1. Home
  2. Sustainability
  3. Improving people‎’s‎ lives
  4. Human rights
  5. Human rights policy

Human rights policy

We respect the rights of our workforce and those living in communities near our sites who are affected by our activities. We set out our commitments in our human rights policy and code of conduct, and our operating management system contains requirements and guidance on respecting the rights of workers and community members

We believe everyone deserves to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity. At bp we strive to go about our business in a responsible way, respecting the human rights of our workers and everyone we come into contact with. Our human rights policy and code of conduct help us ensure we are doing that.

Originally published in 2013, we updated our human rights policy in 2020 to address emerging human rights issues relevant to our industry; clarify our human rights commitments; and communicate how bp’s approach to managing human rights impacts has advanced. The revised policy sets out how other, relevant bp expectations and principles – such as those on labour rights and modern slavery – underpin our human rights commitments and describes how we manage human rights impacts across our operations.

This update also reflects our continued commitment to greater public transparency around our activities and wider societal engagement. In carrying out this update, we spoke with a wide range of external organizations including NGOs, academics and investors, to understand their expectations of us. We strongly believe that this type of open collaboration – and challenge – is important to help us continue to push for improvements and make a positive and sustainable difference to people’s lives.

The policy states that we will obtain independent third-party assessments of selected sites and business activities’ conformance with it, on a risk-prioritized basis. These assessments are now underway.

What’s new…

Our updated policy provides more clarity around our previous commitments to respect human rights, for example:


  • On respecting the human rights of vulnerable groups who may face greater human rights challenges including women; national or ethnic groups, religious and linguistic minorities; children; LGBT+ people, persons with disabilities; and migrant workers and their families.
  • Support for workers’ rights and a commitment to the ILO Core Conventions, including supporting the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, the effective abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


The updated policy also covers important human rights issues including water rights, land rights, grievance mechanisms and protections for freedom of speech, including for human rights defenders. For example:


  • Avoiding involuntary resettlement of communities and/or individuals.
  • Respecting rights to water and sanitation for all who could potentially be affected by our activities, including our employees, contractors and local communities.
  • Stronger measures to support making appropriate grievance mechanisms available to our workforce and local communities and provision for more effective access to remedy, for example, through operational-level mechanisms such as the bp speak up line OpenTalk and our network of community liaison officers.
  • Reiterating that bp does not tolerate nor contribute to attacks, or physical or legal threats, against those safely and lawfully exercising their right to freedom of expression, peaceful protest or assembly in respect of our activities including where they are acting as human rights defenders (HRDs).