Human rights defenders are critical to advancing respect for a range of labor rights and other human rights, and protecting the environment. Human rights defenders can include individuals, Indigenous Peoples communities and organizations that advocate for essential protections and realization of fundamental rights and freedoms - such as worker rights, land rights, rights to livelihoods, environmental sustainability, access to justice and the rule of law.
We view human rights defenders as enablers of sustainable business. From Indigenous People’s communities and advocacy groups to climate and labor activists, human rights defenders have an important role. We support their work. Mars maintains an open-door policy for human rights defenders. We recognize that meaningful engagement with human rights defenders and other affected stakeholders is an important part of ongoing human rights due diligence. Companies increasingly rely on activists, civil society groups, grievance system providers, trainers, media, academics, and others to help us understand and act on issues in global supply chains. This ecosystem needs to be strengthened and protected, not subject to harassment or persecution.
Human rights defenders are facing increasingly serious pressures, violence and lawsuits intended to silence them. We do not tolerate threats, intimidation, criminalization, or attacks against human rights defenders in relation to our own operations, and we expect the same of suppliers in our supply chain.
We must all do our part to protect and support an environment where civic freedoms are respected, in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Mars believes in working with governments and other companies to develop and implement policies and practices that enable human rights defenders to carry out their work openly and freely, without fear of threats or reprisals. Where we believe it is appropriate, we may coordinate with others to support human rights defenders in exercising their rights. We’re committed to working to ensure our activities do not lead to retaliation, violence, harassment or stigmatization of human rights defenders.
Our Ethics and Compliance contacts are available here.