Labor & Human Rights

Labor & Human Rights

Upholding the highest standards for human rights

Upholding the highest standards for human rights

Two women and one man are sitting on lounge chairs around a low table in a bright office space and smiling. The women are shaking hands. Two women and one man are sitting on lounge chairs around a low table in a bright office space and smiling. The women are shaking hands.

We are committed to upholding the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people and communities that support our value chain

We ensure equal opportunities for all of our employees and applicants, and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We also respect the freedom of association of all of our employees. Furthermore, we strive to ensure that a respect for human rights is integrated into all aspects of our business in order to protect and promote the rights of our employees and people in our supply chain.

Our Framework for Labor and Human Rights

In strong support of the internationally recognized UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights(UNGPs), we established and implemented our own framework to uphold the highest standards for human rights. Our approach ensures we are able to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for any human rights risks across all of our business operations.

We also endeavor to ensure that our first-tier suppliers uphold the same level of scrutiny for human rights risks at their operations. Furthermore, we oblige them to have any of their subcontractors or sub-tier suppliers providing goods or services to Samsung implement the same standards outlined in our human rights policies.

A diagram of the six Rights & Principles, displayed in a ring of hexagonal shapes: Policies, Due Diligence, Access to Remedy, Transparency and Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement, and Governance. A diagram of the six Rights & Principles, displayed in a ring of hexagonal shapes: Policies, Due Diligence, Access to Remedy, Transparency and Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement, and Governance.

Governance

Our Global Labor Issues (GLI) Committee manages impacts and risks related to labor and human rights. The GLI Committee, which convenes bi-weekly to discuss labor and human rights issues, consists of executives and working-level employees from eight functions: Human Resources Team, Legal Office, Partner Collaboration Center, Vendor Management Improvement Task Force, Global Technology Research, Corporate Sustainability Center, Global Environment, Health & Safety Center, and Investor Relations Team.

Any important matters are escalated to the Sustainability Council, which consists of key executives, and then reported to the top management and approved by the Board of Directors.

The framework in a pyramid shape. Board of Directors, Sustainability Committee, Sustainability Council, GLI(Global Labor Issues) Committee are placed from top to bottom. The framework in a pyramid shape. Board of Directors, Sustainability Committee, Sustainability Council, GLI(Global Labor Issues) Committee are placed from top to bottom.

Policies

We are deeply committed to respecting human rights under the United Nations’ International Bill of Human Rights* and the International Labor Organization’s Core Conventions set out in ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.**

We have established a robust set of labor and human rights policies based on internationally-recognized human rights standards such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.

We abide by the Code of Conduct of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and comply with the laws and regulations of the countries where we conduct our business. When national law conflicts with international standards, we promote the higher.

  • *The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(ICESCR) and its two Optional Protocols.
  • ** The ILO’s Declaration commits to respect and promote principles and rights in four categories; freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining (C87, C98), the elimination of forced or compulsory labor (C29, C105), the abolition of child labor (C138, C182) and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (C100, C111)
A close-up view of a man's hands typing on a laptop computer, with an illustrated image of a document with a checklist projected in front of the computer screen. A close-up view of a man's hands typing on a laptop computer, with an illustrated image of a document with a checklist projected in front of the computer screen.
Global code of conduct and guidelines

All employees are obliged to comply with the ‘Global Code of Conduct’ and ‘Business Conduct Guidelines’, which are part of our efforts to be more responsible in our business activities.

Labor policies and guidelines

We develop and implement policies and guidelines dedicated to protecting vulnerable groups.

  • Child Labor Prohibition Policy
    379 KB
  • Migrant Worker Policy
    658 KB
  • Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy
    238 KB
  • Student Worker Policy in China
    185 KB
  • Guidelines for Apprenticeship in India
    179 KB

Human Rights Training

Recognizing our responsibility to respect human rights across our operations and beyond, we provide our employees with human rights training programs tailored to each worksite. Our training aims to ensure that everyone in the company understands what human rights are and how they relate to the company as a whole. Our human rights training programs are offered to all employees through an e-learning tool, a mobile application, and through in-person training sessions depending on the needs of each worksite.

In 2020, we launched our comprehensive labor and human rights training program together with Business Social Responsibility (BSR™), an organization specialized in business and human rights education. We recently introduced a more advanced human rights training framework for our employees to move to the next level of training once they complete a module.

We are striving to improve the ability of our employees to deal with specific labor and human rights topics by offering training that is customized to their job functions. We offer targeted training to those employee groups that are more exposed to human rights challenges in their duties.

Due Diligence

We seek to identify, assess and manage actual and potential human rights impacts with which we may be involved either through our own activities or as a result of our business relationships.

