, and established the NTT Group Human Rights Policy in November 2021.
The NTT Group discloses its global human rights policies both internally and externally, in addition to meeting the requirements of international laws and evaluation organizations. This policy applies to all employees and officers of the NTT Group. We also ask our suppliers and business partners to support this policy and strive to respect human rights.

Organization for Implementation

NTT is committed to supporting its Group companies in their efforts to raise awareness on human rights issues. We believe it is important for the entire NTT Group around the world to instill an understanding of respect for human rights and undertake business activities with a full awareness of human rights. Accordingly, NTT has established the Human Rights Committee, headed by a senior executive vice president, under the Executive Officers Meeting. Through this framework, we are working to heighten human rights awareness across the NTT Group and reinforce human rights management, including conducting human rights due diligence, training on human rights issues (training for officers including those at Group companies, training for all employees, etc.), and establishing and operating contact points for human rights.

NTT Group Global Human Rights Policy Preamble

NTT is committed to respecting global human rights and believes it is an important corporate social responsibility. The NTT Group will strive to correctly understand and recognize each country and region's laws, cultures, religions, and values. We aim to create a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable society by fulfilling this responsibility.
To this end, we will respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights in all our corporate activities. We will strive to ensure that we are not directly or indirectly involved in discrimination or other human rights violations. We respond appropriately when negative impacts on human rights occur. When negative impacts on human rights are done by a business partner and are linked to a product or service of the NTT Group, we also expect them to respect human rights and not to infringe on them.
To fulfill this responsibility, senior management will take the initiative to respect all stakeholders' human rights. We will review and improve business operations and other aspects as necessary from the perspective of respecting human rights and reflect this in our business activities to establish a corporate structure that respects human rights.


Group-wide Human Rights Training and Education Programs

To ensure awareness of the need to respect human rights and educate employee on expected global standards at key points in employees' careers (joining the Company, receiving promotions, etc.), we provide training on human rights issues connected to business activities. In addition, for those in the top management positions of Group companies or in other management positions, we offer programs that include lectures by outside experts on global issues in human rights. To foster awareness of human rights among employees, we issue invitations to employees and their families to submit human rights slogans, while the Board member responsible for human rights issues delivers a message to mark Global Human Rights Day.
Since fiscal 2014, the NTT Group has worked to disseminate its Human Rights Policy by sharing the content of e-learning courses with Group companies in Japan and continuously carrying out educational activities during training for all employees as well as on other occasions. During the training, we communicate the importance of respect for human rights and the significance of addressing the issue within the NTT Group.

Reviewing Our Initiatives with Human Rights Experts
Stakeholder Dialogue


In October 2019, we invited four human rights specialists and experts from three overseas organizations and one Japanese organization to share their views on the NTT Group's human rights initiatives. We received advice on the Group's overall initiatives on human rights, human rights in the ICT industry, related challenges, information disclosure, and Group-wide promotion of initiatives.

human rights specialists and experts


During the dialogue, the participants exchanged views on a broad range of topics, including the need to address privacy and human rights issues, development of a grievance mechanism and incorporation into the management system, establishment of a human rights management system linked with overseas Group companies, and the need to disclose information on these initiatives. This was our first dialogue with experts on human rights.
We renewed our awareness of the importance of promoting human rights initiatives by considering measures in response to this review and by continuously engaging in dialogue with stakeholders as we pursue these issues in the future.


Preventing Harassment

We are aiming to create a workplace environment in which each and every employee is able to perform to the best of their ability. Instances of harassment at the workplace are viewed as issues related to human rights, and acts that harm the personality or dignity of individual workers are socially unacceptable. Such acts also result in deteriorating workplace relations and adversely affect job performance, and we recognize this as a major issue. In light of this, the NTT Group Global Human Rights Policy was revised in 2021.
The NTT Group is striving to develop a corporate culture where acts of harassment are not allowed to happen and are unacceptable. While various measures have already been put in place, the types and methods of harassment have become increasingly varied in recent years. We will continue to develop a broad range of initiatives regularly toward achieving a goal of eliminating harassment.

