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 will be conducting a new assessment this year. 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.
The 2018 assessment identified four 'Aegon' countries where the operating environment presents a meaningful human rights risk, due essentially to local political factors:
The US, the Netherlands and the UK, our largest markets, faces little or no significant human rights risk. In Southern and Eastern Europe, the environment is potentially more difficult, particularly with regard to corruption. Risk - mainly in relation to corruption - in the Americas is concentrated in Brazil and Mexico.
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