Human rights

Developed a human rights risk assessment process

HP takes an uncompromising view on human rights: we must always respect them ourselves and work tirelessly to influence others to do the same. Due to our scale and scope, our business can impact a wide range of human rights. Consequently, we have established a centralized human rights program in our Ethics and Compliance Office. In addition to identifying and managing our own impact on human rights, we devote significant time and resources to providing leadership in multi-stakeholder forums promoting the effective implementation of processes to ensure respect for human rights in business.


Respecting human rights in everything we do is a core principle at HP. Human rights are the fundamental rights, freedoms, and standards of treatment to which all people are entitled and are outlined in international conventions, declarations, and treaties including the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) External site. Further to the definition of these rights, the UN has also published it's "protect, respect, remedy" framework. This outlines a conceptual and policy framework for business and human rights as well as guiding principles External site for its implementation.

HP's respect for human rights is not new. HP has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact External site, which includes ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, since 2002.

HP's Global Human Rights Policy includes the following key commitments:

  • Comply with laws and regulations where HP does business and adopt and apply international standards where laws are less stringent
  • Complete due diligence to avoid complicity in human rights violations
  • Regularly assess human rights risks, policies, and impacts, and provide visibility of the results to senior executives
  • Provide access to independent grievance mechanisms immediately to raise concerns or identify adverse human rights impacts
  • Promptly investigate allegations and pursue actions to mitigate any adverse human rights impacts
  • Promote continual improvement through capability building for our business partners, terminating relationships only as a last resort
  • Advance our human rights practices through a journey of cumulative progress Report transparently on our efforts

Several other HP policies and standards also guide our approach to respecting human rights. See "Human rights–related policies" for links to these.

Beyond the basic responsibility to respect human rights across our business, we also support and promote the enjoyment of rights in the communities where we operate. From local community and employee engagement programs to large scale social innovation programs, we focus the collective power of our people, portfolio, and partnerships for greatest impact. We also participate in industry leadership initiatives and organizations advancing a common understanding of respect for human rights in business such as the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) and BSR.

Human rights management

HP's Ethics and Compliance Office, within the Office of the General Counsel, is responsible for ensuring the implementation of our human rights policy and for defining processes to assure the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of any human rights impacts across HP's business. In doing so, our human rights program management office works closely with HP's business units and global functions to address human rights impacts across a wide range of business activities including supply chain management, labor relations, employee health and safety, global trade, and consumer and employee data privacy.

HP's Global Citizenship Council ensures companywide commitment and alignment to HP's global citizenship objectives including governance of our human rights program.

2012 Progress

Building on earlier third-party assessments, in 2012 HP developed a human rights risk assessment process tailored to our operations and potential human rights risks. We plan to conduct assessments annually to continually improve our understanding of human rights risks in our various business operations. We will include the results from these reviews in updates to the Office of the General Counsel and Global Citizenship Council on the status of human rights management across our business.

During 2012, external advocacy and leadership remained an important part of our program, and we focused our efforts through GBI and BSR. Leadership engagements included:

  • Contributing to the State of Play Report "The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in Business Relationships External site" published by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and GBI.
  • Presenting on "Implementing Corporate Respect for Human Rights in Practice" at the East African Roundtable for Business Leaders, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2012. Delegates from the UN and leading global corporations discussed integrating human rights into company operations with East African business representatives.
  • Participating in the BSR Human Rights Working Group for company practitioners. HP assisted in the development of a standard human rights training document for the Working Group, which provides a "safe space" for learning and sharing information between companies.

We also pursued specific initiatives to secure conflict-free mineral sources from the Democratic Republic of Congo (see Supply chain responsibility).

In 2013, we will add a human rights module to HP's Standards of Business Conduct refresher training taken by all employees to raise awareness of potential issues employees may encounter.

For complete information regarding HP's human rights efforts, please refer to our 2012 Global Citizenship Report. We also provide data and goals information for all of our Global Citizenship efforts in the data and goals dashboard.