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 KothaIn 2020, Amazon began working with the Amader Kotha Helpline, which provides workers with a mechanism to report and resolve safety and other concerns in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh. The Helpline was initially established as a project of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety following the Rana Plaza tragedy. In 2018, the Helpline became an independent initiative available to all garment workers with the support of factories and brands.
amforiIn 2018, Amazon became a member of 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.
Better Buying InstituteIn 2019, Amazon began partnering with the Better Buying Institute as part of their commitment to reimagining supply chain sustainability and leveraging data to strengthen supplier-buyer partnerships and improve purchasing practices. Better Buying’s cloud-based platform enables suppliers to anonymously rate the purchasing practices of their buyers, providing data-driven insights which can be used by retailers, brands, and suppliers to continually improve purchasing practices, and achieve mutually beneficial sustainability outcomes.
Better CottonTo support the transition to sourcing more-sustainable cotton for Amazon Private Brands apparel products, in 2019 Amazon joined Better Cotton, a global nonprofit and the largest cotton sustainability program in the world. Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. In 2021, we also joined Better Cotton’s Retailer and Brand Advisory Panel on Traceability.
Business for Social ResponsibilityAmazon is a member of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), an organization of sustainable business experts working with its global network of leading companies to build a just and sustainable world. In 2021, Amazon participated in BSR initiatives such as Future of Fuels (a collaboration with a mission to build demand and promote adoption of clean energy technology for trucking), Clean Cargo Working Group (an initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of global goods transportation), and Tech Against Trafficking (a coalition of technology companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology).
BSR HERprojectIn 2019, Amazon began partnering with BSR’s HERproject, an initiative that brings together global brands, their suppliers, and local partners to create and implement workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality. Through our partnership with HERproject, we engage suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India. As of December 2021, we had reached 10,000 women with HERproject programming, including training on health and financial skills, and building the capacity of workers and factory management to combat gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
International Center for Research on Women AdvisorsAmazon worked with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) Advisors and The Mara Partners to develop a multiyear strategy to advance gender equity across our global supply chain.
Issara InstituteIssara Institute is an independent nonprofit 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 its support and commitments to workers, suppliers, and recruitment agencies in its own supply chain and the broader ecosystem.
NestIn 2020, Amazon partnered with Nest, a nonprofit supporting the growth and development of the artisan sector to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion. Through programs that improve worker well-being for those working outside the four-walled factory, Nest is bringing radical transparency and opportunity to the informal handworker economy globally. Amazon is proud to serve on Nest’s Steering Committee.
Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals TradeAmazon joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) in 2020. The PPA is a multisector initiative among leaders in civil society, government, and industry to support projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the surrounding Great Lakes Region of Central Africa that improve the due diligence and governance systems needed for ethical supply chains. In 2022, Amazon will provide additional funding toward these efforts and participate in working groups devoted to enhancing local data collection.
Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value ChainsWe 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.
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 (RLI), a multi-industry, multistakeholder initiative hosted by the Responsible Business Alliance 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 that empowers companies to implement responsible business practices and policies in their business and supply chain to build responsible supply chains. Sedex provides businesses with the tools, technology, and insights needed to operate ethically, source responsibly, and work with their suppliers to create fair working conditions for the people who make their products and services.
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 joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industrywide group of more than 250 leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, nongovernmental organizations, academic experts, and government organizations working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel products around the world. We encourage our Amazon-branded suppliers to evaluate their practices using the Coalition’s Higg Index, a tool to help manufacturers measure the social and environmental performance of their facilities.
Tech Against TraffickingTech Against Trafficking is a coalition of companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology. Amazon sits on the organization’s steering committee and has leveraged the expertise and resources of AWS to help explore and scale the use of technology solutions across the antitrafficking field.
The Centre for Child Rights and BusinessIn 2020, Amazon joined The Centre for Child Rights and Business working group to engage with peer brands and identify common challenges, share resources, and implement best practices to make supply chains safer for children, young people, and working migrant parents. 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 PartnersWe worked with International Center for Research on Women Advisors and The Mara Partners to develop a multiyear strategy to advance gender equity across our global supply chain.
ThornThorn, an organization that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, leverages AWS architecture and machine learning tools in their Spotlight product. Spotlight’s sophisticated machine learning capabilities save time for investigators by automatically flagging ads likely to represent at-risk children. Investigators can set customized alerts and search Spotlight’s constantly growing database of ads to aid in their investigations. Spotlight has helped identify more than 20,000 child sex trafficking victims.
Truckers Against TraffickingAmazon is an official corporate sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an organization dedicated to combating human trafficking in the trucking industry, and began incorporating TAT training modules into trainings for our internal fleet of drivers to teach them how to identify and respond to potential victims of human trafficking. Since the launch of our partnership, we have trained over 9,000 Amazon transportation associates.
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.