1.3 Human rights

As mentioned in the Code of Conduct, UCB and its colleagues are required to comply with all applicable laws and to respect human rights and act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others, as expressed by the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. UCB takes the protection of human rights very seriously and is supportive of government initiatives aimed at upholding and promoting human rights around the world. Although UCB is not a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the company incorporated the ten principles on human rights, labor and environment into its business conduct.

A company-wide due diligence process is deployed to determine the initial and follow-up engagement with partners, suppliers, etc. When a new partner is identified, UCB conducts an in-depth assessment of specific risks related to a number of critical standards, including human rights. This due diligence process may impact the decision on engaging with the new partner, and trigger specific monitoring of third-party activities and processes as mentioned in our Code of Conduct.

UCB is determined to make an impact in the domain of human rights and take steps necessary to promote and encourage high ethical standards of working and fair treatment of human beings. To date, no report of an infringement of human rights associated with UCB or its suppliers has been identified to the company. In order to measure our progress, the relevant Key Performance Indicators are listed in the GRI Standards Indicators.

Slavery and human trafficking

In accordance with the U.K.’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, UCB’s subsidiaries in the U.K. published a Modern Slavery Act Statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2017. The 2017 Statement, published in 2018, is available on the UCB U.K. website. This Statement explains the steps that those UCB companies have taken to address the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking within their business and supply chains. In particular, it references the implementation of a new Third-Party Due Diligence process with an assessment of slavery and human trafficking risks for partners, suppliers, etc. in scope as well as processes to encourage reporting of concerns and to protect whistleblowers.

UCB has utmost respect for human rights and zero tolerance of modern slavery and is committed to making further improvements to monitor these risks and to ensure, so far as possible, that no human trafficking or modern slavery occurs in its supply chains. No incidents have been reported or identified to date.

In the course of 2019, the relevant UCB subsidiaries will publish an updated Modern Slavery Act Statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2018.