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Launch of Japanese version of DCAF-ICRC Toolkit

On Wednesday, 14 June 2023, DCAF-ICRC, with support from the Swiss embassy,  launched the Japanese version of the "Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments" Toolkit. The event, held at the Swiss Ambassador's residence, also marked ICRC Director-General Robert Mardini's visit to Japan.

Especially designed to guide businesses operating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas, the Toolkit serves as a vital compass, guiding them to uphold the human rights and dignity of local communities and to effectively manage security. This release comes in perfect timing with the Government of Japan's commitment to the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) launched in 2020 and the Guidelines on Respecting Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains established in September 2022.

The event commenced with a warm welcome address by H.E. Andreas Baum, the Swiss Ambassador, who highlighted the need for a practical tool that translates existing principles into good practices, thereby acknowledging the Toolkit as a part of the ICRC’s effort in preventing suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

Following that, Robert Mardini, the Director-General of the ICRC, delivered a poignant keynote address, stating, "DCAF-ICRC input can help protect vulnerable communities and prevent further harm" in illustrating the challenges of companies operating in conflict-affected or high-risk areas.

A highlight of the evening was the remarks by the guest of honor, Gen Nakatani, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. Gen Nakatani highlighted the pivotal role played by the Japanese government in promoting respect for human rights in business activities through initiatives such as the NAP. He welcomed the Japanese translation of the Toolkit as a valuable resource that would contribute to navigating companies operating in difficult environments.

Ambassador Nathalie Chuard, Director of DCAF, provided an online message during the event, sharing the conviction that security is a central feature in business and human rights. She emphasized “no single actor has the answer to the multifaceted security challenges faced by companies operating in complex environments” and businesses must ensure effective and responsible security management to create sustainable and inclusive development.

Attended by 67 participants, the launch signifies Japan's commitment to promoting responsible business practices among Japanese corporations operating abroad. The Japanese translation of the Toolkit is now available online and easily accessible, enabling companies to navigate the intricate landscape of security and human rights, ultimately contributing to the development of more ethical and socially conscious business practices.