Respect for employees’ human rights is integral to our recruitment, management and diversity and inclusion processes. Our code of conduct requires employees to report any human rights abuses in our operations or those of our business partners.
We operate in 70 countries and have around 60,000 suppliers, with thousands more supporting them.
We expect contractors and their employees to act in accordance with our code of conduct, human rights policy and our expectations of suppliers. Our standard procurement contracts include requirements for suppliers to respect internationally recognized human rights, with a specific ban on the use of forced, trafficked or child labour.
We held supplier events to communicate our expectations on labour rights in a number of locations in 2017, including Brazil, Indonesia, Iraq, and the UK. We discussed the action we are taking, the need to raise concerns and the importance of our suppliers communicating this to their own employees, suppliers and business partners.
As one example, we provided training to contractors and sub-contractor teams working on our Tangguh expansion project in Indonesia. We discussed the risks faced in our industry and emphasized the individual role we all play in spotting potential signs and reporting concerns.
Drawing on our work with industry peers, we developed a human rights due diligence process that can be used to screen suppliers in a consistent way anywhere in the world. Following a pilot of the process, we are now using it with suppliers on a risk-prioritized basis to understand how they manage these risks in their business and supply chain.
We conduct labour rights audits or assessments when appropriate. Focus areas tend to be working hours, recruitment processes, freedom of movement, employment contracts and channels for workers to raise complaints without retaliation.
Where we find an issue, we try to work with the contractor to resolve it so as to improve the situation of the people affected. If a serious breach is found and no corrective action is taken, we reserve the right to terminate contracts.
Some parts of our supply chain may pose a higher risk of labour rights and modern slavery issues than others. We take a risk-based approach to monitoring our contractors and suppliers by considering:
Using this approach, we prioritized 17 businesses for modern slavery risk reviews in 2017. We then mapped our supply chain in these cases to identify high risk contractors. In some instances, this initial screening led to further assessment through questionnaires or on-site labour rights assessments, including worker interviews.
The assessments focus on key warning signs, such as passport retention, recruitment or other fees, wage deductions, employment contracts, working hours, shift patterns and living conditions.
Our South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion project will transport gas from Azerbaijan to markets in Europe. In Georgia alone, around 5,000 people helped to construct three facilities and a pipeline, with around 10% of the workforce originating from other countries such as India and Thailand.
One of our joint ventures is setting up a plant that will blend Castrol lubricants. Our partner is building the plant, and the peak of construction will involve more than 250 workers, largely made up of migrant labour employed through four or five major contractors.