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Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the Year Ended 31 March 2019

1. Introduction / Background

This statement is made by Astellas Pharma Inc., Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. and Astellas Pharma Ltd. (collectively referred to as “Astellas” in this statement). It is a statement made in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and covers the financial year from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. It also includes work undertaken in the period from 1 April 2019. 

Astellas is dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. 

Astellas Pharma Inc. is the ultimate holding company of the Astellas group, incorporated in Japan and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., incorporated in England & Wales, is the EMEA regional headquarters. Astellas Pharma Ltd., incorporated in England & Wales, is the sales and marketing affiliate for the UK. 

Astellas’ supply chain is comprised of (i) suppliers of direct materials (active pharmaceutical ingredients, manufacturing and packaging) and (ii) suppliers of indirect services (professional services, sales and marketing agencies, clinical research organisations and facilities.).

To find out more about what we do and our values, please go to:

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact which demonstrates our existing voluntary support for achieving sustainable growth, including our respect for internationally proclaimed human rights and our desire to ensure that we are not complicit in human rights abuses. In June 2019, Astellas Pharma Inc. was included in the FTSE4 Good Sustainability Index for the eighth consecutive year which includes human rights and labor standards as part of its selection criteria.
We know that slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labor and human trafficking (collectively referred to as “Modern Slavery” in this statement) is a global and increasing challenge for governments and business.

2. Our Existing Policies on Slavery and Human Trafficking

As a business we recognise our responsibility to respect human rights and manage the risk of Modern Slavery within our own organisation and supply chain.  We have, therefore, set the following positions:

  • The Astellas Group Code of Conduct states our commitment against forced labor and, in the selection of business partners, their commitment to human rights and labor standards.
  • The Astellas Position on Human Rights, which emphasises and expands on our commitment to human rights and high labor standards, was disclosed in April 2017. This is a commitment that supports embedding respect for human rights throughout the Astellas Group. 
  • Astellas’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Materiality Matrix identifies ‘Human rights in labor’ as one of the ‘Most Important’ material issues in a scale of ‘Important’, ‘Very Important’, ‘Most Important’. 
  • The Astellas Business Partner Code of Conduct references the human rights of workers and specifically provides that suppliers shall not use forced, bonded or indentured labor, involuntary prison labor or child labor.
  • Astellas also has a speak up culture. Astellas personnel are required to promptly report any known or suspected violation of the Astellas Group Code of Conduct or other illegal or unethical behavior or business practice. Therefore, if there are any concerns relating to Modern Slavery these can be raised in confidence without fear of retaliation through independent third party and internal whistleblowing helplines.

3. Risk Assessment and Due Diligence Processes

Reflecting the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), our activities to combat Modern Slavery, described below, are risk based and will continue to correspond with the level of risk identified. We have undertaken or begun the following risk assessment and due diligence processes in our business and supply chains during the period: 

  •  Astellas has a Global Risk Management (GRM) program to proactively identify and manage business risk. As part of the GRM program, Astellas is implementing a Third Party Lifecycle Management (TPLM) program. The TPLM program is to ensure compliance with the requirements which must be met throughout a third party supplier relationship, so that Astellas is appropriately managing risk throughout the lifecycle of an engagement with respective third party suppliers. These programs are managed by risk expert departments, which are separated from operational business functions. The TPLM program includes as a risk domain compliance with labor regulations and human rights. Senior management is regularly updated on the progress of risk mitigation activities. 
  • As part of the TPLM program, Astellas conducts questionnaire surveys on significant suppliers of direct materials and indirect services in our supply chain and assesses them based on their answers before entering into an agreement. Astellas continuously assesses, mitigates and monitors suppliers’ inherent risk based on the surveys. To date, there have been no negative answers to the critical questions regarding human rights issues.
  • Astellas has conducted annual surveys on most of the consolidated companies globally1  to monitor awareness of human rights issues in our workplaces from the year ended 31 March 2014. In the year ended 31 March 2019 there were no significant human rights issues reported. Astellas intends to survey the remaining active consolidated companies globally during the year ended 31 March 2020.
Previous years’ Modern Slavery Act Statements incorrectly stated that Astellas had conducted the survey ‘at all group companies globally’.

4. Measuring Effectiveness – Performance Indicators

In order to monitor the effectiveness of the steps we have taken to seek to prevent Modern Slavery taking place in our business and supply chains we will continue to:

  • Review the responses to the questionnaires received from suppliers;
  • Monitor Modern Slavery concerns raised with whistleblowing helplines;
  • Develop a corrective and preventative action plan, including auditing, where we assess that there may be a heightened risk of slavery and human trafficking at specific suppliers.

During the year under review performance indicators did not identify any heightened risk of Modern Slavery. 

5. Training

In order to raise awareness about the risks of Modern Slavery within our own organisation and supply chain and to ensure that employees understand company policies and commitments, we have taken the following steps:

  • In the year ended 31 March 2019, Astellas Pharma Inc. invited external human rights experts to deliver human rights training for members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Astellas Pharma Inc. The training included awareness of and discussion about human rights issues, including Modern Slavery and its impact on corporate activities and society.
  • Astellas provides an e-learning program to introduce the Astellas Group Code of Conduct which states among other things our commitment to respecting human rights including the prohibition of child labor and forced labor. All employees worldwide are required to take this program.

This statement was approved by the board of directors of Astellas Pharma Inc. on 29 August 2019 and by the boards of directors of Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. and Astellas Pharma Ltd. on 7 and 5 August 2019 respectively. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. and Astellas Pharma Ltd. have delegated signing of the statement to Astellas Pharma Inc.


Kenji Yasukawa
Representative Director, President and CEO
Astellas Pharma Inc.
29 August 2019