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Human rights

Respecting human rights

Our response

A global business recognising international standards

The Global Compact logo As well as being committed to the UN Global Compact, we also conduct our business in line with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and UN Guiding Principles on Business and human rights; the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; the International Labour Organisation's (ILO's) Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy; and the ILO Core Conventions on Labour Standards.

Building on our support of the UN Millennium Development Goals, we are taking an active role in contributing to the global debate on a new set of post-2015 development goals.

Our human rights principles

Our human rights principles, developed on the basis of international agreements, set out the minimum standards of conduct that we expect our businesses and their suppliers to follow. We ask that each business incorporates these standards into its own local policies and practices. Our principles cover:

  • freedom of association and recognition of the right of collective bargaining
  • prohibition of forced and compulsory labour
  • abolition of child labour
  • intolerance of discrimination
  • establishing fair and competitive wages and benefits
  • providing a safe and healthy work environment
  • employee security
  • community commitment
  • guiding principles for suppliers.

Progress against 2013 targets

2013 Target Progress

Strengthen grievance policies and procedures across the group.

As a minimum standard, SAM now requires all operations to have a grievance policy in place, and for that policy to be communicated to all employees. All grievances must be investigated with corrective action taken.

Refresh our human rights measurement in light of the John Ruggie review.

The human rights and enterprise development and value chain stairways have both been updated following a review of the Ruggie Protect, Respect and Remedy framework and Guiding Principles.

The review demonstrated that there was a need to tighten the stairways. The level 1 minimum standards have been strengthened to ensure sufficient due diligence is in place. For example, the enterprise development stairway now requires all new supplier contracts to reference the Group Responsible Sourcing Principles.

Launch a new human rights risk assessment toolkit.

A toolkit to help operations to identify and mitigate against key human rights risks was developed and launched.

2014 targets

  • Have 200 of our highest risk suppliers independently audited for social and ethical compliance
  • Launch our updated Supplier Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing Standards
  • Continue our engagement with AIM-PROGRESS to build our procurement function and supplier capability

Position paper

Our position on human rights: the need to have respect for human rights

Download Position paper PDF (0.09Mb)

Position paper on human rights