More specifically, all employees will be provided with ongoing training in order to increase awareness for eliminating harassment. We will constantly seek to enhance employees' understanding and knowledge of harassment, and provide ways to learn how to respond to harassment.
We will also be taking other measures such as setting up contact points both within the company and externally, revising employment rules to cover the diversifying ranges of harassment, and increasing penalties for those found to be involved in harassment.
We will continue our efforts toward creating a safe and comfortable workplace free of harassment where all employees respect one another, to ensure that each and every person at the NTT Group is able to work in an energetic manner with mutual respect.

Akira Shimada

President and Chief Executive Officer,

Representative Member of the Board

Business Activity 23
Encouraging society as a whole to respect human rights

Our commitment

Working to eliminate issues related to human rights in various countries and regions.

Our objective


Ratio of direct dialogue with important suppliers

Establishment of the NTT Group Global Human Rights Policy

In its goal of achieving a sustainable world, the NTT Group is shining a spotlight on various human rights themes that exist in various countries and regions, and is highlighting its attitude toward human rights issues in value chains. To this end, we included parts of NTT Group's existing Human Rights Charter in the new NTT Group Sustainability Charter, and established the NTT Group Global Human Rights Policy in November 2021, based on principles like the International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants on Human Rights), Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.
Accordingly, an internal due diligence manual was established to ensure that effective due diligence can be conducted as part of efforts to promote respect for human rights.
This human rights policy applies to all people involved in the NTT Group value chain. The NTT Group is committed to respecting human rights throughout its business operations by proactively working with and engaging in constant dialogue with all of its partners and stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, investors, employees, local communities, business partners, other companies and industry organizations, national and local government agencies, and NGOs, NPOs, and experts. We will comply with human rights respectfully throughout our business activities while listening to and responding to changes taking place in society. To ensure that the NTT Group is not complicit in infringing human rights moving forward, we will continue to engage with stakeholders and staff in charge of human rights overseas every year, and we are always revising the human rights policy so that we can respond in the appropriate manner.

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Addressing critically important human rights issues


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Risk identification and assessment

At the NTT Group, human rights managers from domestic and overseas companies discuss and select human rights issues to be addressed by NTT and determine priority issues to be addressed each year.
We will also hold dialogue with experts to obtain advice regarding our initiatives.
In our human rights management survey in fiscal 2016 covering all Group companies in Japan and overseas, and based on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we checked up on their human rights policy, management systems and priority human rights issues. The results identified priority human rights issues for 250 of the 258 companies surveyed and indicated that 248 companies are working on specific initiatives to raise awareness about these human rights issues.
Since fiscal 2017, we have brought in external specialized institutions to implement risk assessments based on results obtained from in-house surveys. In fiscal 2017, a potential human rights impact assessment was carried out which assigned an evaluative score to the degree of negative impact of the NTT Group's businesses on the human rights of stakeholders from the perspective of "the likelihood of future human rights risks in each country" and "severity of human rights risks arising in each business." The results of this led to us identifying Asia as a priority area for tackling human rights issues and establishing 21 human rights indicators for ICT business.
In fiscal 2018, a manifest human rights impact assessment was carried out to verify the initiatives implemented in the previous fiscal year. After considering factors such as country risk for each country in Asia and impact on business, India was selected as the country to be assessed. Interviews were onducted with our local subsidiary and a local NGO that deals with human rights risk associated with specific business activities. The results of this confirmed there are currently no serious human rights issues that present a major risk to business operations. Meanwhile we identified priority issues out of the 21 human rights indicators that should be addressed in India in the future.
In fiscal 2019, we conducted a second human rights management survey following the first one in fiscal 2016 to confirm the management status of human rights contact points at each company and to set the NTT Group's human rights priorities. The survey was conducted targeting the NTT Group and our supply chain regarding the following items.
As a result, we identified "women's rights," "privacy rights," "working hours," "occupational health and safety" and "the right to organize and collective bargaining" as our top five issues and became aware of the urgent need to reconfigure management to address global human rights issues. We also held a stakeholder dialogue involving five experts from three overseas organizations (Verisk Maplecroft, World Benchmarking Alliance and Corporate Human Rights Benchmark) and one Japanese organization (Japan Research Institute) with the head of the Human Rights Office. And we received advice on the NTT Group's overall human rights initiatives, human rights in the ICT industry, related challenges, information disclosure and Groupwide promotion of initiatives.
In fiscal 2020, we held an in-house lecture for each issue with external experts from the organization, BSR. We held these lectures with the aim of fostering an understanding of the priority human rights issues we face as a united NTT Group company, including our global operations, and we also considered the reporting efforts of each company within the group. This dialog was conducted several times. We also researched the human rights management content required of us as a global ICT company, and worked with staff in charge of human rights including at global group companies to focus on particularly important issues and select four themes.
In fiscal 2021, we will continued to hold dialogues with each company in Japan and overseas to determine specific courses of action, and also establish a global standard for human rights policy.
The entire Group also focused efforts on holding direct dialogue with 40 important suppliers in particular. In addition to risk assessments conducted through direct dialogue, we recognized the need to cooperate with suppliers to implement corrective measures.
From fiscal 2022, further efforts will be made to increase supplier engagement, with steps like becoming a member of JAC (Joint Alliance for CSR) and utilizing external audits like Eco Vadis.

