Human rights

The Zurich Airport Group values compliance with statutory social standards and likewise expects its suppliers and business partners to meet such standards.


As one of the signatories to the UN Global Compact, the Zurich Airport Group has undertaken to uphold human rights. The company focuses on issues such as child labour, forced labour, health and safety, freedom of assembly and the right to collective bargaining, the right to property, and discrimination.

The Zurich Airport Group predominantly conducts its business activities in Switzerland where human rights are enshrined in the constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) applies. There are effective mechanisms in place both in government administration and in the courts that are open to anyone to enforce the observance of human rights in Switzerland. The Zurich Airport Group deems the risk of human rights violations within its own sphere of influence in Switzerland to be low.

However, the situation is more delicate in other countries where it is a majority shareholder in companies. Although human rights are likewise protected by laws in these countries, the Zurich Airport Group pays particular attention to upholding human rights there to avoid becoming complicit in any violations.


The Zurich Airport Group prescribes certain fundamental codes of behaviour in codes of conduct drawn up individually for each subsidiary. These require all employees to uphold human rights in their activities.

At Zurich Airport the following matters are relevant in the context of human rights:

  • Under the terms of the operating licence for Zurich Airport, a right of expropriation exists in connection with noise emissions. This follows a legally defined procedure and obliges Flughafen Zürich AG to pay compensation in the event of a formal and material expropriation (see Noise compensation (formal expropriations) in the Noise section for further details).
  • As a sector company, Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged to procure goods and services in accordance with public procurement rules (see Regional wealth creation for further information). Suppliers are obliged to offer Swiss working conditions and comply with occupational health and safety regulations, to follow the notification procedures and work permit rules for employees, and to offer men and women equal pay. For services provided outside Switzerland, the ILO core conventions must be observed. These obligations must also be imposed on any subcontractors. If these obligations are not met, the contract may be revoked and the supplier barred from participating in tenders. During the year under review no instances of abuse were reported and there were no cases where non-compliance by a contracting party led to exclusion (see Compliance management in the section on Business ethics).

The subsidiaries in Latin America have established processes designed to ensure that human rights are observed. All business partners and their backgrounds are vetted to ascertain any violations before entering into a business relationship with them. Supplier contracts for the airports in Brazil also include a provision binding the supplier to uphold human rights.