Respecting human rights

We operate in parts of the world where human rights are at risk, and we are therefore exposed to human rights-related issues, such as forced labor, child labor, bribery, and corruption.

Our sustainability strategy is driven by three absolute requirements that are at the heart of everything we do. One of these requirements is respecting human rights.

JT Group Human Rights Report

To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we are publishing our first standalone Human Rights Report which examines the potential human rights risks arising from our worldwide operations. The report identifies nine salient human rights issues and the steps we are taking to remedy them.

JT Group Human Rights Report

Our commitment

JT Group Human Rights Policy

We respect human rights across our value chain and recognize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Our JT Group Human Rights Policy, which was approved by the JT Board of Directors, follows the framework provided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This means working to avoid infringing the rights of others and addressing any adverse impacts of our global operations.

Our commitment to human rights is reinforced by our Board of Directors through our Code of Conduct. Our Reporting Concerns Mechanism helps us ensure that we listen to and act on the grievances of those whose human rights might be impacted by our activities. Through this legitimate, fair, and accessible mechanism, we encourage employees and suppliers to speak up on human rights, without fear of retribution, about any concerns they may have.

Our suppliers and growers throughout the world are obliged to respect human rights by adopting and maintaining internationally recognized labor standards regarding child labor, rights of workers, and workplace health and safety. They do this in line with:

To address our human rights issues, markets put in place their own customized corrective measures through human rights action plans. We also have global programs that can be applied by the local markets to ensure a consistent approach across the Group. Read more:

UK Modern Slavery Act

JTI UK, the JT Group’s U.K. subsidiary, has been publishing a Modern Slavery Act Statement yearly since 2017.

JTI UK Modern Slavery Statement (JTI UK Website)

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights make the pathway clear: companies have a responsibility to respect the rights of those they impact through their business operations and supply chains. That is especially important during a global pandemic. Our commitment to respecting human rights and to conducting due diligence never wavered during the COVID-19 crisis. Our people, our suppliers, and our communities make us who we are, and it is vital that we continue to care for them, hear their voice, and respect their human rights.

Charlie Watson,
Director, Human Rights, JT International

Our human rights strategy

Our approach

Our human rights strategy is based on five pillars. This circular approach provides a systematic way of conducting ongoing due diligence and is in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidance on responsible agricultural supply chains.

  • Embed
  • Identify and Prioritize
  • Respond
  • Measure
  • Report

Read more on ‘Strategy’ in our Human Rights report.

Our progress

Embed

Since 2016 we have been continuously providing trainings in the entire group. The contents of our very first e-learning on respecting human rights was totally aligned to the UN Guiding Principles, and was implemented from 2016 to 2019. The e-learning has been provided in 25 languages to all our employees, regardless of their employment status, such as directly or indirectly employed, and full or part-timers.

In the digital world, where attention spans are short and content easily disregarded, we have taken a different approach to e-learning.

In 2021, we laid the groundwork to launch a digital human rights e-learning campaign which focuses on behavioral change. The objective is to increase awareness and understanding of human rights risks and to empower our employees to do the right thing with regards to ethical behaviors. It offers employees bite-sized training modules via a new human rights e-learning platform.

For our most recent approach, please read more on ‘Culture change through training’ in our Human Rights report.

Identify and prioritize

From 2020, with our ability to conduct in-person Human Rights Impact Assessments disrupted by the pandemic, we had to adapt. One of the ways we did this is by expanding the human rights self-assessment questionnaires.

We applied a smart mix of self-assessment questionnaires and on-site Human Rights Impact Assessments. The questionnaires cover a broad spectrum of human rights issues and aim to identify the greatest potential risks in our operations, which include our nine salient human rights issues.

In 2021, we upgraded the self-assessment questionnaire by enhancing its focus on the newly established salient issues. We also included questions related to how our markets were implementing new COVID-related guidelines and controls.

In 2021, the self-assessment questionnaire was launched in five new markets: Angola, Cambodia, Jordan, Nigeria, and Romania.

