The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone in human history, based on a common ideal for all peoples and nations. Translated into over 500 languages, it brings together a series of fundamental rights for human beings that must be protected around the world. Various agreements, ethical codes, principles and standards in pursuit of the protection of these rights in many settings have originated from it.
While we already had a specific policy since 2014, in 2022, we renewed our Human Rights policy in alignment with the main international standards, such us the United Nations Global Compact, the Guiding Principles for companies and Human Rights by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OCDE guidelines for multinational enterprises and the standards of the International Labor Organization; we’ve also taken the new trends that expand the perspective on human rights into consideration, augmenting their place in the company’s reality. Thus, we are updating our strong commitment to protecting and respecting human rights.
Our commitment to Human and Labor Rights
The new policy reaffirms Ferrovial’s commitment not only to respect but also to support and promote human rights, as well as to identify, prevent, and mitigate any potential negative impacts. This commitment to human rights extends to our entire value chain.
We reject any type of discrimination in all of our activities and in all of our relationships with stakeholders. To ensure this, we have a Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and an Equality Plan in place, which we periodically renew. The new policy is aligned with our Code of Business Ethics.
Another of our principles is safety. That is why we are committed to creating a safe, healthy work environment for the company’s employees and contractors, and we foster the safety of the users of our infrastructure.
We are also committed to transparency in every aspect related to protecting human rights.
Since 2017, our Ethics Channel has also incorporated several points related to Human Rights that enable reporting practices of discrimination or abuse in any of the countries where we operate.
Finally, as part of our commitment to labor rights, we reject any type of child labor or forced labor in any form; we ensure equal opportunities and non-discrimination, protection of our workers against harassment, the right to strike, freedom of association, and the right to collective bargaining in every country where we are active; we also encourage work-life balance. Our employees are protected by the labor regulations in the different regions where we operate. In addition, we offer several channels to facilitate the creation of collaborative, healthy work environments.
Ensuring due diligence in human rights
As part of its due diligence mechanisms, Ferrovial periodically evaluates potential risks to human rights so as to not only not violate the rights of the agents involved in carrying out its operations but to furthermore respect them. The company also has a Third-Party Ethical Integrity Due Diligence procedure, and in all investment operations, special attention is given to human rights, good governance, social aspects, and the environment.
Human Rights: a Glocal Challenge
Promoting human rights is one of the principles of our policy. To this end, we participate in international forums and working groups, and we have taken on positions of responsibility in various initiatives that promote Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights, such as Secretary of the Executive Committee of Forética in Spain or as a member of the Executive Board of the Global Compact Network.
In some countries, we have been involved in initiatives to help raise awareness about human rights and promote measures to safeguard them, as adapted to the characteristics of each country.
Among other specific commitments, one important one is our alignment with the Modern Slavery Act in the United Kingdom, which guarantees the prevention of actions related to slavery in any form and human trafficking.