Promotion of "Diversity & Inclusion"

"D&I Statement"
The NTT Group has established the D&I Statement as a means of promoting Diversity Equity & Inclusion.
We will be promoting D&I in line with this statement.

Our Diversity & Inclusion

We aim to achieve sustainable growth by recognizing our differences as valuable strengths for our business.
Our society is constantly changing. We will continue to experience events globally that have an impact on our employees and the clients and communities we serve. NTT will continue to evolve its focus and programs to sustain a commitment to diversity and an inclusive culture at NTT.

Our commitments:
• We will create work environments:
- where all of us have equal opportunities
- where all of us feel encouraged to take on challenges without fear of failure
- where all of us feel included and engaged
Regardless of ethnicity, race, nationality, origin, class, religion, belief, language, culture, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, disease/health status, appearance, values, family status, lifestyle, or any other social or personal characteristics.
•With social responsibility in mind, we contribute to create a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable society through connecting precious resources such as people, the environment, and culture to the future.

Promotion of "Technology that is based on high ethical standards," which addresses both high ethical standards and technology

The NTT Group views the appropriate use of technology as a valuable way to support the future development of life, society, and the universe as a whole.
The development of technology increases the diversity and immediacy of communications, making things more efficient, and creating a safer, more comfortable lifestyle--all for a better future.
Until now, NTT has rolled out communications services and communications infrastructure on a global scale as a universal service based on its mission from both a public utility and a corporate viewpoint.
In addition to employing high ethical standards for advancing the use of technology, the norms of countries, regions and communities need to be respected for fair and appropriate implementation as well as to ensure the technology can continue to be provided for future generations.
We believe that human autonomy should be applied when seeking ways to adopt artificial intelligence(AI). The operational results of AI systems may contain bias depending on the characteristics of the data and algorithms being used. Efforts are being made to better understand those characteristics so that there are no undesirable consequences like prejudices held by people making use of AI, and we are advancing research and development to increase transparency when AI is being used.
We will continue to promote technology based on constant dialogue with all members of society and high ethical standards to ensure the development of trusted technology into the future.

Business Activity

itelligence AG develops and supplies AI tools to assist with conversations between children and counselors, when Danish child protection organization "Children's Welfare" provides counseling to children in need. This tool draws on various functions to assist the counselor based on the topics of conversations, including guidance, advice while talking, and providing useful reference information.
After the conversation, the tool can also be used to provide a statistical insight of the topics covered.

