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IPIECA presents at BSR workshop on human rights strategy implementation

IPIECA presented at a BSR workshop titled ‘Lessons learned on human rights strategies implementation for capital intensive companies’ on 20 June 2013 in Paris. It was a one-day, multi-stakeholder workshop on human rights strategy implementation attended by practitioners involved in developing and implementing systems and programs for effective risk mitigation of human rights. Discussion centred around human rights strategies for addressing different components of business activity.

IPIECA presented an overview of the Business and Human Rights Project launched in 2011, designed to help oil and gas companies implement new and emerging international guidance, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. One aspect of the project is a two-year collaborative learning initiative designed to test the implementation of grievance mechanisms on the ground in a number of diverse sites. To date, this project has shown that while grievance mechanisms can vastly improve stakeholder engagement and operational performance, there are also many practical challenges that should not be underestimated.

IPIECA’s work on due diligence was also discussed; the primary focus of the project to date has been to examine how human rights can be more deeply integrated into the Environmental Social Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA).

Total and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) also presented at the event in order to provide both on-the-ground implementation experience from an oil and gas company, as well as robust challenge from an academic point of view. Key discussion points included how and when to engage external stakeholders in business-led initiatives, scope for collaborative efforts and achieving a balance between a risk-based approach and one based on explicit normative frameworks.