DCSIMG

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights



Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles) is a multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI) involving governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations that promotes implementation of a set of principles that guide oil, gas, and mining companies on providing security for their operations in a manner that respects human rights. Specifically, the Voluntary Principles guide companies in conducting a comprehensive human rights risk assessment in their engagement with public and private security providers to ensure human rights are respected in the protection of company facilities and premises.

Overview of the Voluntary Principles:

  • MSI composed of multinational oil, gas, and mining companies, governments, and key international non-governmental organizations
  • Practical guidelines to help extractives companies manage risk effectively at the international, national, project level
  • Platform for mutual learning, joint problem solving, and building best practices on security and human rights challenges with companies, governments, and NGOs
  • Framework to build capacity of key players to address these issues in complex environments.

Why Implement the Voluntary Principles?

While the duty to protect human rights rests with governments, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights1, by acting with due diligence to avoid harming people and addressing adverse impacts with which they are involved. Extractives companies often operate in complex environments with little guidance on the ground on how to observe their human rights responsibilities. The Voluntary Principles helps companies identify human rights risks and take meaningful steps to address those risks in a manner that helps ensure respect for human rights in their operations.

The Voluntary Principles provide a framework for companies to manage risk effectively by:
Conducting a comprehensive assessment of human rights risks associated with security

  • Engaging appropriately with public and private security service providers and surrounding communities in complex environments
  • Instituting human rights screenings of and trainings for public and private security forces
  • Developing systems for reporting and investigating allegations of human rights abuses
  • Join this important initiative to contribute to the advancement of security and human rights. For more details please go to www.voluntaryprinciples.org.

    The Guiding Principles are the first set of UN-endorsed global guidelines on business and human rights, and provide an important framework and focal point for corporations, states, civil society, and other actors as they work to strengthen their respective approaches to business and human rights.

    Participants
    Governments
    Canada
    Colombia
    Netherlands
    Norway
    Switzerland
    United Kingdom
    United States of America

    Non-Governmental Organizations
    The Fund for Peace
    Global Rights
    Human Rights First
    Human Rights Watch
    IKV Pax Christi
    International Alert
    Pact
    Partnership Africa Canada
    Pearson Centre
    Search for Common Ground

    Corporations
    Anglo American
    AngloGold Ashanti
    Barrick Gold Corporation
    BG Group
    BHP Billiton
    BP
    Chevron Corporation
    ConocoPhillips
    ExxonMobil
    Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
    Hess Corporation
    Inmet Mining Corporation
    Marathon Oil Company
    Newmont Mining Corporation
    Occidental Petroleum Corporation
    Rio Tinto
    Shell
    Statoil
    Talisman Energy
    Total
    Observers
    DCAF
    International Finance Corporation
    International Committee of the Red Cross
    International Council on Mining & Metals
    International Petroleum Industry Environmental


    1The Guiding Principles are the first set of UN-endorsed global guidelines on business and human rights, and provide an important framework and focal point for corporations, states, civil society, and other actors as they work to strengthen their respective approaches to business and human rights.

    Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.