The following section contains questions for investors to consider when engaging with companies in the six areas.

1: Response to human rights incidents or allegations

Questions for engagement:

Acknowledgement and stakeholder relations

How is the company responding to allegations/incidents? Is the response adequate to the scale of the allegations or incidents (i.e. large-scale pattern or one-off incident)?

Remediation

How does the company provide for or co-operate in remediation in the event of negative human rights impacts?

Lessons learnt

Can the company demonstrate that it has learnt from this (and potentially similar other) incident(s)? How are these lessons integrated into decision-making and operations, including budget allocation and oversight processes?

2: Human rights commitment

Questions for engagement 

Defining scale and scope of commitment

How does the company define human rights, and publicly set out its commitment to respect human rights?

Adhering to initiatives and guidelines

Is the company a formal and active participant of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, industry initiatives such as ICMM or IPIECA, and any other initiatives regarding human rights? How does the company apply standards and guidance taken from such initiatives?

Engaging stakeholders

What is the company’s commitment to engage with local stakeholders? What is the company’s commitment regarding indigenous people?

Communicating expectations

How does the company’s commitment stipulate its human rights expectations of personnel, business partners and other parties directly linked to its operations, products or services? Does the company have a policy on how to deal with joint ventures and non-operated projects with regards to human rights impacts? How is the commitment communicated internally and externally to relevant parties, such as personnel, business partners and others?

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3: Governance and embedding human rights into company practice

Governance

Questions for engagement

Oversight and accountability

How does the board/ senior management oversee the company’s human rights policy and due diligence process? Who is the most senior executive, board members or committee formally accountable for the management of human rights, and why does the responsibility fall to this individual or group? Does the company’s leadership demonstrate support for human rights, and if so how?

Training and knowledge

How does the company ensure that the board/senior management have the necessary knowledge, training or background in human rights to fulfil their oversight role? For example, do board members perform site visits where they have an opportunity to engage freely with local stakeholders?

Line of reporting

What human rights reporting to the board, a board committee or a risk committee takes place? For example: Do board members receive regular briefing on emerging human rights issues? Do reports to the board/senior management include project, regional and/or group level breakdowns of data analysis related to human rights?

Embedding human rights into company practice

Questions for engagment

Risk management

How is the company’s human rights commitment integrated into its overall risk management system and strategy?

Policies and processes

How is the company’s commitment reflected in, and supported by, internal policies, procedures, and management systems?

Budget and functions

How is the company’s commitment reflected in, and supported by, a specific budget and assigned across relevant functions of the company, including at an operational level? Who is responsible for human rights and why? What interactions are there between staff responsible for human rights and other relevant areas of the organisation (human resources, procurement, business risk, etc.)?

Training

Questions for engagement

Training of employees

  • How does the company ensure that appropriate human rights knowledge and skills are available at both HQ and at operational level?
  • Which employees receive training? How regularly does training take place?

Training of security personnel

  • How does the company ensure that relevant security personnel (including contractors) are aware of its human rights impacts, respect human rights, and align their practices with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights?
  • Does the company engage with the relevant police authorities and/or government security forces regarding security and human rights?

Training effectiveness

How does the company ensure that employees and security personnel understand and implement the human rights training, and respect human rights? How does the company track the effectiveness of training for employees and business partners?

4: Human rights risk assessment

Questions for engagement

Process

How does the company identify actual and potential human rights impacts across its business activities and relationships? Does the company assess risks to the company and/or impacts on rights-holders? Does the company incorporate human rights into existing risks assessments and/or conduct stand-alone human rights impact assessments (and if so, in what circumstances)?

Use of expertise

Does the company’s risk identification process use international human rights instruments as a benchmark and framework? Do the people conducting the identification and assessment of human rights risks have human rights expertise and other relevant competencies (e.g. language, culture etc.)?

Outcomes

Which actual and potential human rights impacts does the company identify for its own operations and business relationships, and what is their scale, scope and remediable character?

Changes over time

How does the company identify any changes to human rights risks over time, including any new or emerging issues, and have there been any changes since the last reporting period?

5: Stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanisms

Stakeholder engagement

Questions for engagement

Identification process

How does the company identify on an ongoing basis which stakeholders to engage with in relation to its human rights impacts both at corporate and operational level? How does the company ensure that its consultation efforts include all relevant parties, including minorities or vulnerable voices?

Engagement process

How does the company engage with stakeholders on its human rights impacts prior to and throughout the project lifecycle (for example when identifying and assessing risks)?

Capacity building

How does the company strengthen both its internal capacity to engage as well as the capacity of the community to engage in meaningful dialogue?

Engagement examples

Which stakeholders did the company identify, or what are representative examples of stakeholders the company identified and engaged with?

Outcomes

How have stakeholder views influenced the company?

Grievance mechanisms

Questions for engagement

Means of communication

Through what means can the company receive complaints or concerns that its operations, products or services have led or may lead to negative human rights impacts?

Involving stakeholders

How does the company engage key stakeholders on the design, revision, and monitoring of the mechanism?

Process

How does the company process complaints and assess the quality of outcomes (both from its own and the complainant’s perspective)?

Outcomes

How does the company monitor and assess the performance of the mechanism on a regular basis? What are the outcomes, key trends and patterns over time as well as the lessons learnt?

Effectiveness:

  • Accessible

Does the company provide information on the existence and functioning of the mechanism in a way that is adapted to the context and audience for whose use it is intended? Does the company address barriers that stakeholders may face in accessing the mechanism (for example, by providing multiple access points that are adapted to the local context)? Does the company have an explicit commitment to protect the user from reprisals?

  • Equitable

Does the company share relevant information in a way that can be easily understood? Does the company facilitate means through which affected stakeholders have access to advice or expertise?

  • Transparent

Does the company keep users informed throughout the process?

  • Rights-compatible

Does the company assess complaints on its possible human rights impacts? Does the company have processes to ensure that outcomes do not infringe on the rights of the complainant? Does the company adopt a higher standard in case of conflict between national legislation and international norms on human rights?

  • Source of continuous learning

How does the company integrate key lessons learnt?

  • Based on engagement and dialogue

Has the company established a system for feedback collection from users? Does the company prioritise engagement and dialogue as a means of addressing and resolving grievances?

6: Business relationships

Questions for engagement. How does the company use leverage to mitigate human rights risks through its business relationship? More specifically:

Selecting partners

How are human rights criteria included in the selection of business partners, including private security forces, arrangements with public security forces, joint venture partners and other suppliers?

Stipulating expectations

How are human rights criteria included in investment agreements (i.e. with joint venture partners) and contracts with business partners (e.g. through human rights clauses)?

Raising awareness

How are business partners made aware of the human rights implications of their work, and how to address them?

Monitoring

How are human rights commitments by business partners monitored on an ongoing basis?

Addressing breaches

How does the company proceed when human rights breaches at its business partners are discovered?

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Human rights and the extractive industry: why engage, who to engage, how to engage