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Targeting Our Human Rights Activities

We have clear, established commitments to human rights throughout our global operations. By identifying and prioritizing the issues that can have the most impact on our business, we can better target our activities to promote human rights and achieve greater results.

Our International Framework Agreement on Human Rights

We believe that our most important asset is our diverse group of men and women. In addition to the policies and procedures we have in place to protect our employees, and our corporate commitment to human rights, we also have an International Framework Agreement (IFA) that reiterates our commitments to our global labor community. The principles outlined in our framework agreement are based on labor standards espoused by various groups, institutions and documents, such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility.

Our International Framework Agreement Human Rights Principles

  • We respect employees’ right to freedom of association and to collectively bargain

  • We do not tolerate harassment or unfair discrimination

  • We will not use forced/compulsory or child labor

  • We provide compensation and benefits as well as work and vacation hours that are competitive and comply with applicable laws

  • Ford will provide a safe and healthy working environment that meets or exceeds applicable standards for health and safety

  • We promote and support appropriate education, training and development

  • We respect the natural environment and want to help preserve it for future generations by working to provide environmental solutions and avoid waste

  • Ford will be honest, open and transparent and model the highest standards of corporate integrity

  • We encourage business partners and suppliers to adopt and enforce similar policies to those outlined in the above principles

Being Accountable

We are committed to the principles outlined in our framework agreement and we ensure ongoing compliance through open dialogue with our union partners and an annual Global Information Sharing Forum. The forum is a joint company and union session where our union leaders from around the world and senior leadership meet to discuss the industry, our business and any issues on compliance with the above principles. Where issues are identified, the company and the applicable union work together to find solutions. We also have an escalation process in place to address critical issues as they arise.

Identifying Our Most Important Human Rights Issues

We conducted a formal human rights saliency assessment in 2018. Conducted in line with the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, the assessment served to identify Ford’s most important human rights issues – those at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities and business relationships.

The assessment was conducted in partnership with third-party consultancy and included:

  • Desk-based research covering a review of Ford’s relevant internal documentation, peer review and media scan, and identifying a long list of potential issues

  • Interviews with internal representatives from across Ford’s business as well as external stakeholders including suppliers, investor representatives, NGOs and industry experts, to review and rate the identified issues in terms of their severity and likelihood for negative impact on rights holders through Ford’s activities or business relationships

  • A workshop to validate and confirm the assessment findings with internal and external stakeholders

The assessment identified our nine most important human rights issues, listed below in ranked order:

Product Safety and Quality

Products are designed using standards which ensure they meet or exceed all applicable laws and regulations and ensure that they do not represent harm or hazards to consumers. Ford’s products will advance the state-of-the-art safety wherever practicable. Find out more about product safety and quality.

Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination are zero-tolerance issues. Harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status are not tolerated at Ford. Read more about how we build diversity and inclusion.

Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials

Responsible sourcing of raw materials ensures that materials are never knowingly procured that contribute to human rights abuses, including child and forced labor; bribery or corruption; or environmental concerns. Responsible sourcing expectations include compliance with local law, reporting requirements (i.e., conflict minerals such as cobalt and mica, 3TG reporting), customer terms and conditions, and respect for indigenous populations, including water and land rights. Find out more about our responsible sourcing.

Health and Safety

Health and safety pertains to providing and maintaining for all personnel a safe and healthy work environment that meets or exceeds applicable legal standards for occupational health and safety. Find out more about our commitment to health and safety.

Climate Change

We acknowledge that climate change is real and that we share the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Climate change impacts include extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea levels, floods, heatwaves, droughts, desertification, water shortages, impact on oceans and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases. Find out more about our activities to help mitigate climate change.

Air Quality

Poor air quality and air pollution can impact negatively on human health, resulting in allergies and diseases, and affect the human right to life. Read more about air quality.

Access to Water and Sanitation

The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic (household) use.

“Sanitation” is defined as a system for the collection, transport, treatment, disposal, or reuse of human excreta and associated hygiene. The human right to sanitation entitles everyone to sanitation services that are safe, socially and culturally acceptable, secure, hygienic, physically accessible and affordable, and that provide privacy and ensure dignity. Find out more about our work to promote access to water and sanitation.

Forced Labor

Forced or compulsory labor refers to all work or service by an individual in which they are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities. Find out about how we safeguard against forced labor.

Child Labor

Child labor relates to the prohibition of employment of individuals who are under the minimum working age of 15 or the legal limit in the working country (whichever is stricter). Child labor also relates to inadequate systems and policies to prevent the use of underage workers, either directly or indirectly through labor agencies and contractors. Excludes child labor in raw materials mining, which is covered under responsible sourcing of materials. Find out about how we safeguard against child labor.

What Happens Next?

Having identified the most important issues, over the next 12 months we will demonstrate leadership on addressing and reporting on these issues by implementing a comprehensive series of actions.

We will develop action plans to manage and remediate issues, ensure we have the right mechanisms in place to track the effectiveness of our systems and performance, and review and update our human rights policy. We will also establish an annual review process of our most important issues.

We will provide disclosure on the most important identified issues with external communications and reporting, including our annual sustainability report and the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework Index.

Taking the Lead on Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

In line with our zero-tolerance policy toward both forced labor and child labor, we have taken a number of actions to safeguard against the threat of these issues in our supply chain. These include maintaining compliance with all legislative initiatives, acts and regulations designed to increase supply chain transparency. These legislative initiatives include the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB657) and the U.K. Modern Slavery Act (UK-MSA).

For further information about the steps we are taking toward leadership in the field of human rights and working conditions, download our Human Trafficking Disclosure Statement (pdf, 241kb) and read our disclosure statement on compliance with the U.K. Modern Slavery Act (pdf, 1.9Mb).


Salient Issue

Forced Labor and Child Labor

During our first formal human rights saliency assessment, we identified forced labor and child labor as two of our nine most important issues – those at risk of the most severe negative impact through Ford’s activities and business relationships.

Going forward, we’re taking steps to develop action plans to manage and remediate these issues, and to expand our reporting on them.

  Find out more about our human rights saliency assessment

Ethical Recruiting

In 2016, we reviewed our internal policies and procedures to ensure that they align with the fundamental tenets of ethical recruiting. In 2017, we formalized our ethical recruiting expectations for suppliers in our Supplier Social Responsibility and Anti-Corruption Requirements web-guides. These requirements include that suppliers do not:

  • Destroy, conceal or otherwise deny access by an employee to the employee’s identity or immigration documents, such as passports or driver’s licenses, regardless of issuing authority
  • Use misleading or fraudulent practices during the recruitment of employees or offering of employment
  • Charge employees recruitment fees