Human rights

Human rights

We are committed to upholding human rights, wherever in the world we work.

What is your approach to human rights?

We are committed to upholding human rights. This means working to reduce the impact we have on others, in countries around the world and acting in line with global standards.

We have a Group human rights policy setting out our position and approach. This policy covers:

  • Our labour practices
  • Our use of security, including external contractors
  • How we engage with communities – including indigenous groups
  • How we resettle communities if we need to.


We assess our assets around the world for human rights risks. Where we find risks, we seek to act in line with global best practice.

What standards do you commit to?

We are committed to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sets out fundamental human rights that need to be protected.

We support the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO) fundamental conventions

We are a member of the Plenary Group of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

We also follow frameworks such as:


We are an associate member of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network and a member of the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.

What is your position on child and forced labour?

We do not tolerate any form of child or forced labour in our business, including across the global supply where we source and procure our commodities.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), some cobalt is produced via artisanal mining (ASM), using child labour. We support efforts to address the endemic poverty in this region that is the underlying cause of ASM. 

None of the cobalt that we mine, or third-party cobalt that we trade, uses child labour.

What is your position on labour and human rights abuses?

We seek to ensure that we do not deal in commodities associated with labour or human rights abuses. 

For example, we have developed robust due diligence processes to ensure that material from ASM in the DRC does not enter our supply chain.

If our operations adversely affect local communities or employees, we work with them to find solutions.

What is your position on collective bargaining?

We respect our employees’ right to collective bargaining, and maintain dialogue with labour unions at all our operations.

More than 70% of our employees are represented by an independent trade union or collective bargaining agreement.

How do you encourage security forces to respect human rights?

In regions with a high risk of security-related human rights abuses, we require security contractors to comply with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

We provide training sessions to directly employed and contracted security officers. We are also working to raise awareness among public security forces present at our operations.

In Chad, our oil exploration and production team undertakes annual reviews of security. The review involves the Ministries Department.

During 2017, the review focused on: the prevention of vandalism acts on facilities and equipment, theft, avoidance of unnecessary night walks around facilities after the 6pm curfew and engagement with the night patrol military team.

In Colombia, eight critical contractors received training specifically on the rights of children and all of Prodeco’s security employees attended a human rights workshop organised by the Universidad del Norte. Prodeco also completed an action plan to reduce and eliminate the gaps identified by a human rights risk assessment undertaken in 2016.  This included further engagement with stakeholders.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, our Katanga and Mutanda operations provided training for 1,530 contractors and 148 employees, a further 30 mine police participated in an information session. Mutanda also provides regular training to the regional police force.

In Peru, our Antapaccay copper operation held two training programmes that involved three sessions in May and three sessions in December. These programmes trained the 150 private security contractors. 

How do you make sure that communities have a voice?

As a key part of our approach to human rights, we seek to ensure that communities impacted by our operations have access to remedy.

We have mechanisms to receive grievances. These include dedicated phone numbers, free SMS hotlines, complaints registers in public places, and dedicated offices in communities. We examine all complaints, and let complainants know results in a culturally appropriate way.

We also communicate in ways that are tailored to local communities. For example, we may conduct town hall meetings in which we both inform and listen to communities.

Our employees and stakeholders can report issues via formal Raising Concerns mechanisms. Channels include email and web forms.