Policy statement on on the safeguarding of and respect for human rights

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) researches the causes and mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS, which are associated with dementia, movement disorders and other serious health impairments. The aim of this research is to develop possibilities and procedures for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of these diseases.

The DZNE was founded in 2009 as a member of the Helmholtz Association and was also the first of the German Centres for Health Research (Deutsche Zentren der Gesundheitsforschung, DZG). At its ten sites spread throughout Germany, around 1200 experts jointly pursue an interdisciplinary scientific strategy. This comprises five interlinked research areas: Basic Research, Clinical Research, Health Services Research, Population Research and Systems Medicine. The DZNE is thus dedicated to the entire spectrum from the investigation of molecular disease processes in the laboratory to studies on humans.

As part of this "translational" approach, the DZNE co-operates with universities, university hospitals, research institutions and research-based companies - in Germany and worldwide.

The DZNE is aware of its responsibility to respect human rights and protect the environment and, as a research centre, works continuously to fulfil this responsibility in the best possible way.

The DZNE is committed to the international principles regarding the protection of human rights and the environment, which are anchored in s. 2 (2) and (3) of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG), which regulates corporate due diligence obligations to avoid human rights violations in supply chains.


The Executive Board of the DZNE is responsible for monitoring compliance with and implementation of the human rights due diligence obligations. The DZNE Human Rights Officer is responsible for monitoring risk management. The risk analyses are carried out by the specialist departments of the DZNE in close cooperation with the Human Rights Officer, who is also responsible for the implementation of preventive and remedial measures.

Information and complaints procedure

The DZNE established a complaints procedure via an external contact point. In accordance with ss. 8 and 9 of the LkSG, the DZNE has expanded its whistleblower system to include the requirements of the LkSG, so that internal and external persons can inform the DZNE of human rights or environmental risks or violations in its own business area and in the supply chain.

Employees as well as third parties can report information on violations, both in the DZNE's own business area and at direct suppliers.

The complaints procedure is described in more detail in the "Process description / guideline for processing incoming complaints; procedural rules for the complaints procedure in accordance with s. 8 LkSG".

Risk analysis

The DZNE carries out a risk analysis as defined by the LkSG once a year and as required by law in accordance with s. 5 (4) LkSG in order to identify human rights and environmental risks in its own business area and at direct suppliers.


If the DZNE determines that a violation of a human rights-related or environmental obligation has already occurred or is imminent in its own business area or at a direct supplier, it shall immediately take appropriate remedial measures in accordance with s. 7 (1) LkSG to prevent or end this violation or to minimise the extent of the violation.

In accordance with s. 6 (3) and (4) LkSG, the DZNE continuously develops appropriate preventive measures to implement compliance with the LkSG so that human rights and environmental risks can be minimised or avoided in advance.


The DZNE Human Rights Officer monitors risk management. The specialist departments of the DZNE are responsible for preparing risk analyses and implementing preventive and remedial measures in close cooperation with the Human Rights Officer.

The Executive Board is responsible for monitoring compliance with and implementation of human rights due diligence obligations.

Documentation and reporting obligations

The DZNE reports annually, for the first time for the 2024 financial year, publicly on www.dzne.de and to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) on its due diligence activities in the supply chain, including disclosure of the results of the risk assessment in the supply chain and a description of the measures taken to mitigate the identified risks and an assessment of their effectiveness.

In accordance with the LkSG, the DZNE carries out regular and ad hoc reviews and necessary updates of the policy statement and the associated measures to minimise and avoid human rights and environmental risks.



Sabine Lange
Human Rights Officer DZNE

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