Human rights

Three children in matching red sweatshirts sit together outdoors.

1st human rights risk assessment completed

Enabling human progress around the world is a core commitment and strategic objective for HP. We take an uncompromising stance on human rights in our own operations and encourage our suppliers to do the same.

Our Global Human Rights Policy describes how we integrate respect for human rights worldwide into our operations and value chain. We strive to catalyze greater protection of human rights universally and to lead on these issues in the IT sector.

How we approach human rights

Human rights are the fundamental rights, freedoms, and standards of treatment to which all people are entitled. (See the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights). In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework” (UNGP). This provides a conceptual and policy framework for business and human rights, as well as guiding principles for its implementation.

In following this framework, we take the position that technology supports human progress and can help people enjoy their basic rights and freedoms. We know that technology can also be used to limit freedoms. But we believe we can best influence such situations through constructive engagement rather than withdrawing from countries with poor human rights practices.

Our global reach and industry leadership provides a platform to positively impact human rights worldwide. We achieve this through engaging suppliers and partners, collaborating with industry groups and local organizations, and working with governments on policies and regulations. Our efforts range from supporting basic labor rights at supplier factories to protecting the privacy of our employees and customers.

Identifying human rights risks for HP

In 2013, we completed the first human rights risk assessment across our value chain. This covered our own operations, as well as our suppliers, partners, contractors, and the sale and use of our products.

The most frequent risk we identified was protecting the legitimate right to privacy of our customers, partners, and employees. Rapid advances in technology and business models are outpacing governments’ ability to agree on how to regulate the growing data industry. Companies therefore can’t rely simply on compliance to ensure privacy. We must also exercise ethics and social responsibility to protect the personal information of people who put their trust in us. HP is well prepared for this risk. We are recognized as an industry leader for our comprehensive privacy program.

The second biggest risk area our assessment uncovered was labor practices in IT supply chains. Issues like employee health and safety and excessive working hours at electronics factories are persistent challenges, which we are aggressively targeting as part of our supply chain responsibility efforts.

In 2013, we added a human rights module to our Standards of Business Conduct annual refresher training, taken by 99.7% of active employees.

Human rights management

HP’s Ethics and Compliance Office, within the Office of the General Counsel, oversees implementation of our human rights policy and designs processes to prevent, mitigate, and remediate related impacts across our business. Day to day, our human rights program management office works with business units and global functions to address human rights impacts including consumer and employee data privacy, supply chain management, labor relations, employee health and safety, and global trade.

Our Global Citizenship Council ensures companywide commitment and alignment to our Living Progress objectives, including governance of our human rights program.

Read more on our human rights efforts.