Human rights

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Conflict, instability, displacement, discrimination, climate change—the world faces major social challenges around human development and human rights. These issues require global efforts to secure a truly sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Human rights are universal. This means that every person around the world deserves to be treated with dignity and have their interests considered equally. While governments have the duty to protect individuals against human rights abuses, businesses are increasingly recognising their own moral, legal, and commercial responsibility. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights form the basis for what businesses should adhere to.

On the one hand, businesses can hinder human rights, as evidenced by reports around the world of unsafe working conditions, migrant worker exploitation, and harm done to communities. On the other hand, businesses can help advance human rights by offering access to decent work, creating higher living standards, protecting children’s rights and procuring goods in a responsible manner.

As a bank, we make a substantial contribution to human rights as financier, employer, taxpayer and driver of progress and prosperity. Our impact is on different levels:

  • Our workplace
  • Our supply chain
  • How we do business and who we do business with
  • Partnering and sharing knowledge

In our 2018 Human Rights Report (PDF 9 MB), ING discloses our human rights management approach, our policies pertaining to human rights, our salient human rights issues, human rights engagements, and our future priorities. In our Human Rights Update 2019 (PDF 3,2 MB), we focus on our role as a corporate lender and the outcome of a pilot where we proactively engaged with 29 clients about human rights. In our Human Rights Update 2020 (PDF, 3.8 MB), we address the changing external landscape, our responses to Covid-19, and a tool for client engagement now in its testing phase.

Read more on our human rights page.


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