Transcript Slide 1

1 The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Lessons Learned & Future Challenges

What are the Voluntary Principles?

The only guidelines specifically for security and human rights issues in the extractives sector 2

Provide guidance on three issues: 1. Risk assessment 2. Engagement with public security forces 3. Relations with private security services


What are the Voluntary Principles?

• Differ from other standards in that they provide for a process of

continued dialogue

and cooperation. • Deliberately drafted without identifying challenges in particular countries and to

apply globally


4 1. Risk Assessment with regard to Security and Human Rights Issues

• Review

human rights records

of public and private security forces.

• Evaluate the

rule of law

, capacity of prosecuting authority and judiciary.

• Conduct

conflict analysis

; root causes and nature.

• Examine

equipment transfers

5 2. Interactions between companies and private and public security

• Screen

human rights records

of security personnel. • Conduct human rights

training programs

for security.

Consult stakeholders

on their experiences with security forces.

6 2. Interactions between companies and private and public security

• Include the VPs in security

contracts and agreements.

• Convey guidelines for

use of force/

force proportional to the threat.

• Record and

report allegations

of abuses.


Why Implement the VPs?

1. Improved Security

• Better understand and anticipate of risk; more effective monitoring of context, improved mitigation • Improved community relations – good neighbours are the best security • Attempts to improve standards in security forces; stabilizes operating environment

Why Implement the VPs?

8 2. Reputational Risk

• Build relations with local and int’l NGOs • Creates alliances with other companies to collectively address shared problems, spreads the risk of individual exposure • Reduces the risk of being considered complicit in mercenary actions or military interventions


Why Implement the VPs?

3. Respect for Rule of Law

• Help strengthen the rule of law by supporting judicial process • Contributes to local governance • Building capacity of public and private security forces


Official VPs Participants

Hydro Talisman Energy Rio Tinto BHP Billiton


Role of Secretariat

• BSR and UK-based International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) co-secretariat since 2004: • Serve as neutral facilitators of the VPs process. • Chair the Steering Committee, lead Working Groups. • Support

in country’ efforts to implement the VPs. • Identify opportunities and conduct outreach to promote the VPs. • Foster information sharing among participants. • Help organize the Annual Plenary and other events.

Expectations of Companies


• Encourage host governments to permit making security arrangements transparent.

• Ensure equipment imports and exports comply with all applicable law and regulations. • Take appropriate and lawful measures to mitigate any foreseeable negative consequences associated with equipment transfers.

Expectations of Companies


• Communicate policies regarding ethical conduct and human rights to public security providers • Request security be provided in a manner consistent with those policies by personnel with adequate and effective training. • Consult regularly with host governments and local communities about the impact of their security arrangements on those communities.


Expectations of Private Security

• Provide preventative and defensive services only • Do not engage in any activity considered to the exclusive responsibility of state military or law enforcement authorities.

• Do not violate the rights of individuals.


Expectations of Private Security

• Maintain high levels of technical and professional proficiency, particularly with regard to the local use of force and firearms.

• Exercise restraint and caution regarding the use of force.

• Use force only when strictly necessary and to an extent proportional to the threat.

Expectations of Private Security


• Do not employ individuals credibly implicated in human rights abuses to provide security services.

• Observe the policies of the contracting Company regarding ethical conduct and human rights Act in a lawful manner • Designate services, technology and equipment capable of offensive and defensive purposes as being for defensive use only.

Expectations of Public Security


• Primarily - maintain the rule of law, including safeguarding human rights and deterring acts that threaten company personnel and facilities. • The type and number of public security forces deployed should be competent, appropriate and proportional to the threat.

• Where force is used, medical aid should be provided to injured persons, including to offenders.


Implementation Best Practices (1)

• Early CEO or senior level executive sponsorship – Elevates priority of VPs, ensures allocation of required resources – Facilitates internal company engagement and implementation.

• VPs embedded in private security contracts, agreements with host governments and local police, and risk assessments: – Formalizes commitment to implementation and ongoing engagement.

– Establishes expectations and responsibilities – Training a critical component for management, public and private security forces


Implementation Best Practices (2)

• VPs integrated into company management of social issues – Embedded in company social policies – Often a trigger to develop specific human rights policies – Integrated into staff orientations, trainings and evaluation processes. • VPs integrated into third party management of social issues – Referenced in International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards – Colombian Ministry of National Defense “Comprehensive Human Rights and IHL Policy

Implementation Best Practices (3)


• •

Clear internal guidelines for addressing alleged human rights abuses and sharing incident reviews with relevant agencies and stakeholders:

– Anonymous “whistle blower” process for capturing concerns and grievances reinforces community trust – Establishing “open space” engagement allows concerns to be surfaced before they become grievances – Engage in human rights training with state forces through a third party, and in a transparent manner.

Best practices, challenges and key learning on implementation shared with peer companies and other actors:

– In Colombia, ACP leads a working group of companies, governments and NGOs to support more effective implementation and to facilitate dialogue on human rights.


Implementation Best Practices (4)

• Performance assessment, management and reporting: – NGOs and/or other third parties engaged in reviewing security arrangements and other human-rights-related conditions – Companies in Colombia have begun to pilot a set of performance indicators developed by London based NGO International Alert – this is part of an effort to develop a baseline regarding implementation by companies here.

Lessons learned: Implementation (1)


• Need for tools and guidelines for effective implementation.

• Sharing best practice and lessons learned can raise performance.

• Multi-stakeholder approach enhances process, but also presents its own challenges.

• Building multi-stakeholder dialogue easier at headquarters level than in area of operations: – The latter is crucial


Lessons learned: Implementation (2)

Major challenges include: • Developing a human rights culture throughout the company • Securing commitment from other actors (public and private security forces, host governments) • Building confidence of local communities


Future challenges: VPs at 10 Years Old

• How to drive forward the establishment of in-country implementation processes?

• How to secure host government engagement?

• How to involve local civil society/NGOs without becoming enmeshed in politics?


Future challenges: VPs at 10 Years Old

• How to broaden participation…. ….without lowering standards?

• How to assess ‘suitability’ of potential new participants?

• How to deal with allegations that a participant has fallen below expected standard?


Contact Information

Doug Bannerman Senior Manager, Advisory Services Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) T: 415 984 3210 [email protected]

Birgit Errath Manager International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) +44 (207) 467-3639 [email protected]