Human rights

... min read

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 role. 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 ING’s human rights report 2022/2023 we disclose the reassessment of the most severe human rights issues with regards to our workforce and Wholesale Banking activities and our first assessment of salient human rights issues in our role as a procurer of goods and services. In earlier editions we addressed the most severe human rights issues in our retail banking operations (2021/22); the changing external landscape and our response to Covid-19 (2020); our role as a corporate lender and engagement with clients on human rights (2019); and our human rights management approach, policies and priorities (2018). Additionally, we also provide modern slavery statements in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. You can download the most recent statements from the sustainable business section.

Read more on our human rights page.

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