Read more:

Respond

We develop human rights action plans for each country that has undertaken an assessment, each with an agreed timeline. Human Rights Champions were appointed within these countries, as part of a network. The responsibility of this network is to ensure that action plans are managed and implemented by each country, and respect for human rights is firmly established in the business.

The Human Rights Champions manage the implementation of the action plans locally. Our head office provides the Champions with training materials on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as support with specific points within the action plans.

Read more:

Measure

We have been measuring the effectiveness of our Action Plans, which includes an individual set of key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of our improvements over time. Our Human Rights Champions track the implementation of each action item and report on a quarterly basis to the human rights team to measure progress.

There are various ways to measure the effectiveness of our responses in our leaf supply chain. One of them is the number of issues which we observe during subsequent crop cycles. Read more on our approach.

Read more on Progress toward quantitative target

Report

Our understanding of our obligations under the UN Guiding Principles is to ‘know and show’ that we are aware of the potential human rights related risks to which we may be connected, and that we are taking appropriate steps to manage those that occur. The UN Guiding Principles encourage corporate transparency to the benefit of a broad set of stakeholders. We are committed to this level of transparency and disclosure.

Governance

Our CEO and the Board of Directors play a key role in formulating the JT Group Sustainability Strategy, which has respect for human rights at its core. They oversee and are accountable for the effectiveness of this strategy, as they are committed to the Group achieving its sustainability targets. The Chief Sustainability Officer is responsible for driving sustainability across the Group, including respect for human rights.

While our CEO and Board of Directors are accountable for the strategy, governance, and reporting of adherence to the JT Group Human Rights Policy, each local business unit is responsible for operational implementation and has an appropriate management system to apply human rights initiatives. This is driven by our dedicated human rights team, which is also responsible for raising awareness and improving engagement internally.

To secure an effective due diligence system, it is critical to link impact assessments to effective governance structures that ensure accountability for acting on the findings. The Human Rights Champions Network plays a vital role to facilitate the sharing of guidance and best practice on human rights by those closest to the issues on the ground.

Read more on ‘Board oversight and governance’ in our Human Rights report.

To advance the rights of our stakeholders, it is important that we listen to the advice, concerns, and criticisms of people outside the JT Group. Therefore, we have continued to take counsel from our Human Rights External Advisory Board.

Human rights external advisory board*E

Our Human Rights External Advisory Board plays a vital role in providing us with a broad external perspective in the human rights area. Made up of international experts on business and human rights, the Board advises us on all issues that the members consider relevant for the implementation of our human rights strategy. The panel of experts guides us with their expertise and challenges us where they believe we need to improve, helping to strengthen our efforts to deliver on our human rights commitments.

Board members include:

  • Paul Bowden (Professor of Law, The Nottingham Law School)
  • Donna L. Westerman (Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council)
  • Rona Starr (Association for Professional Social Compliance Auditors)
  • Jonathan Drimmer (Partner, Paul Hastings (a leading international law firm))
  • Richard Karmel (London Managing Partner, Global Sustainability, Mazars (a leading international audit, tax and advisory firm))

Salient human rights issues

To strengthen the focus of our policies and programs on human rights areas that matter most, it is crucial to have an understanding of our respective salient human rights issues.

According to the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, “a company’s salient human rights issues are those human rights that stand out because they are at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities or business relationships.”

The concept of salience focuses on the risk to people, not to the business, and impacts are prioritized according to their severity and likelihood.

We created our first group human rights risk maps to assist us in developing JT Group Human Rights Policy in 2016. As external and internal environments have evolved, we have reviewed our group salient issues in 2021. This resulted in the identification of nine salient issues associated with our own operations, value chain and new business relationships.

Going forward, our plan is to corroborate these salient issues with rights-holders on the ground. This will enable us to better understand and focus our efforts and resources on those issues perceived most at risk in each market. We will do this by integrating them into our Human Rights Impact Assessment methodology and self-assessment questionnaires.

Our nine salient issues

Identification of salient issues

In order to identify the salient human rights issues for the JT Group, the assessment was conducted in two aspects, Severity and Likelihood, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Firstly, we identified the full range of human rights that could potentially be negatively impacted by our activities or through its business relationships. We then prioritized potential negative impacts by using severity and likelihood framework.

