Company efforts to uphold rights inherent to all human beings. These rights are interrelated, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This includes the rights to health, non-discrimination, humane treatment and data privacy.
As a healthcare company, we believe health is a human right and therefore enabling access to our medicines is vital. Beyond our core business of health, it is our responsibility to understand how we are contributing to or hindering human rights due to our operations. This includes taking action on both basic and emerging issues such as modern slavery, workforce treatment, labour rights and data privacy. We aim to prevent human rights violations by proactively identifying any issues in our business and responding promptly with appropriate action.
As signatories to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) for the past 10 years, we commit to the Guiding Principles to respect human rights by acting with due diligence to avoid infringing on human rights and to address negative impacts. "We have ensured that the UNGC and its ten Principles have become part of our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations, and they will remain vitally important in the years ahead" — Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO in a recommitment letter to the UNGC.
We address discrimination dimensions of human rights, including setting an enterprise-wide ambition in 2020 to ensure racial equity in our workplace and access to our medicines, in our clinical trials and beyond. See more actions in Inclusion and diversity.
Our key target and progress
See the Sustainability Data Summary for all metrics and methodology
We conduct an internal assessment of our human rights practices every two years. In 2020, we completed our fifth global human rights labour review which focuses on the International Labour Organization's (ILO) core themes, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, child labour, discrimination, working hours and wages. The digital survey was distributed to the Human Resources representative at more than 100 AstraZeneca sites worldwide. We enhanced the survey by adding terminology definitions and three new indicators covering local leadership's awareness of human rights considerations including modern slavery, risk assessment of temporary labour agencies, and mitigation resources.
Where local gaps to ILO minimum standards are identified, such as maternity leave or grievance procedures, we put in place plans to close those gaps where allowed by relevant national legislation. Based on the last report, we have increased paid maternity leave up to the minimum standard of 14 paid weeks in Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Identifying human rights impacts in our supply chain
In 2020, we participated in a Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) project to map human rights impacts in our supply chain for 12 key raw materials. PSCI analysed risk areas including labour rights, land rights, child labour, forced labour, gender rights and the environment. As a result of this project, AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies now have a common understanding of high-risk activities, such as harvesting, cultivation, and mining, and corresponding mitigation strategies in deeper tiers of the supply chain. This information is being used to create sustainability action plans for 12 key raw materials, such as carnauba wax. See more in Responsible supply chain.
Personal data privacy is a human right. Our information is one of our greatest assets. It includes everything that we create and store during the course of our business activities, and it flows through everything we do: our science, the way that we do business, and our ability to deliver life-changing medicines.
We conduct Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) for personal data processes which go beyond what is legally required. In 2020, we conducted 1,884 PIAs, up from 1,394 in 2019. We also measure the number of data subject requests we receive to monitor compliance with Data Subject Rights requirements. In 2020, privacy concerns increased as more of the AstraZeneca workforce was engaging virtually due to the pandemic. As part of our work on enhancements to manage and protect our data and information, we have updated our Information Incident Form and are introducing a new Information Incident Module to improve the user experience. In addition, we introduced an automated routing and notification process to ensure reported Information Incidents are investigated by the right people at the right time.
Workforce: Slave-Free Alliance of Hope for Justice — the first life sciences industry member
Suppliers and partners: PSCI Human Rights and Labour group
For patients: International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Data Protection Working Group of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and Data Protection Legal for the biopharmaceutical sector
We provide training that aligns our day-to-day practices with our 'Speak Up' culture of identifying, preventing and reporting concerns. In 2020, we launched a modern day slavery training for employees and third-parties
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