In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which defined the basic rights and freedoms all human beings should enjoy. While governments have the greatest impact in upholding these rights, businesses around the world also have a responsibility to ensure human rights protection is integrated into their operations.
As mentioned in an earlier blog, Newmont’s approach to protecting and promoting human rights includes working with communities, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other businesses to develop and implement best practices and frameworks that provide for accountability and transparency in protecting human rights. In addition to being a participant in the UN Global Compact – an initiative for businesses committed to 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption – Newmont also actively participates in and supports the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). As a formal participant, Newmont provides an annual report on our efforts to implement and promote the Voluntary Principles (VPs), which help companies:
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment of human rights risks associated with security;
- Engage appropriately with public and private security in conflict prone areas;
- Require training for public and private security forces working on company property;
- Ensure that when the use of force is absolutely necessary, it is proportionate and lawful; and
- Develop accountable processes for reporting and investigating allegations of human rights abuses.
Other participants in the VPSHR include the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, Colombia and Switzerland, along with companies operating in the resource industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
In July 2012 Newmont co-sponsored a workshop in Lima, Peru where participants had the opportunity to learn about the VPs and how best to apply them to their company.
Soon after the workshop, Newmont held a seminar on the VPs in Cajamarca, Peru. This seminar brought together local authorities, representatives of Peru’s Ministry of the Interior, the national police, NGOs, private companies and Newmont officials to identify ways in which the VPs must be implemented and put into practice in an effort to reduce social conflict in Peru.
Recently, there have been reports about a case against the government of Peru in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
We support the IACHR’s mission to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. While Member States – not private companies – fall under the purview of the IACHR, Newmont is committed to and invests in a number of human rights programs and in training to ensure we live up to our values and obligations.