Severity assessment

Severity of human rights impacts were assessed by their scale, scope, and irremediability, which means how grave the impact would be, how widespread the impact would be, and how hard it would be to put right the resulting harm. Based on that framework, we identified the severity of each human rights issue using a scoring system for risk mapping.

Likelihood assessment

In assessing the likelihood of human rights issues in the JT Group, the following steps were taken. We analyzed the operations of our entire value chain (in over 130 countries) across five categories; Leaf sourcing, Processing, Manufacturing, Office, and Sales and Marketing. We determined magnitudes of risk for each operational category in each country. We then quantified each risk using environmental and social country indices published by a leading global risk analytics company, and using country indices published by international organizations.

Risk mapping

These mapping exercises were carried out for all three of our businesses; tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and processed food. In the consolidated map of those businesses, the issues of high severity and high likelihood were finally identified as salient in the JT Group.

  • Child labor
  • Environmental impacts
  • Fair wage
  • Forced labor
  • Harassment and gender impacts
  • Health and safety
  • Health risk
  • Non-discrimination and equality
  • Working hours

Read more on ‘Salient issues’ in our Human Rights report.

Our human rights due diligence

In line with the UN Guiding Principles, we have made human rights due diligence an essential and integrated part of our business. This enables us to identify and assess actual and potential human rights risks, as stated in our JT Group Human Rights Policy.

Embedding human rights due diligence – which is in part informed by our widely applied Human Rights Impact Assessments – is our responsibility. It helps us to prevent adverse impacts on people and ensure the highest standards of behavior are upheld within our business and value chain.

Progress toward quantitative target

We have committed to assessing 100% of high-risk countries by 2025.

In addition to the high-risk countries identified, we completed the assessment in Japan where our headquarters and many subsidiary companies are located, given its scale of businesses; tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and processed food. We also conducted the assessment in Switzerland, headquarters of our international tobacco business, and also in China and Thailand for our processed food business.

In our tobacco business, we assessed five new markets in 2021: Angola, Cambodia, Jordan, Nigeria, and Romania. In total, we completed 10 Human Rights Impact Assessments and 17 self-assessment questionnaires across our entire value chain. We also conducted one Supply Chain Impact Assessment (SCIA) one Grower Livelihoods Assessment and used our leverage to conduct a supplier human rights workshop. By the end of the year, 30 out of 67 (45%) high-risk countries had been assessed. This reflects our commitment to prioritizing assessments in countries where the greatest risks to people lie. It also shows our willingness to go into countries with histories of human rights allegations and assess the on-the-ground reality.

Read more:

Human rights impact assessments and self-assessment questionnaires

Our Human Rights Impact Assessments focus on impacts to people within our main operations and value streams. Key activities during an impact assessment include visiting and observing farming, processing, manufacturing, and sales and distribution operations. During the assessments, we conduct a series of interviews with employees and workers, as well as representatives of suppliers, clients, and partners.

At the end of the assessment, we report on the findings and discuss recommendations for improvement with local management. Our head office then works closely with the local team to address any issues raised and improve the situation.

Adapting our approach to ensure continuity

Our commitment to conducting human rights due diligence as part of our Human Rights Policy never wavered during the pandemic. To ensure continuity and protect everyone involved, we tailored our approach in our assessments.

Read more on our new approach on COVID-19 human rights response.

Human rights impact assessments: key findings

The following list of key findings includes one human rights risk identified in each of our assessments, to demonstrate the wide range of issues our stakeholders may face.

Read more about key findings and how we are addressing them by selecting a country

Asia, Americas

Bangladesh (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 1,684 (female: 64, male: 1,620)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: launched in the Kushtia growing region, which represents approximately 50% of our growers in Bangladesh, in December 2021. ALP will then be rolled out in the other growing regions in June 2022.
    ARISE: in the process of being set up in 2022
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2019
    Certified Top Employer: No
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: July 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: September 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Health & Safety
    Driver safety is a significant risk with a large number of motorcycles in use.

