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Labour rights

Our employees, contractors and suppliers should work in safe, healthy, secure and fair conditions

BP’s labour rights and modern slavery principles


We are committed to respecting workers’ rights, in line with International Labour Organisation Core Conventions on Rights at Work and expect our contractors, suppliers and joint ventures we participate in to do the same.

Our expectation is that workers in our operations, joint ventures and supply chains are not subject to abusive or inhumane practices, such as child labour, forced labour, trafficking, slavery or servitude, discrimination, or harassment. The below principles are intended to assist our businesses as they work to check performance on this expectation, including with our contractors and suppliers.


Respect for our employees’ human rights is integral to our recruitment, management and diversity and inclusion processes. Our code of conduct requires employees to report any suspected human rights abuses in our operations or those of our business partners.


We aim to ensure equal opportunity in recruitment, career development, promotion, training and reward for all employees – regardless of ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.


Working with contractors and suppliers

We operate in 78 countries and have around 54,000 suppliers, including contractors, vendors, service providers and contingent labour, plus thousands more in our wider supply chain.


We expect contractors and their employees to act in accordance with our code of conduct, human rights policy and our expectations of suppliers. Our standard procurement contracts include a requirement for suppliers to respect internationally recognized human rights, with a specific ban on the use of forced, trafficked or child labour.


Our labour rights due diligence process helps us to identify risks and impacts in our supply chain. These tools and resources can be used to screen suppliers in a consistent way anywhere in the world. We use it with suppliers on a risk-prioritized basis to understand how they manage these risks in their business and supply chain.

Working with our peers


We are working with a number of our peers to create an oil and gas industry framework for human rights supplier assessments, with a particular focus on labour rights. When developed, it is intended that the results of these assessments can be shared with the participating companies through an independent third party. The aim is to make it easier and more efficient for suppliers to demonstrate how they respect human rights and support improvements in working conditions.

Labour rights and modern slavery risk review

We are developing a more systematic approach to managing the risk of modern slavery and other labour rights issues by building it into our management systems, processes and procedures.


Some of our business activities and parts of our supply chain may pose a higher risk of labour rights and modern slavery issues than others. Since 2016 we have been taking a risk-based approach to monitoring our contractors and suppliers by considering:


  • Countries that pose a high degree of risk, as identified by risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft and other data sources.
  • Activities that rely on manual labour, such as construction, catering, cleaning and certain types of manufacturing.
  • Factors related to the vulnerability of the workforce, such as poverty levels, ethnic, religious or gender minorities and migrant workers.


Using this approach, we have been reviewing the risk of modern slavery at selected businesses, including mapping supply chains to identify high-risk contractors. This initial screening has led to further due diligence through questionnaires or on-site labour rights assessments, including worker interviews. In 2018 18 businesses were under review.


The assessments focus on key warning signs, such as passport retention, recruitment or other fees, wage deductions, employment contracts, working hours, shift patterns and living conditions.


Where we find an issue, we try to work with the contractor to resolve it and improve the situation of those affected. If a serious breach is found and no corrective action is taken, we reserve the right to terminate contracts.