Human Rights

The company discloses what measures it takes, strategies it pursues and targets it sets for itself and for the supply chain for ensuring that human rights are respected globally and that forced and child labour as well as all forms of exploitation are prevented. Information should also be provided on the results of the measures and on any relevant risks.

17
A globalised economy with increasingly complex supply chains and ever greater competitive pressure gives rise to the risk of human rights violations. Companies therefore increasingly have a responsibility to effectively defend these rights within their own business activities and all along the value chain. Human rights violations come to light more quickly these days thanks to the information society and are incorporated into companies’ risk assessments; they influence consumer behaviour and business relations. A company fulfilling its due diligence obligations can therefore not only boost customer and staff retention, but also improve supply relationships and thus contribute to the company’s long-term success.

What needs to be borne in mind?
The upholding of human rights is not just a topic for global enterprises. Human rights issues are relevant in Germany too, such as freedom of association (e.g. regarding the formation of trade unions), the principle of equal pay for equal work and protection from (occupational) diseases. Please give a precise account here of how your company fulfils its human rights due diligence obligations now and intends to do so in the future and demonstrate how you go above and beyond compliance with the laws as applicable. For guidance here, you may wish to refer to the publication “Respecting human rights: An introductory guide for business” developed by Global Compact Network Germany, twentyfifty and the German Institute for Human Rights.
There is a degree of overlap with criterion 14, Employee Rights. In addition to the upholding of your employees’ human rights, please therefore describe in particular how you handle the human rights of other stakeholders throughout the value chain, such as customers (e.g. product safety in relation to the right to physical integrity), residents (resettlement in relation to land rights), the especially vulnerable, etc.
 
Aspect 1:
Report on the goals and planned goal achievement time frames for the upholding of human rights by your company, any subsidiaries, and suppliers and service providers.

Aspect 2:
Report on the strategies and concrete measures for the upholding of human rights by your company, any subsidiaries and suppliers.

Aspect 3:
State whether previous goals were achieved and, if so, to what extent, and disclose any goals which were not achieved and why.

Aspect 4:
Report on the material risks arising from your business activities, your business relations and your products and/or services that are likely to have a negative impact on human rights.
Human rights apply to all people equally. They are universally valid and indivisible, and no one can be deprived of them. Governments and companies have a duty to protect these rights. This makes them directly responsible for the upholding of human rights. There are various globally recognised texts that lay down the various human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO’s core labour standards.
Reporting on the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights

If you wish to use your Code declaration of conformity to also report (element 4 of due diligence obligations) in accordance with the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP), please additionally report on the basis of the following checklist. Questions set in italics are already covered in your responses to the corresponding Code aspects.

1. Human rights policy statement
  • State whether your company has its own corporate guidelines for upholding human rights and whether they also encompass the ILO’s core labour standards.
  • Has the company management approved the policy statement?
  • Describe your company’s internal and external communication on the topic of human rights.
  • At which level is responsibility for human rights concerns enshrined? (CSR-RUG checklist 1b)
  • Define the reach that your guidelines have (which sites, including subsidiaries etc.).
2. Procedures for the identification of actual or potential adverse impact on human rights
  • State whether and how your company analyses human rights risks (caused by your business activities, your business relations, your products and services, at its sites, due to political parameters) (criterion 17, checklist aspect 4).
  • Are especially vulnerable groups of people incorporated into the risk assessment?
  • What is your company’s assessment of the human rights risks and its ability to counter these itself?
  • How are human rights risks incorporated into your company’s risk management?
3. Measures to review effectiveness / Element: grievance mechanism
  • Is there training for employees in the area of human rights?
  • State whether and how the upholding of human rights is checked.
  • Describe any internal grievance mechanisms and clearly assigned responsibilities within the company or explain how access to external grievance mechanisms is ensured.
  • Do whistle-blowing mechanisms also apply to suppliers?

4. Human rights due diligence obligations in the value chain
  • Is there a suppliers’ code of conduct that comprises the four ILO core labour standards?
  • State whether and how a check is performed for human rights risks prior to entering into a business partnership.
  • Are suppliers given training on human rights?
  • What processes does your company use to guarantee that its suppliers uphold human rights?
  • Do you implement measures (jointly with suppliers) in the event of a conflict or do you work with other stakeholders? If so, which ones?
  • What redress policies are there? Report on incidents in the reporting period.
Reporting in line with the German CSR Directive Implementation Act   
(German legislation implementing the Directive 2014/95/EU)

Upholding of human rights
If you also wish to use your Code declaration to comply with the reporting obligation in accordance with the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG), the checklist below will give you guidance regarding how the Code Office checks it for formal completeness. You can provide the relevant information concerning the upholding of human rights under this Code criterion. Questions set in italics are already covered in your responses to the corresponding Code aspects..

1. Report on the management policy pursued:
a. ls and planned goal achievement time frames (criterion 17, aspect 1).
b. How corporate governance is incorporated into the policy.
c. Strategies and concrete measures for achieving the goals (criterion 17, Aspect 2).
d. Internal processes for monitoring implementation of the measures.

2. Report on the results of the policy:
a. Whether and to what extent previous goals were achieved (criterion 17, aspect 3).
b. Whether and how it is determined that the policy needs modifying and what conclusions are then drawn.

3. Report on the risks:
a. How the risks were identified and the material risks were filtered out (due diligence processes).
b. Material risks arising from your business activities that are highly likely to have a negative impact on human rights (criterion 17, aspect 4).
c. Material risks arising from your business relations that are highly likely to have a negative impact on human rights (criterion 17, aspect 4).
d. Material risks arising from your products and services that are highly likely to have a negative impact on human rights (criterion 17, aspect 4).

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