    JTI BANGLADESH HAS: checked the validity of all driving licenses, conducted a driver safety program and training on safety rules, and provided personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets to all JTI employees and third-party employees.

    Supply Chain Impact Assessment (tobacco leaf supply chain): March 2021
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment in leaf): Dec 2021

    JTI BANGLADESH HAS: planned responses in 2022 include better CPA training for JTI Agronomy Technician’s and contracted growers, with a particular focus on exposure and hazards; provision of better PPE that is more suitable to local conditions; and the introduction of an effective grievance mechanism for contracted growers and farmworkers.

Brazil (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 1,579 (female: 360, male: 1,219)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: July 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: May 2021

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Working hours

    JTI Brazil did not specify its overtime policy directly in Employee Contracts. This was not a local legal requirement. There are, however, information resources to inform employees, and regular registration of overtime through various systems. Employees receive a monthly report where they can approve or reject potential overtime hours.

    JTI BRAZIL HAS: published and communicated a detailed overtime guidance to employees in July 2021. This guidance outlines clearly to employees what the regulation is on overtime when it can take place, how employees are remunerated and that it must be voluntary, not mandatory. Employees have been proactively informed via a communication campaign.

China (2019)
  1. Processed food business

    JT operations (6 group companies): Factory, Office
    Total number of employees: 1,254 (female: 827, male: 427)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism: reporting concern hotline active
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: January to May 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: September 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Labor rights
    Employees were only able to view their payslips using a shared computer in the administration office.

    JT Processed Food Business in China HAS: started distributing payslips via a smartphone app, so that every employee can access their details using their own device.

Colombia (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales (Distribution is outsourced)
    Total number of JTI employees: 21 (female: 12, male: 9)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: First training in Colombia took place in September 2017.
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: January 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: July 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Fair recruitment practices

    JTI Colombia sometimes uses a third-party recruitment and employment agency. The contract was in line with Colombian law. However, JTI Colombia decided to make the prohibition of recruitment fees clearer in the contract to ensure that the agency does not charge illegal fees or engage in other forms of salary deduction or conditional employment.

    JTI COLUMBIA HAS: clearly prohibited any form of employment or recruitment fees from being charged by any third-party labor agency used by JTI Colombia.

Dominican Republic (2018)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 161 (female: 33, male 128)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2017
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: September 2018
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: November 2018

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Health & Safety
    Transitioning from one to three shifts at the factory could lead to potential hazards.

    JTI DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS: adopted a human rights-based approach to identify and respect the rights of vulnerable groups, maintaining a heightened awareness of those whose rights could be affected by the transition. This includes open dialogue with employees and a survey to understand each employee’s individual situation and preferences, transport to and from the factory for night workers, increased communication regarding rest and breaks, and a new canteen open 24/7.

India (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf (third-party)
    Total number of employees: 0
    Due diligence: JTI is working with the sector on building a joined approach to human rights due diligence
    Supply Chain Impact Assessment: November 2019
    Action plan execution (resulting from assessment) in pilot areas was launched on the industry level in August 2021

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: All categories
    The engagement in India is driven by all Leaf Merchants supplying virginia tobacco to three Global Manufacturers, including JTI. The engagement is based around five steps of the Supply Chain Due Diligence process – identify, prioritize, respond, measure and report. The Supply Chain Impact assessment (identify) and the dialogue around prioritization of identified priority issues relate to health, income, climate impacts and resilience, and living conditions of migrant workers.

    OUR SUPPLIERS IN INDIA HAVE: made significant progress in India in 2021 despite COVID19 related challenges. Based on the SCIA findings and rightsholder feedback, the Indian Tobacco Association’s Sustainability Committee defined industry-level responses. An action plan including pilot improvement projects and additional research was developed and is being implemented across approximately 10% of the grower base. The main activities include distribution of personal protective equipment, improved tobacco profitability measures, focused research on health and wellbeing, and as a matter of good practice, training of farmers and workers on various topics, including health and safety, child labor, and working conditions. The next step is to assess the effectiveness of the pilot program in tackling the issues and, based on findings, scale up the targeted initiatives. The industry effort is continuously facilitated by sustainability consultancy twentyfifty.

