HU.5.a. Product stewardship

Does the company take steps to prevent risks to human rights arising from product defects or improper use or misuse of company products? 


This question is primarily relevant for companies producing or marketing products with adverse effects on human life, health, privacy or other human rights related issues, whether through correct or incorrect use of the products. Product stewardship with regard to human rights entails that the company protects consumers, users and others against hazards to human rights, including health, life, privacy and other impacts, which may result from the manufacturing, marketing, usage and disposal of a given product. Product-related hazards to human rights may arise due to product defects or side-effects or due to improper use of the product or use of the product for unintended purposes. Where relevant, product stewardship procedures should be in place to prevent and monitor such improper use or misuse.


The question relates to the right to life, liberty and security, and the right to health. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Articles 3 and 25; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Article 6 (1); ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (1977), Article 37.


First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company is aware of and complies with relevant national laws, international guidelines and industry standards regarding product manufacturing, design and marketing.

The company takes measures to eliminate ingredients, designs, defects or side-effects that could harm or threaten human life and health during manufacturing, usage or disposal of the products.

The company provides written and visual warnings on all packaging or products about known health hazards associated with the product, including instructions for proper use in a language and form understandable to the users.

If training, protective equipment or other measures are required for safe use of the product, the company takes steps to ensure that end-users are aware of such requirements.

The company continuously monitors and protects against adverse human rights effects (including but not limited to effects on health, life, privacy, and security of person) arising from proper as well as improper usage or disposal of its products.

The company has a procedure to establish whether its products have dual-use application, including for weapons manufacturing, surveillance or other military usage, and complies with all relevant export control regulations for such products.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company take steps to prevent risks to human rights arising from product defects or improper use or misuse of company products? 

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    1. Select a question

    2. Click "Answer this question"

    3. Answer the indicators

    4. Answer the main question






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