Human Rights

Bayer fully supports human rights and has documented its stance in a globally binding corporate policy entitled the “Bayer Human Rights Policy.” We are committed to respecting and fostering human rights within our sphere of influence and to reporting transparently on the results of our activities in this area. We also expect our business partners, and particularly our suppliers, to fully observe human rights. Our LIFE values and our corporate policies on Corporate Compliance and on Fairness and Respect at Work also obligate all employees worldwide to conduct themselves fairly and in a compliant manner in dealings with colleagues, business partners and members of the community.


Management Approach

Sustainability and human rights are among the responsibilities of the Chairman of the Bayer Board of Management. He is supported in his role as Chief Sustainability Officer by the Public Affairs & Sustainability enabling function. The observance of human rights is an integral part of our sustainability management and of our human resources strategy. Directives, processes and management and monitoring systems control the implementation of human rights standards in business operations. We use a Group-wide, integrated risk management system to identify potentially detrimental effects of our business activity on human rights. The Bayer Risk Universe anchored in this system reflects the potential risk categories at Bayer. The Bayer Risk Universe is regularly reviewed and, if necessary, updated. For more information on our risk portfolio, please see the Opportunity and Risk Report in the 2020 Annual Report.


We continually review our processes and activities with respect to human rights.


Implementation Measures

We take measures to observe human rights both internally and within our sphere of influence. Child and forced labor are strictly prohibited at Bayer in accordance with the core labor criteria of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This prohibition is set out in our binding Human Rights Policy and applies Group-wide. In line with the conventions of the ILO, Bayer only offers fixed-term internships, education programs and seasonal employment to young people when this does not impair their safety, health and compulsory school attendance in any way and compliance with the requirements is precisely monitored.


We offer ongoing training programs to enhance employees’ awareness of the importance of human rights in their day-to-day activities. Aspects of human rights are also covered in the training offerings and the supplier code of conduct guidance for our suppliers. If there are indications of violations of our Human Rights Policy, employees and members of the general public can contact the worldwide compliance hotline, which is available in numerous national languages. This can also be done anonymously if desired. We verify the observation of human rights at our sites and by our suppliers, including by means of Bayer audits.


Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Issue

Observing human rights is an interdisciplinary issue that covers wide-ranging areas of influence and processes at Bayer. We report in more detail on our due diligence with respect to human rights in the relevant chapters of our Sustainability Report.

Challenges in Seed Production

The risk of human rights violations in the seed supply chain poses a particular challenge for Bayer. The focus here is on the risk of child labor.


Bayer is a founding member of the U.N. Global Compact and respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also support the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which provide global standards for preventing and combating possible human rights violations in connection with business activities, and a range of globally recognized declarations applicable for multinational corporations. These include the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the latter’s core labor standards.


We engage in dialogue with other stakeholders on the topic of human rights and actively participate in committees and initiatives established to ensure their observance, such as contributing to discussions on implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) – Business and Human Rights in Germany, in the corresponding working groups of econsense and, in the supply chain, via our Together for Sustainability (TfS) industry initiative and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI).