Amnesty International recently raised concerns and shared information about human rights risks in connection with Amazon’s operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and, in particular, with our third-party vendor. We appreciate the attention of Amnesty International both on this issue and the organization’s important mission to protect human rights globally. We are deeply concerned that some of our contract workers in KSA were not treated with the standards we set forth, and the dignity and respect they deserve. We appreciate these workers’ willingness to come forward and report their experience.
In KSA, similar to many companies throughout the region, Amazon works with third-party vendors to source and manage contract (non-permanent) employees. However, Amazon does not tolerate violations of our long-established Supply Chain Standards or Global Human Rights Principles, and we take any allegation of violations extremely seriously. Providing safe, healthy and fair working conditions is a requirement of doing business with Amazon in every country where we operate, and if we identify potential violations of our standards, or misconduct by our suppliers, we take immediate steps to resolve those issues.
Our supply chain audit process and our own investigation surfaced violations of our standards by our third-party vendor, and we worked closely with them to align on a compliance plan, which they’ve agreed to, that addresses those violations and complies with our standards. This includes ensuring their employees are repaid for any unpaid wages or worker-paid recruitment fees, are provided clean and safe accommodations, and that the vendor is committed to ensuring ongoing protections for workers. We will continue to work closely with the vendor to ensure they make the verifiable changes so that all impacted workers are provided for appropriately.
While we considered immediately suspending this vendor when these allegations came to light, we determined that it was in the best interests of their employees, many of whom traveled from other countries to Saudi Arabia for work, to instead work diligently with the vendor to make significant changes to their operations.
We have a wide variety of ways that workers at our sites can report issues with how they are treated, including a confidential 24-hour hotline, and we encourage workers to take advantage of these as another way for us to ensure compliance by all of our vendors everywhere that we operate. In addition, we’re implementing stronger controls for all of our vendors to ensure similar incidents do not occur and to raise overall standards for workers in the region, including providing enhanced trainings for our third-party vendors on labor rights standards, with a specific focus on recruitment, wages, and deception. We will continue to engage with Amnesty International as this work unfolds.
To read Amazon’s full response to Amnesty International, and to find out more about Amazon's approach to human rights, click on the links below.