Human Rights and Working Conditions
Ford was the first automaker to recognize that protecting human rights in our operations and our supply chain is an important sustainability issue, and we remain committed to respecting human rights everywhere that we operate. Our human rights and working conditions program is an integral part of our efforts to develop a more sustainable and ethical supply chain.
Our Approach to Safeguarding Human Rights
We aim to ensure that everything we make – or that others make for us – is consistent with local law and our own commitment to protecting human rights.
This commitment, in our own operations and in those of our suppliers, is embodied in our Policy Letter 24 (pdf, 156kb): Ford Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility. This code is based on internationally recognized labor standards, including the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Labour Organization Covenants; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; and the United Nations’ Global Compact Principles.
Policy Letter 24 outlines our commitments on key human and labor rights issues such as working hours, child labor and forced labor, human trafficking, health and safety, harassment and discrimination, and freedom of association. It also:
- Articulates our commitment to be a good corporate citizen and how we work to implement policies and programs to benefit the communities in which we operate
- Encourages suppliers to adopt and enforce similar policies for their own suppliers and subcontractors
This commitment requires a robust approach to safeguarding against human rights abuses in our supply chain. This approach includes:
- Analyzing the risks related to human rights and working conditions associated with our supply base on a regular basis (see below)
- Conducting training and working to build our suppliers’ capability
- Auditing our Tier 1 suppliers in high-priority locations to ensure their continued compliance with legal requirements and Ford’s standards
- Collaborating with others in multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships to drive positive change throughout the automotive industry
See our United Nations’ Guiding Principles Reporting Framework page for further detail on how we’re meeting our responsibility to respect human rights.
Prioritizing Our Efforts
Due to the size and reach of our global supply base, we focus our efforts on suppliers located in countries that pose the highest risk for substandard working conditions.
To determine those priority locations, we conduct an annual risk analysis, incorporating internal and external data, and input from external stakeholders. The internal data includes information such as the commodities being purchased and the supplier’s location, annual spend, and training and audit history within Ford’s Supply Chain Sustainability program. As a result of this analysis, our list of 22 high-priority countries remained unchanged in 2016 (see map below).
In addition, our Purchasing Supplier Technical Assistance (STA) representatives are trained to identify and report potential warning indicators for human rights violations in any supplier location around the world. As a result, when individual circumstances arise, we routinely work with suppliers outside these locations to ensure that our expectations continue to be met.
Human Rights and Working Conditions Program: Priority Countries
Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela
Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Europe, Middle East and Africa: Morocco, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey