Our business is all about people. Respecting human rights is essential for H&M Group to operate sustainably and successfully. This means we treat everyone equally, with respect and dignity, wherever or whoever they are.
We recognize that we have a responsibility to uphold human rights. This means doing everything we can to avoid harming the human rights of people and communities, as well as creating a positive impact in our operations, throughout our supply chains and in the communities we are part of.
From our colleagues in our stores and the customers, they greet each day to the garment workers employed by our suppliers and the farmers who grow the cotton used in our products, everyone is entitled to the same human rights.
What Are Human Rights ?
Human rights are rights we have simply because we exist as human beings – they are not granted by any state. These universal rights are inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.
Human rights range from the most fundamental – the right to life – to those that make life worth living, such as the right to food, education, work, health, and liberty. They include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.
We follow the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a set of guidelines for states and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed by businesses.
Our Human Rights Work
Our human rights policy guides our work and sets out our commitment to operate with respect to human rights.
Due to the nature of our business, we focus on working with the rights of colleagues in our operations and garment workers in our global manufacturing supply chains. We have identified the salient issues that are most relevant for our operations, including labour rights, working hours, wages and the fight against modern slavery.
We take a risk-based approach to due diligence across our full value chain and our core strategies. This includes policy development and integration, strengthening of grievance mechanisms, training and capacity building, industry initiatives and various ways to identify and follow up on risk.
Although we do not employ the garment workers who make our clothes, it is our responsibility to ensure they have safe, fair and equal working conditions. We’ve been working with our manufacturing suppliers for many years to make sure they comply with international labour standards and back in 1997, we launched our first Code of Conduct and supplier audit program.
We also want to find ways to promote human rights through business. For example, through our work with suppliers to advance gender equality in our manufacturing supply chain or our focus on Inclusion & Diversity within our operations.
As a global company with strong values, we can have a positive impact around the world, which in turn allows us to remain a sustainable business and to grow in meaningful ways that make a real difference to people across our value chain.
Read more here about Our Approach to human rights management.