Respect for human rights is core to our approach to being a responsible business.
All our business activities are guided by the article of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the core standards of the International Labor Organization and the principles on human rights and labor standards as set forth by the UN Global Compact.
Our commitment on Human Rights has been explicitly incorporated in many of our key policies.
Human rights assessment
We conduct a Human Rights risk assessment every two years and the latest assessment was carried out in 2020. The assessment is conducted internally and is based on external sources, including Freedom House, Transparency International, UN Development Program and World Health organization.
Aegon's countries of operation are assessed for civil and political rights, corruption, human development, health coverage, business environment, illicit economy, gender equality, working conditions, rule of law and internet inclusion.
As in 2018, the results of the 2020 Human Rights risk assessment showed no significant human rights risks in most of Aegon’s operating environments (including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands).
Turkey, Indonesia, India, and China still present the highest likelihood of human rights violations, followed by Brazil. We intend to review the methodology used in the assessment in future years.
Steps we are taking
Aegon has recommended preventative or remedial measures for local management in the countries with the highest risk. These measures include:
- Effective access to Aegon's Global Ethics Line
- Raising employees' awareness of human rights risk
- Ensuring basic healthcare and financial services for employees
- Suggesting alternative employee representation where there is no independent trade union
- Ensuring neutrality at times of regime change
- Enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and discrimination in the workplace
Statement on Human Rights
We have developed a new and more comprehensive Statement on Human Rights, which emphasizes the importance of human rights as part of Aegon's broader environmental, social, and governance (ESG) approach to responsible business, investment, and procurement. It is designed to frame our ongoing stewardship of human rights, including both the direct impacts of our daily operations and the indirect impacts of our business activities.