Security forces and human rights

This page presents all relevant good practice case studies that showcase how business have addressed the Security forces dilemma. Case studies have been developed in close collaboration with a range of multi-national companies and relevant government, inter-governmental and civil society stakeholders. We also draw on public domain sources, including the UN Global Compact's own published Communications on Progress through which signatories are required to report on their performance against the Ten Principles.

The case studies explore the specific dilemmas and challenges faced by each organisation, good practice actions they have taken to resolve them and the results of such action. We reference challenges as well as achievements and invite you to submit commentary and suggestions through the Forum.

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) BAPSC: Improving human rights standards in a high-risk sector - UK, Global

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Talisman Energy: Operating in high risk security areas - Global

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) BP: Security provision issues - Colombia *

Voluntary Principles: Driving responsible practice - Global

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are intended to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within a framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It includes guidance for companies on risk assessment, interactions with public security providers and interactions with private security providers. Corporate participants include Anglo American, BG Group, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Freeport McMoRan, Hess, Hydro, Marathon Oil, Newmont Mining, Occidental Petroleum, Rio Tinto, Shell, StatoilHydro and Talisman Energy.

The Montreux Document: Affirming government responsibility for PMCs – Global

The Montreux Document was developed by the International Committee of the Red Cross along with a range of international government experts, as well as representatives from civil society and the security community. It reaffirms the obligation on states to ensure that PMCs operating in armed conflicts comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. It lists around 70 recommendations derived from good state practice. These include verification of PMC track records, how they vet their staff and legal remedies for serious legal breaches.

Red Flags: Highlighting the legal risks of human rights violations – Global

Red Flags is a project to communicate the changing nature of liability risk, based on the latest international case law. The Red Flags pamphlet and web site provide basic information about the potential for litigation, based on actual legal actions involving businesses or business people and international crimes. These include actions related to human rights and security – including those involving companies such as Chiquita, Shell and Unocal. Red Flags is the result of a collaborative effort by an informal group of lawyers, researchers and diplomats from several countries, with support from the Canadian government, Ford Foundation and others.

International Alert: Guidance for businesses operating in conflict zones – Global

International Alert is an independent peacebuilding organisation working in over 20 countries and territories – including the African Great Lakes, West Africa, the Caucasus, the Andean region of South America, and South Asia. International Alert publishes a range of guidance – including sector-specific guidance for the engineering and extractive industries – as well as more general guidance for businesses operating in conflict zones. The organisation also offers a range of training courses related to operating in conflict zones and peacebuilding.

Anglo American: Support for police service human rights training – South Africa

In 2008, the South African Police Service implemented the development of a human rights and policing training module as a core part of the training curriculum. This was supported by a R1 million (US$121,000) donation from Anglo Platinum. In the same year, all Anglo Platinum security personnel undertook a course in security and human rights, whilst 149 contractors and employees in Chile and 1,888 at Anglo Platinum underwent training on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

BHP Billiton: Human rights training for site-operated security forces – Global

In the 2008 financial year, 35 of BHP Billiton’s sites – mainly in South Africa, Australia and South America – reported that they had undertaken human rights training, an increase from 24 sites in the previous year. The training was delivered to 11,891 employees and 14,182 contractors. In addition, 38 sites (around a third of the total) had cultural awareness programs in place. A total of 29 sites operated security forces, and 24 of these were reported to have undertaken human rights training.

BP: Bilateral security protocol for oil/gas projects and pipelines – Azerbaijan

Several of BP’s significant investment agreements include provisions on human rights. This includes their bilateral security protocol for BP operations in Azerbaijan. The protocol ensures that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Code of Conduct for law enforcement officials, and the UN basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials are part of the legal framework for its Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil project, the Shah Deniz gas project, the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. BP has also agreed with the government of Azerbaijan the extension of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights to all assets there for future operations. At the Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia, BP has included a commitment to follow human rights principles and procedures consistent with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human rights in the Joint Security Guidelines agreed with the Papuan police.

