Human Rights

Added value to the company

Respect and promotion of human rights (HR) are essential for Argos’ sustainability strategic priority. Aware of HR risks posed by negative impacts on HR, such as reputational, financial, legal, operational risks, Argos has developed a risk-based human rights model to ensure alignment with the United Nations Ruggie Framework.

Added value to society

Argos is convinced that the best way of creating value is by ensuring the development of operations and commercial relations (with suppliers, joint ventures, and clients) that are respectful of our stakeholders human rights. Moreover, by committing to promoting HR such as the right to education, and by raising awareness among our stakeholders, we contribute to sustainable development in all countries in which Argos operates.

Our Commitment

Human Rights Policy

“At Argos, consistent with corporate culture, we express our commitment for the respect and promotion of human rights, committing ourselves to conducting our business operations in a manner consistent with the International Bill of Human Rights, the principles and fundamental rights established in the Declaration of the International Labour Organization, and in accordance with applicable laws in the countries or states where these take place; standards and principles that continue to guide our actions, how we achieve results and sustainability at our company.”

Initiatives, commitments, and policies

Sustainability Policy

Environmental Policy

Talent Management Policy

Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Gender Equality Policy

Sustainability Index for Suppliers

Anti-Fraud Policy

Code of Conduct

Due diligence

In order to prevent and mitigate negative impacts on our stakeholders’ human rights, we use a Risk-Based Human Rights Model. This tool was developed jointly by our Sustainability VP and our Risk Management Department, with insights from other corporate and business units responsible for leading relationships with the stakeholder groups that we aim to assess. In 2015, we began the implementation of the HR Model by assessing employees’ rights with a wider scope in comparison to the analysis that has been done in previous years, going from a corporate analysis to a local level analysis and building corporate as well as country risk maps based on labor HR risks.

Labor risks analyzed

Restricting freedom of association and collective bargaining
Forced labor
Child and youth labor
Violence, labor and sexual harassment
Inequality and discrimination
Violation of due process and lack of grievance mechanisms
Violation of quality of life, rest periods, or maternity
Violation of life, liberty, health, and personal safety

In 2017, the Human Rights Model will continue to broaden its coverage to other stakeholder groups, such us communities and suppliers paying special attention to vulnerable groups such as children, women, ethnic and migrant groups. Regarding neighboring communities and suppliers, we have identified the following human rights issues that will be prioritized when implementing due diligence process:

Right to life
Personal integrity and health
Prohibition of child labor and forced labor
Ethnic rights
World cultural and natural heritage
Environment and water
Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Freedom of movement
Sexual integrity

Mitigation and remediation

Of the analyzed risks, the only one that had a high residual risk was related to life, liberty, health, and personal safety, due to the high exposure to occupational health and safety hazards and physical safety risks inherent to the industry.

The analysis showed that 42.8% of our country operations reported high exposure. In order to prevent and mitigate these risks, we have implemented the I Promise Program which covers 100% of Argos operations. 2017 highlights include:

  1. The I Promise Project concluded with the adoption and launch of the I Promise Management Model.
  2. The I Promise Management Model was disseminated among 3,939 employees, contractors, and local communities and authorities.
  3. In 2017, a total of 396,818 preventive observations were registered in our system.
  4. A total of 140,570 hours of training on health and safety procedures were held.
  5. There was a reduction in the severity and frequency rates of 45.68% and 47.84%, respectively.

Moreover, our Transparency Hotline is a grievance mechanism that allows for anonymous reporting of behaviors that are contrary our Good Governance Code and Code of Business Conduct, or any other company policy. Management issues reported through this line enable us to respond adequately to the complaints of our stakeholders and make the necessary decisions in order to respect the rights of our stakeholders and ensure a straightforward and transparent course of action.

In 2016, we received a total of 146 complaints for issues related to labor relations, the environment, community relations, and corruption which were addressed through the appropiate channels.