Human Rights

GE promotes respect for fundamental human rights and views them as a key component of responsible corporate citizenship. In addition to supporting the fundamental principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we have joined with other companies to find practical ways to apply those principles in the business community.

Our Commitment

GE, as a business enterprise, promotes respect for fundamental human rights. We support the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, remaining mindful that the Declaration is addressed primarily to nations. GE has joined with other companies to find practical ways of applying within the business community the broad principles established in the Declaration.

Our Actions

GE endeavors to advance respect for fundamental human rights within the communities in which our businesses operate. We do this in important part by leading by example—influencing our employees and business partners through actions consistent with policies contained in The Spirit & The Letter. Wherever we do business, GE aspires to: 

In Our Management Capacity

  • RESPECTING the human rights of our employees as established in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, including nondiscrimination, prohibitions against child and forced labor, freedom of association and the right to engage in collective bargaining
  • PROVIDING security consistent with the intent of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, as well as the laws of the countries in which we operate, retaining security services for preventive or defensive purposes with instructions to use force only when necessary and to an extent proportional to the threat

In Our Business Capacity

  • DEVELOPING and offering products, including those that meet human needs for power, water and medical care, with due regard for fundamental human rights and a sustainable environment

With Our Direct Business Partners

  • INCORPORATING appropriate principles of The Spirit & The Letter into contracts with suppliers, business partners and distributors
  • MONITORING adherence by key suppliers in emerging markets to environmental, health and safety standards, prohibitions against forced and child labor, and local wage and hour laws
  • EVALUATING human rights issues involving our direct business partners—particularly in emerging markets—and considering practical responses within the relevant context
  • ADVANCING application of the ILO Declaration through engagement and collaboration.

In the Community

  • SERVING as a positive influence in communities in which we operate, demonstrating by our actions our belief that human rights violations are unacceptable
  • ASSESSING, as appropriate, the impact on affected local communities of major infrastructure project financing

Sustainable Growth 2012

GE’s 2012 Sustainable Growth Summary highlights progress against commitments on our social, environmental and economic impacts—or, what we call People, Planet and Economy.



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