Chevron: Guidelines on the Voluntary Principles and inclusion in contracts – Global

In 2008, Chevron released its Guidelines on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. These describe the company’s operational framework for security – and allow business units to tailor implementation to local circumstances. Chevron has started to include related provisions into their private security contracts for example. Chevron also promotes the Voluntary Principles externally. This includes engagement with the US State Department and in security and human rights workshops organised by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA).

ExxonMobil: Human rights requirements for private security contracts – Global

ExxonMobil is in the process of enhancing private security personnel contracts to include provisions to address human rights issues. This includes a requirement for all personnel to be trained on, and to act consistently with ExxonMobil’s Principles on Security and Human Rights, applicable laws, provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the 1998 ILO Declaration, the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, and UN Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. Such language has been incorporated into more than 50 percent of ExxonMobil’s contracts. In 2008, relevant training was provided to key affiliate personnel in seven countries. This training programme – which is based on IPIECA guidance, hat of its member companies and ExxonMobil’s own guidance – will be expanded in 2009/10.

Freeport-McMoran: Reviewing of security arrangements – Indonesia, DR Congo

As a signatory to the Voluntary Principles, Freeport-McMoran conducts human rights training for all security personnel at its mining sites in Indonesia and DR Congo. It also facilitates training for contract and host government personnel. In certain remote locations such as Papua (Indonesia) and Katanga (DR Congo), the company relies on the respective governments to provide security. This is particularly the case in Indonesia, where the Grasberg mine has been designated a vital national asset – resulting in a significant security presence. Circumstances require that Freeport-McMoran provide logistical, infrastructure and financial support. The company periodically reviews this support to ensure it is appropriate, lawful, properly monitored – and aligned with its responsible corporate citizenship principles and the Voluntary Principles.

Shell: Integration of VPs into security training and contracts – Global

Shell included the Voluntary Principles in its Group Security Standards in 2007. As a result the standard annual risk assessment that all of Shell’s operations are required to conduct now includes background checks on security staff to make sure they have no past record of human rights abuse, and checks that security staff have been trained on how to implement the Voluntary Principles. The Voluntary Principles are also referenced in its contracts with private security providers and when working with public security forces.

African Barrick Gold: Engaging with state security forces to ensure compliance with Voluntary Principles – Tanzania

Gold mining company African Barrick Gold plc (ABG) has placed the Voluntary Principles (VPs) at the centre of its security management system in order to ensure that; 1) all security employees and contractors receive training and regular refresher courses in, amongst other things, human rights compliance and appropriate use-of-force; 2) security personnel comply at all times with ABG policies, including its various codes of conduct; 3) an environment is created that is safe for employees and wider communities. ABG currently operates exclusively in Tanzania, where it has entered into Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Tanzanian police force in order to ensure compliance with human rights standards by encouraging and supporting the provision of VP training to officers and other relevant personnel. ABG states that, to its knowledge, it is the only company in the country to make such comprehensive arrangements.

De Beers: Requiring and maintaining a clean human rights record for private security companies – Global

Under its Security Forces and Human Rights Policy, diamond mining and trading group De Beers has laid down a number of principles to ensure the on-going security of employees, business partners, customers, property and affected communities. The policy serves to ensure that all private security staff hired by the company have a clean record of human rights protection, receive training in the prevention of human rights abuses and do not engage in any illegal activity, including the forced recruitment of others, whilst working under the auspices of De Beers. In order to ensure that all such principles are adhered to, the company undertakes assurance audits, including confidential consultations with local stakeholders, through its Principles Assurance Programme and reported publicly to its Audit Committee.