A man wearing a neon safety vest and a woman wearing business attire are standing beside shelves in a large packing warehouse and referring to a list on a clipboard. A man wearing a neon safety vest and a woman wearing business attire are standing beside shelves in a large packing warehouse and referring to a list on a clipboard.

Our worksites

We recognize that both internal capacity and internal processes are important cornerstones in effectively addressing human rights risks. We seek to verify whether human rights risks are being optimally addressed and strive for continuous improvement.

A close-up view of a person's gloved hands placing Galaxy S21 smartphones into black packaging boxes on a green work surface. A close-up view of a person's gloved hands placing Galaxy S21 smartphones into black packaging boxes on a green work surface.

To that end, we developed a worksite risk monitoring and assessment system in addition to our auditing systems. Our worksite monitoring system is operated in 12 languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. It assesses the risk level of our worksites based on 5 categories 22 items including, but not limited to, our working environment, workplace culture, representative bodies, and management of suppliers.

We also identify potential and actual risks by looking at complaints submitted through our grievance channels. Our worksites host regular discussions among different levels of management, leaders and employees to address concerns, mitigate risks, and cease any adverse impacts on people. We also engage with governments, civil society organizations, industry associations, and intergovernmental organizations to identify diverse risks factors and issues in countries where our worksites are located.

We evaluate our worksites for labor and human rights impacts and monitor activities for improvement using three different protocols: RBA on-site audit, Samsung Electronics Internal Risk Assessment, and Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA).

Validated Assessment Program of Responsible Business Alliance

As a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), we commit to the responsible business standards of the RBA Code of Conduct. The RBA code is aligned with internationally recognized frameworks, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and standards set by the International Labor Organization.

We complete the RBA Self-Assessment Questionnaire every year and we follow the RBA Validated Assessment Program (VAP) to conduct audits of our own factories. VAP on-site audits carried out on our worksites are completed by independent third-party auditors specially trained in social and environmental auditing and the VAP protocol. Where VAP audits uncover non-compliance with the protocol, the worksite implements a corrective action plan and remedies the situation within a specified period of time.

Risk Assessment by Internal Experts
  • 01. Assessment target selection

    Three to four worksites are selected every year that need to increase capabilities and make overall improvements based on the
    assessment results of our worksite monitoring system.

  • 02. Assessment team setup

    An expert group comprised of qualified employees including certified RBA auditors is organized.

  • 03. Self-assessment

    The selected worksite performs a self-assessment on its operations based on the inspection assessment checklist.

  • 04. On-site audit

    The assessment team conducts the on-site audit based on our own standards.

  • 05. Follow-up management

    The assessment team shares the inspection results with the management team of the assessed worksite.

    The selected worksite submits future improvement plans and measures within one week from the completion of assessment to
    prevent recurrences.

    The business unit which the worksite belongs to implements improvement tasks by forming a task force consisting of experts in
    human resources and environmental, health & safety.

    The progress of improvement is monitored on a monthly basis via a worksite monitoring system.

Human Rights Impact Assessment

We conduct human rights impact assessments (HRIA) to identify actual and potential human rights risks, as well as any adverse impacts that we may have caused, been linked to, or contributed to. Assessments are based on our experts’ research, document reviews, as well as internal and external stakeholder interviews.

Our first human rights impact assessment was carried out in Vietnam in 2018 in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR™), a non-profit organization specialized in business and human rights. In 2021, we introduced a process to identify potential human rights risks before beginning new operations. We engaged with consultancies with expertise in business and human rights, to provide analysis and make recommendations prior to the start of our production in Turkey.

We strive to address actual and potential impacts identified through the assessments with remediation, mitigation and prevention measures. These include policy development and revision, capacity-building programs for relevant stakeholders and employees, and work process improvement across our operations.

Supply Chain

We align our Supplier Code of Conduct with the RBA Code of Conduct and share the updates with our suppliers. We also provide a guide to help them comply with the Code of Conduct and implement compliance management in their operation. In accordance with RBA’s verification standards, we regularly monitor all of our suppliers to make sure they identify issues and make necessary improvements. Our 1st-tier suppliers are also required to encourage their suppliers, or sub-suppliers to Samsung, to ensure a safe working environment.

A close-up view of a man wearing a safety helmet, safety glasses and thick gloves. He is outside and holds a small piece of raw metal material in front of his face towards the camera. A close-up view of a man wearing a safety helmet, safety glasses and thick gloves. He is outside and holds a small piece of raw metal material in front of his face towards the camera.

Access to Remedy

We are committed to providing effective resolution where we have caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts. Where we find impacts directly linked to our business relationships, we will use our influence to encourage our suppliers or business partners to cease, prevent, mitigate or address adverse impacts on human rights.

Our grievance resolution procedure is based on the “Effectiveness criteria of non-judicial grievance mechanisms” stipulated in the 31st clause of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Anyone can raise a formal complaint and must not be discriminated against or face retaliation as a result. We endeavor to ensure the procedure is transparent and the rights of those involved are respected at all steps of the procedure. We also guarantee anonymity of anyone who files a complaint.

A close-up view of 3 to 4 people's hands clasped together and with palms stacked on top of each other in a caring group gesture. A close-up view of 3 to 4 people's hands clasped together and with palms stacked on top of each other in a caring group gesture.
Grievance Reporting Channels

We operate various grievance channels, taking into consideration the characteristics of the worksite and local environment. All workers are informed of the grievance channels available at their worksites during their orientation programs when they join the company.

01. Online 01. Online

01. Online



Company intranet

02. Offline 02. Offline

02. Offline



Suggestion boxes placed in area with no CCTV

03. Hotline 03. Hotline

03. Hotline



Call or email

04. Committee 04. Committee

04. Committee



Works council, employee committee

05. Mobile 05. Mobile

05. Mobile



Company intranet application

06. SNS 06. SNS

06. SNS



Company communication channel

※ Channels for external stakeholders : https://sec-audit.com | civilsociety@samsung.com

Grievance Resolution Procedure
  • 01

    Grievance report

    Notification of
    receipt
    within 24
    hours

    Employees and
    external
    stakeholders
    report all
    grievances
    related to the
    company

    A case manager is
    designated

  • 02

    Grievance confirmation
    and review

    Within 5 days of
    receipt

    Confirmation on the
    details and facts of
    reported grievance

    Listening to grievant
    about desired remedial
    measures

    Review of remedial
    measures in consideration
    of verified details

  • 03

    Results
    notification

    Within 7 days of
    receipt

    Delivery of review results
    and feedback from grievant

  • 04

    Grievance
    resolution

    Varies by case

    Grievance is resolved
    through measures
    such
    as
    training, disciplinary
    action against the
    accused, providing
    useful
    information or
    support,
    and
    improving
    infrastructures, related
    policies and procedures

※ If each step is not processed in the given time frame,
the grievant will be notified of the reason for delay via
the channel they chose to submit their complaints.

Transparency and Reporting

We provide detailed reporting on how we uphold labor and human rights across our business activities in our Sustainability Report based on the GRI standard, as well as other standards.

We have been recognized for our efforts  by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) and Know the Chain (KTC), two of the most influential industry benchmarks. While CHRB focuses on comparing and assessing companies in terms of human and labor rights, KTC closely looks at forced labor issues.

A bird's eye image of a laptop computer, a cup of coffee, and a bound and printed copy of the Samsung Electronics Modern Slavery Act Statement sitting on a desk. A bird's eye image of a laptop computer, a cup of coffee, and a bound and printed copy of the Samsung Electronics Modern Slavery Act Statement sitting on a desk.

Stakeholder Engagement

We continue to engage with global stakeholders to foster a culture of respect for human rights, not only in our business, but also in our industry. In developing policies and training programs, as well as during our due diligence process, we collaborate with organizations and agencies specialized in human rights. We also participate in various multilateral initiatives such as the International Organization of Employers, Responsible Business Alliance, and Responsible Labor Initiative.

A researcher from a Vietnamese non-governmet organisation presented her studies at Samsung Multi-Stakeholder Forum 2021. A researcher from a Vietnamese non-governmet organisation presented her studies at Samsung Multi-Stakeholder Forum 2021.

Since 2018, we have hosted multi-stakeholder forums in Vietnam every year. In 2021, we held the 4th forum in cooperation with a Vietnamese NGO (LIGHT), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Vietnam General Federation of Labor (VGCL). The forum was titled “Cooperation to Reinforce Workers’ Competence in Preparation for the Upcoming Digital Economy in Vietnam,” and welcomed more than 400 stakeholders, including experts and guests from NGOs, media, and academia.

In collaboration with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), we hosted workshops on Modern Slavery and Ethical Recruitment. Participants included employees, suppliers, and business partners at worksites in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Malaysia. The workshops have served as a great opportunity to raise awareness about the vulnerability and exploitation of migrant workers and to share the importance of eradicating forced labor.

Working with the German development agency(GIZ), and partners like BMW Group and BASF, we have launched “Cobalt for Development(C4D)”, a pilot project at an artisanal cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As part of the project, we are carrying out various activities to help bring about real progress to the local community, such as providing occupational safety training for local miners and building new elementary and secondary schools for local children.