    Read more below in ‘Eliminating highly hazardous pesticides criteria 1 in our supply chain’.

Indonesia (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 1,821 (female: 200, male: 1,621)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2018
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: July 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: June 2021

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Responsible marketing

    Training on the JTI Marketing Principles is mandatory for all new hires before being sent to Market, but there is no structured schedule for refresher training for current employees.

    JTI INDONESIA WILL: establish a refresher schedule to engage all Marketing and Sales workforce and ensure that the JTI Marketing Principles are fully implemented and integrated.

Japan (2016/2017)
  1. Japanese domestic business – tobacco, pharmaceutical, and processed food business

    JT operations (29 group companies): Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 15,913 (female: 3,487, male: 12,426)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: active since 2017
    Operational Grievance Mechanism: reporting concern hotline active
    Certified employer of choice: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: December 2016 to November 2017
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: December 2017

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Labor rights
    The guidelines in some of our Japanese subsidiary companies were not optimized for migrant workers in Japan.

    JT HAS: developed a set of Group-wide guidelines on responsible recruitment and labor management, with a focus on migrant workers. We have made the Reporting Concerns Mechanism more accessible to migrant workers by offering it in Vietnamese and Nepali, in addition to Japanese, English, and Chinese.

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    Kazakhstan:
    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number employees: 582 (female: 184, male: 398)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: September 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: November 2019

    Kyrgyzstan:
    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 57 (female: 13, male: 44)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: No
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: September 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: November 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Access to grievance mechanism
    Employees are generally familiar with the grievance mechanism Your Voice, but there are opportunities to raise awareness further.

    JTI KAZAKHSTAN and JTI KYRGYZSTAN HAVE: improved their Your Voice communications, including posters in offices and onboarding for new employees across our operations.

Malaysia (2018)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 277 (female: 70, male: 207)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: November 2018
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: February 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Living wage and working hours
    Workers at a JTI supplier reported long working hours.

    JTI MALAYSIA HAS: together with the supplier, reviewed the labor laws on working hours and overtime to ensure full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. It has also strengthened awareness of available rest breaks and vacation entitlement among workers through consultations. It has conducted training for managers and other employees on the links between rest, productivity, and safety performance.

Mexico (2018)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 147 (female: 44, male: 103)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2012
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: September 2018
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: November 2018

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Health & Safety
    We will continue to take Mexico’s severe security concerns into consideration when developing routes and sales objectives across the country. As the third-party sales team expands, workers at JTI distributors need to be properly trained on security and safety.

    JTI MEXICO HAS: designed a training platform for employees at JTI distributors, enabling them to easily access information on their smartphones. This is in addition to the existing due diligence and routes modification to ensure appropriate security provisions are in place. The platform contributes to our overall training program for sales workers, ensuring the necessary security measures are in place to protect people from harm.

Myanmar (2018)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 179 (female: 64, male: 115)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2014
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: November 2018
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: January 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Labor rights
    Contracted workers had written contracts and received payslips, but this documentation was not communicated in the local language.

    JTI MYANMAR HAS: translated all contract worker contracts and payslips into Burmese. All communication posters regarding the Your Voice grievance mechanism and ‘Your Guide to Making Ethical Decisions’ are now available in both English and Burmese.

Thailand (2019)
  1. Processed food business

    JT operations: Factory, Office
    Total number of employees: 457 (female: 198, male: 259)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism: reporting concern hotline active
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: January-June 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: September 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Health & Safety
    Employees were not always wearing the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) in hot weather.

    JT Processed Food Business in THAILAND HAS: hired an expert to improve the existing Environmental Health and Safety assessments. The local team also trained employees to properly understand the importance of protecting themselves.

Thailand (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 166 (female: 92, male: 74)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: July 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: January 2021

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Freedom of Association
    According to Thai Law, a Welfare Committee needs to be established as an intermediate body between employer and employee. It is recommended to formalize the process of setting up such a committee in Thailand to respect the right to freedom of association as a core ILO convention and human right commitment by JTI.