Rio Tinto: Security and human rights training and formal government agreement – Madagascar

In 2011 and 2012 Rio Tinto had its Global Security team visit all sites assessed to represent ‘critical’ and ‘high’ security and human rights risks – with the aim of strengthening on-the-ground application of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. As part of this process, significant improvements were made at the company’s QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) mine in Fort-Dauphin. QMM entered into a partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN High Commission for Refugees to carry out human rights workshops with police officers, members of the armed forces, QMM’s own private guards and others. In addition, it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Defence and relevant public security forces, which committed them to carrying our all future actions in line with the Voluntary Principles and international humanitarian principles.

http://www.riotinto.com

Eni: Two-way learning through multi-stakeholder training on security and human rights – Pakistan

In 2011, Eni carried out an extensive training exercise on the application of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights at its Bhit field in Pakistan. Participants – of which there were around 80 – included security personnel, managers and representatives from Pakistan’s security forces. Eni utilised a co-trainer (a former senior officer) to lead training – which was carried out in English and Urdu. Valuable insight was gained from the training sessions, including: (1) the critical nature of “sensitive and respectful responses to community concerns in mitigating security risks; and (2) the vital need for coordination between the security and sustainability functions so as to understand “the opinions, points of view and the dynamics of the local community” and to define local development programmes.

http://www.eni.com

Kinross Gold Corporation: Training for security employees in compliance with Voluntary Principles – Global

Kinross Gold Corporation reports that in 2014 it delivered training to all of its security employees as part of the company’s Human Rights Adherence and Verification Program (HRA&VP). This represents an increase on 81% of personnel trained in 2013 and 60% in 2011. The HRA & VP program is used to help security personnel and key site managers to understand and act in compliance with the Voluntary Principles. Training is provided to both Kinross personnel, as well as public security personnel and is designed to foster constructive community-security relationships. The training includes guidance on, for example, allegation reporting and verification, investigation and resolution, and monitoring of investigations conducted by public officials.

http://www.kinross.com

Freeport-McMoRan: Tailoring risk assessments to the Voluntary Principles – Global

Freeport McMoRan developed and applied a new risk assessment for sites to conduct specific human rights and security risk assessments to ensure alignment with the Voluntary Principles. These assessments were implemented in DR Congo and Indonesia in 2014. In the same year, Freeport-Moran established Human Rights Compliance Officers for its high risk sites, with the responsibility of receiving, documenting and following up on any reported human rights allegations. 

http://www.fcx.com

Newmont Mining: Human rights training for private and state security providers– Global

Newmont’s activities in Ghana reflect the company’s efforts to support and engage the government to share responsibility for managing the risks associated from security force violations. For example, in 2014, Newmont Mining’s security specialists in Ghana worked with the government to develop and formulate a national implementation plan for the Voluntary Principles.  The assistance provided by Newmont’s personnel included training, communication and outreach, and practical guidance on MOUs. In addition, the team promoted the values of the Voluntary Principles through speaking engagements and participations in workshops and conferences about extractives and security in Ghana. Newmont also hosts an annual seminar on the Voluntary Principles to which it invites prosecutors, judges and government officials as part of its efforts to raise awareness of the guidelines and to support access to remedy for the victims of security force violations.

http://www.voluntaryprinciples.org

Newmont Mining: Working with governments to implement the Voluntary Principles – Ghana

Newmont’s activities in Ghana reflect the company’s efforts to support and engage the government to share responsibility for managing the risks associated from security force violations. For example, in 2014, Newmont Mining’s security specialists in Ghana worked with the government to develop and formulate a national implementation plan for the Voluntary Principles. The assistance provided by Newmont’s personnel included training, communication and outreach, and practical guidance on MOUs. In addition, the team promoted the values of the Voluntary Principles through speaking engagements and participations in workshops and conferences about extractives and security in Ghana. Newmont also hosts an annual seminar on the Voluntary Principles to which it invites prosecutors, judges and government officials as part of its efforts to raise awareness of the guidelines and to support access to remedy for the victims of security force violations.

http://www.voluntaryprinciples.org

* Taken from: UN Global Compact et al, Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide