British American Tobacco (BAT) has become the first tobacco company to publish a Human Rights Report. The report coincides with U.N. Human Rights Day and highlights the company’s commitment and actions to protect human rights across its global business and supply chain. BAT has also announced a commitment to aim for zero child labor in its agricultural supply chain by 2025.
“We recognize that forced labor is a serious risk in agricultural supply chains, and I am proud that we had zero reported cases of forced labor in 2019,” said Jack Bowles, BAT CEO, in a statement. “We adopt a zero-tolerance approach to forced labor whilst having a clear commitment to aim for our tobacco supply chain to also be free of child labor by 2025.”
BAT’s Human Rights Report is aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework. The report highlights the measures BAT takes to promote, uphold and protect human rights across its supply chain, which includes 90,000 directly contracted farmers. The report also features case studies to showcase partnerships and activities aimed at improving farmer livelihoods and securing the long-term sustainability of rural communities.
This year’s U.N. Human Rights Day focuses on the global impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on human rights. BAT’s report highlights many of the initiatives the company has adopted to address the pandemic, including developing a potential Covid-19 vaccine candidate; producing and distributing protective equipment and sanitizer; providing financial support to suppliers where required; and ensuring access to Covid-19-secure workplaces for workers throughout the supply chain.