BP’s experiences of working in conflict-affected areas has helped form a new guidance document launched today (03 May 2018), designed to help companies operating in such locations, work in a way that prevents conflict and promotes peace.
The toolkit, ‘human rights due diligence in conflict-affected settings’, is published by non-profit peacebuilding organization, International Alert, with the support of companies like BP that have a track record of working in challenging difficult settings.
CEO of International Alert Harriet Lamb said: “This toolkit builds on International Alert’s ground-breaking work over the past two decades to engage the private sector in building peace. In areas hit by conflict, human rights violations are more likely to happen, and those violations will be more severe than normal.”
Simpson says: “This is a great handbook for security professionals and if an organization were to follow the guidance they would be mitigating a lot of risk when operating in a conflict area.”
Simpson has also contributed to a UNICEF ‘child rights and security checklist’ that aims to help companies identify, improve, and create greater stakeholder confidence in their protection of children’s rights within their security programs.
The document outlines how physical security arrangements can expose children and young people to harm, for instance, children may be recruited and used as public or private security.
The International Alert toolkit distinguishes between four broad types of conflict that are particularly challenging for companies: armed conflict, armed violence, post-conflict and social unrest.
While it focuses on the oil, gas and mining sector, the toolkit’s recommendations are applicable to all other sectors working in conflict areas, particularly agribusiness, renewables and consumer goods.
BP’s steps to help protect vulnerable people are part of its role as a founding signatory to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (2000) to help guide companies in successfully meeting the challenge of protecting the safety of their personnel and assets while also respecting the rights of community members in the vicinity of their operations.
These commitments are enshrined in BP’s Business and Human Rights Policy, which sets out the company’s commitment to conduct business in a manner that respect the rights and dignity of all people.