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Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: Doors Open to New Participants

Submitted by: Business for Social Responsibility

Categories: Human Rights

Posted: May 02, 2006 – 12:00 AM EST


May 02 /CSRwire/ - London and San Francisco -- The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Plenary today announced it will open participation to more extractives companies, non governmental organizations (NGOs) and host governments.

Since the launch of the Voluntary Principles in 2000, a company or NGO could only participate in the Plenary if its home government was a participant. This is no longer a requirement. However, if a company or NGO is admitted and its home government is not a participant, the home government will be strongly encouraged to join. Also, host governments that play an active role in an in-country process to support the implementation of the Voluntary Principles may also become official participants.

To become a participant, a company, NGO or government must commit to act in good faith, promote the Voluntary Principles publicly, implement the principles (or assist in their implementation), share experiences and report publicly on their activities according to agreed reporting criteria and on at least an annual basis. Admission as an official participant requires consensus support among existing participants. More detailed criteria for governance, participation and reporting are currently under development.

Peter Brew, Director, Corporate Policy and Practice, at the International Business Leaders' Forum, said: "These reforms mark an exciting new phase in the process of establishing the Voluntary Principles as the accepted framework for the conduct of oil, gas and mining companies operating in zones of conflict. Opening the process to host governments will also help turn the initiative into a truly collaborative process, as host governments have a crucial role to play in ensuring the effective implementation of the Principles."

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are a unique tripartite, multi-stakeholder initiative established in 2000 that introduced a set of principles to guide extractives companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Voluntary Principles address three main areas: risk assessment; interactions between companies and public security; and interactions between companies and private security. Visit wwww.voluntaryprinciples.org or the websites of the participants:


Netherlands (www.minez.nl or www.mvnoderland.nl)
Norway (http://odin.dep.no/ud/engelsk)
The United States of America (www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/2931.htm)
The United Kingdom (www.societyandbusiness.gov.uk/voluntary.shtml)


Amerada Hess Corporation (www.hess.com)
Anglo American (www.angloamerican.co.uk)
BG Group (www.bg-group.com)
BHP Billiton (www.bhpbilliton.com)
BP (www.bp.com)
Chevron (www.chevron.com)
ConocoPhillips (www.conocophillips.com)
ExxonMobil (www.exxonmobil.com)
Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (www.fcx.com)
Marathon Oil (www.marathon.com)
Newmont Mining Corporation (www.newmont.com)
Norsk Hydro (www.hydro.com)
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (www.oxy.com)
Rio Tinto (www.riotinto.com)
Shell (www.shell.com)
Statoil (www.statoil.com)

Non-Governmental Organizations:

Amnesty International (http://amnesty.org)
The Fund for Peace (www.fundforpeace.org)
Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
Human Rights First (www.humanrightsfirst.org)
International Alert (www.international-alert.org)
Pax Christi Netherlands (www.paxchristi.nl)
Oxfam (www.oxfam.org.uk)


International Committee of the Red Cross (www.icrc.org)
International Council on Mining & Metals (www.icmm.com)
International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (www.ipieca.org)

For more information, please contact:

Doug Bannerman Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: 415-984-3210
Barbara-Anne Greenwald Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: 415-984-3233


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