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Human Rights: Making a positive and lasting impact


Here’s how we’re addressing eight salient human rights in our supply chain

Cocoa farmers in Ghana

In 2015, in our inaugural Human Rights Report (PDF 3.86 MB), we identified our eight salient human rights issues – the human rights that are at risk of the most severe negative impacts to right-holders through our activities or business relationships.

The eight salient issues are discrimination; fair wages; forced labor; freedom of association; harassment; health & safety; land rights; and working hours.

On this Human Rights Day, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our business leaders share highlights of the progress we have made in a series of short videos.

1. Discrimination: helping people reach their full potential

We want everyone to work in an environment that promotes diversity and where there is no discrimination or victimisation.

2. Fair wages: delivering on our commitment to be a living wage employer

We created a global Framework for Fair Compensation and benchmarked entry-level wages against external fair wage indicators. Our Responsible Sourcing Policy also asks suppliers to move towards a living wage approach.

3. Forced labor: setting employment standards

We have zero tolerance of forced labor and human trafficking which involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will.

4. Freedom of association: working together to maintain and improve conditions of employment

Freedom of association gives you the right to join a trade union of your choice or another body representing collective interests and to bargain collectively.

5. Harassment: ending gender-based violence, creating safe spaces for women

Harassment can take many forms – verbal or physical, occurring only once or persisting over time. It is a form of discrimination and has no place in our business, as we state in the Code of Business Principles and other Code Policies. We have also helped UN Women shape ‘A Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces’.

6. Health & safety: moving towards ‘Vision Zero’

We’ve created safety committees at each of our sites and provide tools and training to help employees adopt safe behaviors.

7. Land rights: Looking at the right of women to land ownership

We’ve created a new Global Land Rights Policy which includes principles and due diligence.

8. Working hours: engaging suppliers to address excessive working hours

Combating excessive working hours is a key requirement of our Responsible Sourcing Policy.

We have made progress and there’s more to do

“Due to the size and diversity of our value chain, we still have significant work to do,” acknowledges Global VP, Integrated Social Sustainability, Marcela Manubens.

“Our ambition is to embed the promotion of human rights into every function, every role and every corner of our organization,” adds our Chief Supply Chain Officer Marc Engel.

“Addressing our salient human rights in our value chain helps us build a more resilient business and we will continue to make both the moral and the business case to create fundamental positive change,” he says.

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