    JTI THAILAND HAS: Finalized the setting up of the Welfare Committee and subsequent procedure (e.g., frequency of management interactions) in Thailand after starting the process in November 2020. A communication campaign was made to announce the Committee to all employees.

Vietnam (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 54 (female: 29, male: 25)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008 (same with Vietnam operations)
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: September 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: October 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Grievance mechanism

    JTI Vietnam uses the JTI Code of Conduct in English when onboarding and training employees. Even though employees understand and work in English, and they receive an introduction in the local language when they join the Company, it is recommended that a Vietnamese version of the JTI Code of Conduct is made available to all employees and third parties to ensure full access and understanding of JTI’s standard.

    JTI VIETNAM HAS: carried out a translation of the JTI Code of Conduct to ensure it is in the local language and sent an email communication to all employees and relevant partners with the English and Vietnamese versions of the JTI Code of Conduct.

Africa, Middle East

Egypt (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 729 (female 47, male: 682)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice” active since 2014
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: October 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: January 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Non-discrimination
    Within our international business, there is a respectful environment towards women, but there are opportunities to further encourage diversity in the workforce.

    JTI EGYPT CONTINUES: promoting equal opportunities by actively seeking to employ more women across all departments. The local team will continue working on gender equality by making job descriptions and roles more inclusive for women by addressing safety concerns, creating mixed teams, seeking women's feedback, and raising awareness in line with JTI's Gender Equality commitment.

Ethiopia (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 1,000 (female: 164, male: 836)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: in process of being set up
    ARISE: in process of being set up
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2019
    Certified Top Employer: No
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: July 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: October 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Non-discrimination
    Women’s rights and health are high-risk with possible cases of harassment and gender discrimination.

    JTI ETHIOPIA CONTINUES: working on the long-term goals to ensure equal working conditions and opportunities for both men and women in Ethiopia by implementing a training program to raise awareness and create a women’s association to empower, educate, and support women in the workplace.

    Supply Chain Impact Assessment (tobacco leaf supply chain): May 2021
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment in leaf): Dec 2021

    JTI ETHIOPIA HAS: undertaken a detailed human rights impact assessment in our leaf supply chain in 2021. The prioritized issues include but are not limited to: child labor; workplace health and safety; fair remuneration for daily laborers; a lack of an effective grievance mechanism for farm workers and contracted growers; and the impact of the ongoing security situation in the Northern growing region.

    Planned responses in 2022 and beyond include: better training in relation to the application of Crop Protection Agents (CPAs); improved signage for recently sprayed fields; running a child labor awareness-raising campaign within tobacco-growing communities and implementing our flagship child labor elimination program ARISE; revisiting the wage structure and rates for daily laborers; and introducing an effective grievance mechanism for contracted growers and farmworkers.

Lebanon (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 46 (female: 13, male: 33)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008 (known as “RCM” until 2015)
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: May 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: June 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Working hours
    No written guidance or policy on overtime is specified in the local contracts. It is recommended that this is included in all standard contracts or the Lebanon employee handbook.

    JTI LEBANON WILL: formalize policy and guidance on overtime in the local employee handbook and provide all employees with clear guidance and limits on overtime, including third-party staff.

Malawi (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf
    Total number of employees: 516 (female: 99, male: 416)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: active since 2014
    ARISE: active since 2012
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2014
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Supply Chain Impact Assessment: March 2019
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched September 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Exploitation of workers
    It is believed that local practices of tenant farming could lead to the exploitation of tenants and their families by the grower or landlord, potentially causing many adverse impacts.

    JTI MALAWI HAS: proactively run supply chain due diligence throughout the leaf supply chain. As a preventive response, among other actions, the local team has committed to moving away from tenant farming in Malawi. All of our large-scale commercial growers operating tenant farming systems transitioned their tenant growers to employment contracts in 2020.

