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27 February 2024

The aluminium industry provides employment opportunities across its complex global value chain, from bauxite mining to aluminium product manufacturing and sales. However, the sector has faced labour rights challenges, including issues around freedom of association, child labour, discrimination, forced labour and poor working conditions.

ASI aims to drive responsible production and sourcing practices through its Standards and assurance framework. A key component is ASI’s Performance Standard, which defines environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles that certified entities must meet.

The Performance Standard’s ‘Social’ section (Principles 9-11) contains comprehensive labour rights criteria, notably in Principle 10. By meeting these criteria, entities can demonstrate their commitment to upholding international labour standards aligned with International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and guiding human rights instruments.

Labour Rights Criteria addressed in the ASI Performance Standard include:

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (Criterion 10.1): Entities must respect workers’ rights to form or join trade unions and to collectively bargain, within the bounds of applicable law. This empowers workers to advocate for their interests.

Child Labour (Criterion 10.2): ASI prohibits the engagement of workers under 15 years old and exploitative work by juveniles (15-18 years old). This protects children from harmful employment.

Forced Labour (Criterion 10.3): The standard requires entities to avoid engaging in or supporting human trafficking, debt bondage, unreasonable restrictions on workers’ movement, and retention of identity documents. This counters modern slavery.

Non-Discrimination (Criterion 10.4): Entities must provide equal opportunities and fair treatment regardless of race, gender, age, disability or other factors. This promotes diversity and inclusion.

Communication and Engagement (Criterion 10.5): Entities must ensure open, non-threatening communication and direct engagement with workers and their representatives regarding working conditions and issue resolution.

Violence and Harassment (Criterion 10.6): Entities need workplace policies to address violence and harassment risks through prevention and mitigation measures developed in consultation with workers and their representatives. This fosters safe, respectful workplaces.

Remuneration (Criterion 10.7): Workers must receive timely wage payments that meet legal or industry minimum standards and are sufficient to meet basic needs. This supports decent living standards.

Working Time (Criterion 10.8): Entities must comply with laws and industry standards on working hours, providing workers with at least one day off per seven-day period and limiting the average workday to 8 hours over six months.

Informing Workers of Rights (Criterion 10.9): Workers must be informed of their protected rights, including alternative means of association and engagement where restricted by law.

By integrating these Labour Rights Criteria into its Standards, ASI enables entities to proactively identify, prevent and remedy labour abuses within their operations and value chains. As more facilities become ASI certified, adherence to these criteria can help strengthen labour rights across the global aluminium industry.

Upholding Labour Rights is a shared responsibility. Through multi-stakeholder collaboration and independent third-party auditing against its standards, ASI seeks to promote decent work and dignity for all workers impacted by aluminium production and use.


Additional Resources


iseal code compliant