Our Approach to the Use and R&D of A

AI has been rapidly penetrating society through technological innovations such as deep learning, and it is solving everyday problems of various scales without full human awareness or understanding.
However, there have been fears that the use of AI could lead to unintended discrimination and unjustified restrictions or inducements to action. In addition, most of the long-term consequences and impact of AI behaviors still remains unknown, thus raising both expectations and anxiety. In order to answer these concerns and to embed AI more deeply and successfully into society, the NTT Group, as well as its employees and engineers (hereafter "we"), need basic principles in our approach to AI, which we should constantly be aware of and keep in mind, as a company involved in the use and R&D of AI.
Accordingly, NTT's research centers recognize six principles for using and developing AI.

  1. Enabling Sustainable Development
  2. Human Autonomy
  3. Ensuring Fairness and Openness
  4. Security
  5. Privacy
  6. Communication & Co-creation with Society


Healthy work in daily life (health management)

The NTT Group is promoting "Healthy work in daily life" for working close to home.

A diverse range of working styles is vital to ensure that a diverse range of personnel are able to harness their full potential. The NTT Group is home to diversity that cannot be defined by any single characteristic alone. As employees are drawn from an increasingly diverse pool, being accepting of others, building a relationship of trust and working together to achieve a common goal is vital in order to maintain ongoing growth of the company.

Transforming work styles helps to boost each individual employee's capabilities and provides for greater opportunities. To achieve this, we believe it is important to create a safe and secure workplace, and promote a variety of work styles suited to a diverse range of lifestyles and life events. Different to "work-life balance" that aims to separate and create a balance between work and private life, work-in-life is a concept where employees can select and design their own work style by viewing work as part of the lifestyle of each and every employee. As we work toward maximizing well-being for all, NTT will be implementing a concept of work-in-life (healthy work in daily life) by creating workplaces where employees can work energetically in good health.

Promotion of "Appropriate expression, speech, and display" in consideration of human rights

As the Internet becomes more and more widespread, the negative impact of harmful websites and slanderous content on social media targeting on young people is becoming a societal problem. One aspect of communications technology like social media is that it leads to platforms created solely based on individual's preferences or sense of values. In this context, companies are required to be more considered in their communications than ever before. The General Manager of the Sustainability Promotion Office concurrently serves as the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) and acts as a contact point for complaints of privacy violations in the company.

Specific Initiatives

DOCOMO gives careful consideration to protecting the freedom of expression and privacy rights of people communicating via the Internet, social media and digital communication devices, which are ICT industry specific issues that have been gaining more recognition by most telecommunications carriers in Europe and the U.S. With reference to the Principles of Freedom of Expression and Privacy established in 2013 by the Global Network Initiative, a global network of telecommunications companies, we take a stance to fulfill our own responsibility to respect and protect the freedom of expression and privacy of our users. This includes protecting the globally recognized rights of our users, even in situations where we need to provide customer information under special circumstances, such as a matter of national security requested by the government.

Business Activity

In February 2020, Japanese prime minister requested all schools around Japan to temporarily shut down as a way of curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus. In light of this, NTT Communications partnered with the company that developed the "Manabi Pocket" cloud-based educational platform to offer Manabi Pocket content in 11 fields of study free of charge, as its unique way of helping children in Japan to continue learning. Creating a platform that can be used by children and students during school closures provides them with learning opportunities and helps to develop a digital approach to education in the future.

NTT Communications
Beat COVID-19! "Manabi Pocket" so that children can continue learning whenever and wherever they desire

Penetration into the business

We make improvements aimed at stopping, preventing or reducing any negative effects related to human rights. We also establish common global targets for human rights issues to be addressed and promote their adoption with the NTT Group business operations.
We continued to hold dialogue with group companies in Japan through fiscal 2021, and after reassessing the situation, established globally standard targets for the way our management needs to be enhanced. We also created internal guidelines for human rights due diligence, which serve to foster a common understanding as well as outline the appropriate procedures to take.

Confirmation of viability and effectiveness

To confirm the viability and effectiveness of the measures and check progress, performance targets (KPI) have been set and will be followed up. This process will be held regularly, with sustainability liaison meetings held to check progress of viability and effectiveness.

