Supporting the Japan Association for Refugees through corporate social responsibility
Submitted by: Helen Lock, Senior Corporate Responsibility Coordinator, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
2016 - Ongoing
The Peninsula Tokyo provides hygiene items to a refugee/asylum centre in Tokyo, works with their social enterprise centre, and hires refugees who have obtained permission to work.
- Re-distribute extra, unused hygiene items from the hotel to a vulnerable sector in Japanese society
- Tap into an alternative labour market in Japan
- Support/buy-in and openness of the Human Resources team, the HM and the GM of The Peninsula Tokyo
- Partnership with relevant NGOs
Japan Association for Refugees
Challenges and how they were overcome
A very limited number of refugees in Japan have been given a work permit.
How they were overcome:
Where possible, we can only hire refugees that have the relevant work permit.
We work with an NGO through their social enterprise programme (hanger repair) that supports the needs and trainings of refugees/asylum seekers in Japan.
Results of the Good Practice
- Continued recruitment of refugees
- Currently we have 1-2 refugees hired in our operation
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
- Highlight opportunities to maximise the effective and efficient use of resources: Distributing extra, unused hygiene items to refugees who are in need.
- Contribute to burden and responsibility sharing: Companies nowadays pay more and more attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Other than seeking profits, more focus has been placed on how the company can share the burden of the society. Hiring refugees can help relieving the financial burden of local government and NGOs as refugees will the rely less on social assistance.
- Have the potential to be adapted, replicated, and/or broadened in scale: To encourage private sector actors from all over the world to hire refugees.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
- Respond to the needs of refugees and host communities, yielding sustained and positive benefits for the: Refugees no longer need to rely solely on the social assistance provided by the local government and NGOs, instead they can make a living by themselves. This generally will improve their livelihoods as the social assistance provided is barely enough for them. It can help relieving the financial burden of the local government and NGOs as well. It is also good for their mental health.
- Be developed in partnership with other stakeholders, including refugees and host populations: The employment in a way is a partnership with the refugees. Refugees can blend in the local community more by interacting with the customers and their colleagues from host country. They will learn more about the local culture. At the same time, our company’s staff could learn more about refugees so as to develop a more comprehensive world view.