Sony defines the refugee issues as one of important global issues, and has been striving to boost employee awareness through CSR activities. As part of this, Sony has supported the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival continuously since 2007, and hosts both workshops and events to help group company employees bolster their understanding of the refugee issues.
Anyone whose life is threatened due to conflict in their region or who is unfairly persecuted for any reason, such as religion, race, or their political opinions, and who has had to flee to another country, is called a “refugee.” In addition, the number of people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and have not crossed an international border to find safety, etc., known as the "internally displaced people," has recently been on the rise. Just like refugees, such people cannot survive without external support. If appropriate support cannot be provided, these people will end up becoming refugees as they will cross borders, and the governments of countries which accept those refugees and international society as a whole will be forced to bear a heavier burden.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Japan and Japan for UNHCR host the annual UNHCR Refugee Film Festival to afford people living in Japan an opportunity to see the realities of the refugee issues. Current stories about the lives of refugees around the world are screened at the Film Festival. Sony has been a constant supporter of this event since 2007.
The Sony Group encourages its employees to participate in a marathon event as charity runners in support of Japan for UNHCR to bolster interest in the refugee issues through sport. In addition, in-house running events that employees other than charity runners can participate in are held, along with workshops about the refugee issues.
UNHCR stands for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and was established in 1950 as one of the United Nations organizations. The UNHCR is dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, and strives to resolve refugee issues. The number of individuals who have been forced to flee from their homes due to conflict or to avoid persecution totaled 65.6 million as of the end of December 2016. The UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981, and currently has over 11,000 employees operating in about 130 countries. In addition, Japan for UNHCR undertakes public relations and fund-raising from the general public in support of the UNHCR’s activities as the official contact for support in Japan.
Donations from the Sony Group have been presented to Japan for UNHCR, and are used for the UNHCR’s humanitarian aid activities.