Disclosure and evaluation

The Sustainability Committee and global conferences are held once a year to share progress and results around the world.
The details of due diligence are disclosed in "Human Rights Reports" together with reports of activities.
The NTT Group also endeavors to broadly communicate its "Business and Human Rights" initiatives.
In fiscal 2019, we shared an overview of the business and human rights activities of the NTT Group at an international conference hosted by the Caux Round Table Japan. We also reported on the results of human rights due diligence and risk assessment conducted from 2017 to 2018 as well as on how these processes are being applied across Group companies. Moreover, we expressed our intention to continue assessing risks, bolster educational programs on business and human rights, and establish an effective management system.
The conference was attended by 97 people from 54 companies and 8 organizations, including companies, NGOs, NPOs, and universities.

Dialogue with third parties

In each process, when risks are discovered, we will hold dialogues with experts and other third parties and work with everyone in the value chain to make improvements to finding a broad and fair solution.
Even now we seek advice from outside experts and other specialists to discuss our Human Rights Policy and measures related to human rights.

Suspension of transactions

As a result of due diligence, if forced labor, inhumane treatment, child labor, discrimination, or wages below the minimum wage are recognized, we will consider suspending transactions as a viable option, after first making improvements together with everyone in the value chain. The entire NTT Group is working toward creating a better future by cooperating with partners to resolve issues related to human rights. In addition to the Human Rights Policy, we will also require third parties to comply with the "NTT Group Supply Chain Promotion Guidelines" provided separately.

Accusation and Remedy

In an effort to ensure awareness and prevent recurrence, we have set up a Corporate Ethics Action Q&A section on our employee-oriented corporate website to explain nine representative examples of ethics violations. Each example action is described and laws and regulations that are the basis of reasoning are explained. When the NTT Group has taken disciplinary action related to human rights, we publish excerpts of the cases and expound the cases on the site to raise employee awareness and prevent recurrence by calling for their attention and organizing training and other educational opportunities.

Contact Point for Human Rights Issues

The NTT Group provides internal and external contact points that employees can consult on various concerns related to human rights.
One of these, the Corporate Ethics Help Line, is an external consultation desk outsourced to a law firm that responds to consultation by third parties or by employees, on a confidential basis, for situations that cannot be reported internally. Consultations are accepted in various forms, including email, telephone and letter. All consultations are kept confidential to protect the privacy of the person and ensure they are not subjected to disadvantageous treatment.
The contact point also handles consultations on compliance issues. Please see page 64 for details.

Other Human Rights Initiatives

Introduction of B-BBEE

South Africa, where Dimension Data, a subsidiary of NTT, is headquartered, adopts the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) policy to enhance the status of people who had been disadvantaged by discriminatory treatment during the apartheid era. Under B-BBEE, which the Government of South Africa uses as an assessment standard, companies are rated on a scorecard for their level of contribution to ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development, and socio-economic development. As a result of its efforts in the areas of ownership, employment equity and skills development, Dimension Data was recognized as a Level 2 contributor in March 2020, the second highest recognition in the eight level B-BBEE system, two ranks higher than the previous year.

Assessment of Risks Associated with Conflict Minerals

In accordance with the NTT Group's Approach to Conflict Minerals, we conducted written surveys and inspected the offices and factories of suppliers to determine whether or not these minerals are used in their products.

Efforts on the Gender Wage Gap

NTT Security (UK) Limited, which provides total solutions incorporating advanced security-related technology and services to the world through NTT Group operating companies, has issued a report on the gender wage gap since 2017. This report addresses the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information), which went into effect in the UK in 2017, reports gaps in the hourly wages, bonuses, etc. of male and female employees, and responds to requirements from the UK government.

Modern Slavery Act Statement

NTT Group companies have published their statements in accordance with Article 54, Item 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 enacted in the United Kingdom. With the "Modern Slavery Statement," companies set out their actions to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their business operations or in their supply chain.