Human rights and compliance

Human rights landing image
Working with cocoa co-operatives in Côte d'Ivoire to eliminate child labour by providing access to education.

We have a responsibility to respect human rights in our supply chains and to perform to the highest ethical standards. Our commitments require real action to address issues, from forced labour and gender inequality to corruption. We work hard to ensure that employees and those who work in our supply chain are protected from all forms of political, legal and social abuse.

Our strategy

Our responsibility to respect human rights is at the forefront of our business, and we continually review and assess the human rights risks of our business activities. We work to prevent and address any negative impacts we may have on the rights of those whom we employ, do business with or interact with throughout our value chain. We carefully balance compliance and continuous improvement with transparency and confidentiality, adapting our approach to local circumstances wherever we operate.

Respecting human rights

By leveraging their value chain, companies can play a positive role in improving human rights in countries where they operate, and thereby helping governments meet their duty to protect human rights.

Our approach

We believe we demonstrate leadership within our sector on identifying and tackling human rights issues. We were one of the first companies to adopt the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and this has provided the basis for our integrated approach to reporting on human rights.

Through our Human Rights Due Diligence Programme, we identify and manage salient issues – those at risk of the most severe impacts through our activities and business relationships – and report on our progress, ensuring that human rights are integrated into our policies, procedures and management systems. We believe this approach ensures human rights considerations are embedded in our daily business activities wherever we operate.

Collective action – Tackling child labour in the hazelnut supply chain

Along with key suppliers Olam-Progida and BALSU, and the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS), we are working on a Fair Labor Association-led project, funded by the United States Department of Labor, to reduce child and forced labour in the hazelnut supply chain. As part of an institutional survey, in 2016 worker profiling was carried out with 478 workers on 95 farms, with community profiling scheduled for early 2017. The local implementing partner, the Young Life Foundation, piloted a number of interventions in Ordu and Düzce municipalities during the harvest period, such as summer schools for the children of migrant hazelnut pickers, establishing a database of labour contractors, and providing awareness-raising training to farmers, families and their children and government representatives. A total of 286 children from 22 villages were provided safe space during the harvest season. The findings from the institutional survey have been shared with the companies involved, enabling further company-level interventions to be planned for 2017.

To find out more about our actions on child labour please visit our cocoa page.

Our commitments

Compliance

A strong compliance culture is a non-negotiable foundation of how we do business. We will take whatever action is necessary to ensure our company is managed in line with our principles and with national laws and international standards, and give all our stakeholders the opportunity to report any practices or actions that conflict with those principles and laws.

Our approach

We are committed to a strong compliance culture across our business, as reflected in the The Nestlé Corporate Business Principles (pdf, 1.1Mb). Compliance is ensured through both internal reporting and external audits, including our CARE internal audit system. We encourage employees, suppliers and stakeholders to report practices or actions at Nestlé that are believed to be inappropriate or illegal through our ‘Tell us’ scheme and Nestlé Integrity Reporting System. We investigate all complaints with impartiality, prohibiting retaliation. When a breach is identified, we put an immediate end to it and take appropriate response measures.

Our commitments