Morocco (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 52 (female: 30, male: 22)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2011
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: January 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: May 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Fair recruitment practices

    JTI Morocco uses a third-party recruitment and employment agency for a large number of employees that work closely with JTI staff in Sales & Distribution.
    The contract should be strengthened to ensure that the agency does not charge illegal fees or engage in other forms of salary deductions or conditional employment.

    JTI MOROCCO HAS: revised the current contract with the recruitment and employment agency to include a detailed clause that specifically prohibits the agency from charging any form of employment or recruitment fees.

South-Africa (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution, Trade Marketing, Marketing
    Total number of employees: 172 (female: 74, male: 98)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: Yes
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: June 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: October 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Security

    JTI SOUTH AFRICA employs a third-party security company to provide security services on site. Whilst the current provider follows the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (the globally recognized standard which guides companies on how to conduct their security operations while respecting human rights) there is an opportunity to make further improvements, such as amending the contract with the third-party security company to explicit the requirement of human rights compliance and conducting more frequent security assessments.

    JTI SOUTH AFRICA HAS: updated the contract to include an explicit provision that the provider respects human rights and ensures guards do not resort to the use of force unnecessarily. Additionally, we now carry out quarterly security risk assessments rather than annually as it was before.

Tanzania (2018)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of employees: 559 (female: 99, male: 460)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: active since 2015
    ARISE: active since 2016
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Impact Assessment: February 2018
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: May 2018

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Access to grievance mechanism
    Awareness of the Your Voice grievance mechanism could be improved to increase its overall effectiveness.

    JTI TANZANIA HAS: relaunched the Your Voice communication campaign in May 2018 to reach all employees. The local team translated its communications and training programs into Kiswahili, the local language. The team has actively promoted Your Voice and the Code of Conduct on notice boards, leaflets, at a launch event, and in direct communication from the General Manager. In the ongoing global effort to encourage employees to speak up, we continue to provide targeted communications for markets.

Tunisia (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 37 (female: 6, male: 31)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2011
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: May 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: October 2020

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Freedom of association

    While no legal restrictions exist that prevent workers from exercising their freedom of association, there are no workers’ committees or representatives at JTI Tunisia. As such, there is an opportunity to establish formal processes to facilitate employee representation and dialogue with management.

    JTI TUNISIA WILL: respect the right to freedom of association and ensure that regardless of the size of the workforce, employees at JTI Tunisia are free to elect workers' representatives and engage with management on collective issues.

Turkey (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf, Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 998 (female: 111, male: 887)
    Agricultural Labor Practices: launched in 2015.
    ARISE: in process of being set up in 2022
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Supply Chain Impact Assessment (tobacco leaf supply chain): June-November 2021
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment in leaf) launched: November 2021

    In Turkey, JTI sources leaf from several suppliers and regions, including our own vertically-integrated operation. In early 2021, five global manufacturers, including JTI, and six local leaf suppliers, agreed to execute a shared Supply Chain Impact Assessment (SCIA) in Turkey as a part of our Supply Chain Due Diligence (SCDD) processes. Extensive social research was conducted by twentyfifty’s team of local and international consultants during the harvest period in July and August 2021. A total of 567 rightsholders were interviewed throughout three regions.

    FINDING:

    The findings were discussed individually, resulting in individual Action Plans for each company. In November 2021, a joint Industry Workshop brought the leaf suppliers and manufacturers together to discuss and agree on collaborative industry-level actions addressing the priority issues of shared concerns. The main focus areas for these actions were combating child labor, CPA management, provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and transparency on workers’ wages and conditions.

    JTI TURKEY WILL: carefully monitor the progress on implementation of the individual and industry-level Action Plans throughout 2022-2023, with the main goal of continuous improvement in SCDD to ensure a positive impact for the rightsholders.

UAE (2020)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 41 (female: 17, male: 24)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire: October 2020
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: May 2021

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Forced labor

    JTI UAE uses recruitment agencies and third parties for temporary assignments. To avoid the potential risk of modern slavery and forced labor, the action recommended is that a clause on the prohibition of recruitment fees is included in all agreements with third-party labor and recruitment agencies.

