Advancing Human Rights
We believe everyone should be treated with fundamental dignity and respect, and provided an equal opportunity to thrive. We’re committed to ensuring this for all the people connected to our business—our employees, our customers, our partners, our suppliers, and our broader communities.
We are embedding respect for human rights throughout our business activities and relationships through our principles and standards. We conduct human rights saliency assessments to identify risks, and prevent and address impacts through audits, open communication, and stakeholder engagement, among other mechanisms.
Our human rights strategy is informed by leading international standards and frameworks developed by the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). We are committed to respecting and supporting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Core Conventions of the ILO, and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
Our strategy to deliver on these commitments is based on the UNGPs and has five pillars:
Developing and Maintaining Strong Policies and Standards
Our efforts are anchored in policies that apply across our business. We regularly review our policies to identify areas for updates and improvements. We also engage external stakeholders and conduct benchmarking against international human rights standards and evolving industry norms.
Our Global Human Rights Principles demonstrate our commitment to respecting human rights and the dignity of people connected to our business around the world.
Our Supply Chain Standards apply to all suppliers of goods and services for Amazon and Amazon’s subsidiaries, including service providers, vendors, selling partners, contractors, and subcontractors (collectively, “suppliers”). They are grounded in principles of inclusivity, continuous improvement, and supply chain accountability. We engage with suppliers that are committed to these same principles and suppliers commit to these standards as a condition of doing business with us. We update these standards at least every three years, working with external stakeholders to align requirements with current best practices and regulatory standards.
Embedding Human Rights Into Our Business Operations and Decision-Making
We’re committed to embedding human rights considerations into decision-making across our company and into our policy and governance framework. While Amazon’s Board of Directors has overall responsibility for risk oversight of the company, the Board has delegated responsibility for certain risks to its committees.
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee oversees the management of risks related to our environmental, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility practices, including those related to human rights. The committee regularly meets with management to review these matters. Learn more about our committees on Management and Governance.
As a global company, we recognize the responsibility and opportunity we have to raise awareness among our employees on human rights issues. We have a central team that works across the company to conduct human rights due diligence and embed human rights considerations into everyday business decisions.
We also offer trainings tailored to salient human rights risks. For example, our forced labor awareness program makes ongoing training available to employees around the world to help them recognize indicators of forced labor and report concerns to appropriate authorities in a way that puts the interests of potential victims first.
Assessing, Prioritizing, and Addressing Risk
We’re committed to assessing, prioritizing, and addressing adverse human rights impacts connected to our business, and are continually working to improve our approach. At Amazon, businesses deploy a variety of mechanisms to do this.
In our supply chain, we assess and respond to risk by leveraging internal and external data and guidance from external stakeholders, including industry experts, civil society groups, and nongovernmental organizations. We engage directly with suppliers and their workers, and conduct independent audits to verify compliance with our Supply Chain Standards. We work with suppliers on appropriate remediation measures and offer partnerships and programs to help them address risks and invest in worker well-being.
We recognize that audits alone are insufficient to drive long-term change across industries. Like many companies in similar industries, we are exploring new ways to encourage improvement in worker protections. These include supporting suppliers’ efforts to improve their grievance mechanisms, supplier capacity-building programs, worker trainings, and collaborations with other brands and civil society. We currently focus our supply chain efforts on key commitment areas: Safe Workplaces, Responsible Recruitment and Freely Chosen Employment, Gender Equity, Fair Wages, Environmental Protection, and Access to Effective Grievance Mechanisms. Learn more about our Supply Chain Commitments.
Within our own operations, we have a central team that works across the company to conduct human rights due diligence and embed human rights considerations into everyday business decisions. With support from this team, Amazon businesses work towards integrating our human rights principles into their operations and business relationships by conducting human rights risk assessments and remedying identified issues.
In line with the UNGPs, identifying and prioritizing the most salient risks connected to Amazon operations and business relationships is central to our human rights due diligence practices. As we continue to improve and expand our human rights due diligence practices, we will leverage human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) to assess and address risks connected to our operations and business relationships. HRIAs help us understand causes of systemic issues, enhance ongoing engagement with critical stakeholders, and facilitate increasingly transparent disclosures.
Engaging With Stakeholders
We’re committed to driving best practices in human rights due diligence through increased disclosures about our approach and by expanding our stakeholder engagement. Each year, we track progress on our human rights commitments and publicly share up-to-date information about our programs, including external partnerships with organizations that share our core human rights values.
Engagement with external stakeholders is key to our human rights due diligence approach. This collaboration is essential to identifying positive outcomes for people connected to our business and is part of our responsibility to respect human rights in line with the UNGPs. We rely on experts and affected rights-holders to inform our approach and validate that our efforts have the impact we intend. Through regular stakeholder engagement and strategic partnerships, we incorporate invaluable expert input into our work, helping us achieve greater impact on people connected to our business around the world.
