Amazon is committed to treating the people connected to our entire value chain with fundamental dignity and respect. We strive to embed respect for human rights throughout our business activities and relationships.
Our strategy to deliver on these commitments is based on the UNGPs, and has the following five pillars:
Developing Strong Policies
Our efforts are anchored in policies that apply across our business—from our own operations to our supply chain, and from the design and use of our technology to the communities we impact. We regularly review our policies to identify areas for update and improvement, engaging external stakeholders and 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 detail the requirements and expectations for our suppliers, their supply chains, and selling partners that list products in our stores. They are grounded in principles of inclusivity, continuous improvement, and supply chain accountability. We engage with suppliers that are committed to these same principles; suppliers commit to these standards as a condition of doing business with us. At least every three years, in line with industry best practices, we review our Supply Chain Standards against policies developed by industry associations. Additionally, we review these standards in consultation with human rights experts and organizations, including Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Impactt Limited, International Center for Research on Women, Nest, the Responsible Business Alliance, and UN Women.
Embedding Human Rights Into Our Business
We’re committed to embedding human rights considerations into decision-making across our company and into our policy and governance framework. Amazon’s Board of Directors is responsible for the control and direction of Amazon and regularly reviews reports on various aspects of our business, including related risks and the strategies for addressing them. While the entire Board has overall responsibility for risk oversight, the Board has delegated responsibility for certain risks to its committees.
Among other duties and responsibilities, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee oversees Amazon’s environmental, social, and corporate governance policies and initiatives. These include policies and initiatives related to corporate social responsibility, such as human rights and ethical business practices, and related risks most relevant to Amazon’s operations and engagement with customers, suppliers, and communities. Among other duties and responsibilities, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee oversees Amazon’s strategies and policies related to human capital management, including diversity and inclusion, workplace environment and safety, and corporate culture. The committees regularly meet with management and review these matters.
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 operationalize 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.
Mechanisms to Assess, Prioritize, and Address 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. We, like many companies in similar industries, 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, Freely Chosen Employment, Gender Equity, Fair Wages, Environmental Protection, and Grievance Mechanisms.
Within our own operations, our central team focuses on human rights due diligence and collaborates with teams dedicated to assessing, prioritizing, and addressing human rights risks to our employees. These teams focus on establishing open communication with Amazon employees, providing them with meaningful grievance mechanisms, building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and keeping our employees safe. We know we have more to do, and we’re committed to widening our lens to better understand the potential human rights impacts of our business.
Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement
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.
Transparency is an important tool to help us understand and address risks in our value chain and identify opportunities for collaboration on systemic issues. We publish an interactive supply chain map that provides details on suppliers of Amazon-branded apparel, consumer electronics, food and beverage, and home goods products. We provide data from supplier assessments annually, including year-over-year data on High- and Medium-level issues in our supply chain. We report on actions to prioritize the three foundational commitments identified in our enterprisewide saliency assessment. We also contribute lists of our apparel suppliers to the Open Apparel Registry to foster brand collaboration and action in the apparel industry.
We report annually in line with the UNGP Reporting Framework and publish an annual Modern Slavery Statement.
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.
Grievance Mechanisms and Effective Access to Remedy
As part of our first enterprisewide human rights saliency assessment, we made a foundational commitment 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.
In our operations, 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. 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. As stated in our Leadership Principles, we Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer, offering a safer, more productive, higher performing, more diverse, and more just work environment. 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. We recognize that Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility. We must begin each day with a determination to make better, do better, and be better for our customers, our employees, our partners, and the world at large.
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.
We also 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. Established by BSR, the UN Foundation, and Women Win, the Resilience Fund aims to raise at least $10 million to make strategic, long-term investments in women’s economic resilience, health, and well-being. Amazon’s donation will be invested in local organizations globally, serving women in manufacturing, apparel, and agricultural supply chain communities.
Our support of the Women’s Empowerment Principles underscores our long-standing work to promote gender equality and empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and communities, and we are encouraged to see other like-minded businesses coming together to drive positive change.
- Worker Inclusive: Worker trust is paramount; workers should have input into the mechanisms’ design and performance, particularly how worker voice mechanisms will address and resolve issues.
- Privacy Ensured: Mechanisms must never cause harm to workers; mechanisms must have adequate safeguards in place, providing workers with notice of how data will be protected.
- Equitable and Accessible: Mechanisms should accommodate diversity and ensure that workers have reasonable access to the information, advice, and expertise necessary to engage with the mechanism. Workers who face particular barriers due to language, literacy, or disability should have adequate assistance.
- Transparent and Predictable: Mechanisms should provide users with clear procedures to set expectations on time frames, how outcomes will be monitored, and how stakeholders will be informed about the mechanism’s effectiveness.
- Source of Continuous Learning: New mechanisms should be adequately resourced, developed to complement existing mechanisms, and used to understand areas of risk and integrate feedback into the design and implementation of programs.
Partnerships enhance our impact and help support sustainability efforts beyond Amazon. We collaborate with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative industry partners around the world who share our vision.
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.
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.
Business for Social ResponsibilityAmazon 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.
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, multistakeholder 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.
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 Audit (SMETA) audits 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 Mara PartnersAmazon joined the Climate Resolute Coalition that is convened by The Mara Partners and Kite Insights. We did not otherwise continue our work with the Mara Partners in 2022.
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.
UnseenAmazon supports the UK-wide Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline operated by Unseen, investing in their efforts to provide immediate and long-term assistance to potential victims of modern slavery and to ensure the Helpline’s continued growth. The Helpline provides direct response and services to potential victims of modern slavery, and helps shape trainings and wider services for vulnerable people.
Modern Slavery StatementAmazon does not tolerate the use of child labor, forced labor, or human trafficking in any form—including slave labor, prison labor, indentured servitude, or bonded labor—in our operations or value chain.
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.