    JTI UAE HAS: revised the current contract with the facilities management third party to include a detailed clause specifically prohibiting charging employees rendering services to JTI any type of recruitment or employment fees. In addition, the team is integrating the clause in standard local contracts for similar vendors.

Zimbabwe (2019)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Leaf (third-party)
    Total number of JTI employees: 0
    Due diligence: JTI building an industry approach to human rights due diligence
    Human Rights Workshop with Leaf Merchants: January 2019

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: Health & Safety
    Workers on farms risk being exposed to toxic substances.

    THE SUPPLIERS IN ZIMBABWE WILL: not use Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) Criteria 1 in our leaf global supply chain for crop transplanted in 2022. Furthermore, all of the suppliers have developed and published respective Human and Labor rights policies that have been approved at the most senior level of their organization.

    Read more below in ‘Eliminating highly hazardous pesticides criteria 1 in our supply chain’.

Europe

Switzerland (2017)
  1. International tobacco business

    JTI operations: Factory, Office, Sales & Distribution
    Total number of JTI employees: 1,404 (female: 600, male: 804)
    Operational Grievance Mechanism “Your Voice”: active since 2008
    Certified Top Employer: Yes
    Corporate level Human Rights Impact Assessment: October 2017
    Action Plan (resulting from assessment) launched: February 2018

    FINDING:

    Human rights category: All categories

    Human rights are generally well covered across JTI’s corporate policies and procedures framework, including means to investigate and mitigate human rights across its operations and business relationships. However, some of the most relevant policies, such as the Supplier Standards, Agricultural Labor Practices guidelines, and Code of Conduct, could be updated to conform more concretely with international standards.

    JTI SWITZERLAND HAS: identified 18 policies that did not have any gaps from a review of 44 JTI policies and procedures relevant to human rights. The local team made improvements to 19 policies that had minor gaps and improved a further 7 policies to align with best practice. On completion of the corporate-level human rights impact assessment to create procedural change, the team then identified our most high-risk countries from a human rights perspective and developed a long-term human rights due diligence roadmap, including the relevant tools and methodology required for conducting effective due diligence via Human Rights Impact Assessments per country.


    Case study

    Migrant Workers in Japan

    Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program was further sensitized to the risk of forced labor by a recent US Trafficking in Persons Report. Since we started Human Rights Impact Assessments in our Japan operation (tobacco, pharma, and processed food businesses - including China and Thailand), migrant workers have been identified as the most vulnerable stakeholders who need our special attention.

    Read more on how we have addressed a focus on migrant workers in our Human Rights report.

    Stakeholder engagement

    To further strengthen our external engagement, we have partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Mazars. These organizations provide technical support with our ongoing human rights due diligence approach and overall human rights strategy.

    Read more on ‘Engagement’ in our Human Rights report.

    Protecting and respecting employee rights during the pandemic

    Our human rights external advisory board was very positive about our response to COVID-19. The Board has provided feedback and recommendations to our response to the pandemic from a human rights standpoint, which we will reflect upon in the next phase of implementation.

    Read more on how we have responded to the pandemic in our Human Rights report.

    Read more about how we have responded to the pandemic from the perspective of Community Investment and Health & Safety.

    Going forward

    In terms of our global sustainability strategy, we have identified priority areas for each business segment. Moreover, we have defined a set of targets we aim to achieve by 2030. Our targets are a key component of our commitment to conduct our business in a responsible manner and mitigate our nine human rights salient issues. We keep our existing targets under review with an intention to strengthen these commitments over time.

    Read more on our strategy, targets, and progress in our Human Rights Report.

    Our work to promote and respect human rights will evolve and adapt to the changing economic and political context of the countries where we operate. Our approach to human rights due diligence is ongoing, as the risks to human rights may change over time. We will continue to act where actions are necessary and focus on our human rights priority areas.

    We will continue to prioritize countries based on a set of risk-based criteria in order to assess our most high-risk countries first. Going forward, we are committed to assessing actual and potential human rights risks in at least six countries each year and will continue to embed respect for human rights within the business.