Created in partnership with the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights


Prioritizing Freedom of Association in Internal and External Policy Documents

In January 2015, Mars launched its new Human Rights Policy in response to the UN Guiding Principles. The Policy covers all human rights and applies to all fully owned Mars entities, as well as those in which Mars has a majority interest. In addition, the Mars Supplier Code of Conduct establishes expectations of suppliers with regards to human rights, including the requirement to uphold freedom of association.

To guide suppliers in implementing the requirements of the Supplier Code of Conduct, Mars has published a Supplier Code of Conduct Guidebook with four pages of detailed guidance on freedom of association, among other issues. The guidance for suppliers on freedom of association includes examples of issues that may be encountered by a supplier and how these issues could be addressed through a management systems approach that comprises policies; procedures and accountability; training for management and workers; documentation of minutes of worker management meetings; monitoring mechanisms; and periodic review of the system’s performance.