Improving Access to Effective Grievance Mechanisms and Remediation Procedures
As part of our first enterprise-wide human rights saliency assessment, we made a foundational commitment to ensure that those in our value chain have the opportunity for concerns to be heard and issues to be resolved. Focusing on listening to the people connected to our business and understanding their experiences to address risks and remedy issues is a critical element of our human rights approach and a core obligation under the UNGPs.
Consistent, honest, and open communication with our employees allows us to continually improve our workplace experience, empowering individuals to voice concerns and have them directly addressed by leadership. Our goal is to hear from and listen to everyone. Dedicated teams across the company focus on establishing open communication with our employees, providing them with meaningful grievance mechanisms and avenues for dialogue with leadership. We have many policies, practices, and mechanisms in place to provide open lines of communication between leadership and employees, and act regularly to address employee concerns and make improvements. Aligning with the UNGP Reporting Framework, Amazon’s policies and practices are designed to promote respect for the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining and to comply with the legal requirements of the countries where we operate.
Our aim is that every worker across our supply chain has access to an effective grievance mechanism. We work with suppliers to increase their capacity to develop these mechanisms by creating channels to hear directly from workers about their experiences and to support the resolution of issues from workers’ perspectives.
Identifying and prioritizing the most salient risks connected to Amazon operations and business relationships is central to our human rights due diligence practices. We completed an enterprise-wide human rights saliency assessment in 2020. Through that process, we identified nine salient human rights risks across our operations and business relationships. Since then, we have built on this foundation, performing human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) across a number of Amazon businesses to gain deeper understanding of our salient issues. Our salient human rights risks:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Safe and Healthy Working Conditions
- Modern Slavery and Forced Labor
- Fair Wages and Hours
- Freedom of Association
- Future of Work
- Right to Privacy
- Product Safety and Security
- Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
We use HRIAs to assess and address risks connected to our operations and business relationships. HRIAs help us understand causes of systemic issues, enhance ongoing engagement with critical stakeholders, and facilitate increasingly transparent disclosures.
We recognize that many human rights risks are complex issues with widespread social impacts. Addressing these risks requires cross-industry engagement to find effective solutions. We collaborate with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative industry partners around the world who share our vision. Learn more about our partners by exploring the logos below.
Amader KothaAmazon partners with the Amader Kotha Helpline to provide workers in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh with a platform to voice their concerns related to labor, safety, and other issues. Through the helpline, Amazon gains direct feedback from workers in our supply chain to help us improve working conditions.
amforiAmazon works with amfori, a leading global business association for open and sustainable trade. Amfori brings together over 2,400 retailers, importers, brands, and associations from over 40 countries to drive social performance and improvements across global supply chains. We accept amfori’s Business Social Compliance Initiative (amfori BSCI) audits as part of our supplier due diligence program.
Article OneWe partner with business and human rights consultancy Article One to conduct saliency and human rights impact assessments. We also work with Article One to embed human rights due diligence throughout our complex, global business.
Better Buying InstituteAmazon partners with Better Buying, a leading global initiative committed to leveraging supplier data to help drive lasting improvements in global supply chains. Better Buying’s cloud-based platform enables suppliers to anonymously rate the purchasing practices of their buyers and identify which practices the buyer needs to improve. Brands and retailers can then use these data-driven insights to partner with their suppliers to continuously improve, measure progress year over year, and achieve mutually beneficial sustainability outcomes.
Better CottonAmazon is a member of Better Cotton to support our transition to sourcing more sustainable cotton within Amazon-owned Private Brand apparel products.
BSRAmazon is a member of BSR, a sustainable business network and consultancy focused on creating a world in which all people can thrive on a healthy planet. We participate in various BSR collaborative initiatives, including Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions, Tech Against Trafficking, Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking, Sustainable Production Alliance, HERproject and the Human Rights Working Group.
BSR HERprojectAmazon partners with BSR’s HERproject, a collaborative initiative that strives to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. Through our participation in HERproject, we help increase the well-being, confidence, and economic potential of women and men in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India.
International Center for Research on Women AdvisorsAmazon works with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) on a multi-year strategy to advance gender equity across global supply chains. Amazon is also part of ICRW’s Gender Equity Worker Engagement Group (GEWEG) to co-finance harmonized, gender-responsive worker voice and employee engagement tools, including a comprehensive set of e-learning modules for suppliers on gender equity. The GEWEG initiative helps member companies understand and address challenges women face and advance their well-being across supply chains.
Issara InstituteIssara Institute is an independent non-profit organization based in Asia and the U.S. tackling issues of human trafficking and forced labor through worker voice, partnership, and innovation. Through Issara’s Strategic Partners Program, Amazon is advancing our support and commitments to workers, suppliers, and recruitment agencies in our own supply chain and the broader ecosystem.
NestAmazon partners with Nest, a non-profit organization supporting the growth and development of the global artisan sector to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion. Through their Ethical Handcraft program, which protects the rights of handworkers in the informal sector, and a host of artisan and maker business development programs, Nest is bringing radical transparency and opportunity to the global handworker economy. Amazon serves on the Nest Coalition.
PolarisIn the U.S., Amazon supports Polaris, a nonprofit leading social justice movement working to address sex and labor trafficking. AWS delivers financial and technical support to enhance Polaris’s data collection and improve trafficking identification and prevention.
Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals TradeAmazon joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) in 2020 and became a member of the PPA’s Governance Committee in 2022. The PPA is a multi-stakeholder initiative working to promote ethically and economically sound minerals supply chains, due diligence systems, and local governance systems that uphold human rights and labor rights, support environmental responsibility, eliminate links to armed conflict and corruption, and maximize benefits to the communities where minerals are produced.
Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value ChainsAmazon made a $1 million contribution to the Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains. The Resilience Fund pools corporate investments to drive local, women-led solutions to some of the toughest problems facing women in global value chains. The Resilience Fund was established by BSR, the UN Foundation, and Women Win, in partnership with corporate investors. It aims to raise $10 million to make strategic, long-term investments in women’s economic resilience, health, and well-being and has committed more than $2.5 million in grants to organizations in South and Southeast Asia.
Responsible Business AllianceAmazon is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a nonprofit coalition of companies committed to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities worldwide affected by global supply chains.
Responsible Labor InitiativeAmazon is a member of the Responsible Labor Initiative, a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative hosted by the RBA focused on ensuring that the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted.
Responsible Minerals InitiativeAmazon is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an initiative of the RBA, which provides companies with tools and resources to make sourcing decisions that improve regulatory compliance and support responsible sourcing globally. We participate in RMI working groups devoted to smelter engagement.
SedexAmazon is a member of Sedex, a global membership organization and solutions provider that empowers companies to build responsible supply chains. Sedex provides businesses with a comprehensive data platform, practical tools, and resources to operate ethically, source responsibly, and work with their suppliers to create fair working conditions for the people who make their products and services. We accept Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA) as part of our Responsible Sourcing Program.
StolenYouthAmazon partners with StolenYouth, a Seattle-based organization with the mission to end child sex trafficking in the state of Washington through prevention, connecting trafficked youth to resources and services, and empowering survivors along their path to recovery and a promising future. We support StolenYouth by providing both financial support and goods donations.
Sustainable Apparel CoalitionAmazon is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance for the consumer goods industry. It’s made up of more than 250 leading brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs, and academic institutions in apparel, footwear, and textiles working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain.
Tech Against TraffickingTech Against Trafficking is a coalition of companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology. Amazon is a member of the Tech Against Trafficking steering committee and has leveraged the expertise and resources of AWS to help scale tech solutions across the anti-trafficking field.
The Centre for Child Rights and BusinessAmazon is a member of the Centre for Child Rights and Business (The Centre). In 2021, we committed to support the Centre’s Joint Action Pledge to strengthen the protection of children’s rights and accelerate action to address child labor in global supply chains. The Centre supports businesses to deliver improvements within their supply chains that not only benefit workers, families, and children, but also deliver positive business outcomes.
The Copper MarkAmazon is an official partner of The Copper Mark, which oversees the world’s only comprehensive social and environmental assurance program for the copper industry.
ThornThorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse and leverages AWS machine learning tools in their Spotlight and Safer products. Safer is also made available to AWS customers to enable them to identify and address potential child sexual abuse material in their own services and resources.
Truckers Against TraffickingAmazon is an official corporate sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an organization that seeks to educate, equip, and mobilize members of the transportation and energy industries to combat human trafficking.
UlulaAmazon partners with Ulula to amplify worker and community voices and create more responsible supply chains. We help connect our suppliers to Ulula’s digital platform to enable workers to anonymously report concerns and seek resolution from factory management. Ulula is available to workers across Cambodia, China, India, and Pakistan.
USAID - Climate Gender Equity FundIn 2022, we made a $53 million commitment to address these gender inequities. This includes a $50 million investment through The Climate Pledge Fund’s new Female Founder Initiative to invest in women-founded and -led climate tech companies. The additional $3 million will be delivered through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Climate Gender Equity Fund. Amazon will work with The Climate Pledge signatories and other companies to encourage additional support for, and corporate investment in, this new fund.
United States Council for International BusinessAmazon is a member of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). USCIB represents American business on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization and engages with policymakers to support policies that promote respect for human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Modern Slavery StatementAmazon does not tolerate the use of child labor, forced labor, or human trafficking in any form. Our Modern Slavery Statement describes our policies, activities, and efforts to identify and prevent the risk of all forms of modern slavery in our operations and business relationships.
Supply Chain StandardsOur Supply Chain Standards detail the requirements and expectations for suppliers in our supply chain and are grounded in principles of inclusivity, continuous improvement, and supply chain accountability.
If you have a concern about a human rights or environmental issue related to Amazon’s business or supply chains, we strongly encourage you to use this webform to report your concern directly to us. The webform can be viewed in various languages by selecting the desired language at the top of the page.