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Human Rights Day 2020 - Standing up for human rights

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year’s theme of Recover better - stand up for human rights relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring human rights are central to recovery efforts.

Human rights and IPIECA

For our members, being a part of IPIECA means being able to improve the lives and wellbeing of the communities where we operate, with human rights a key part of our strategic intent.

IPIECA brings together our global membership to share their on the ground knowledge of the industry’s operating context and produce practical guidance on designing and implementing human rights frameworks.

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

IPIECA and its members were part of the consultation process to develop the UN Guiding Principles.

Since the launch of the UNGPs, IPIECA has produced guidance and implementation tools on topics such as community grievance mechanisms, the role of community liaison officers, labour rights, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, security and human rights, indicators for external reporting, and human rights due diligence.

IPIECA’s role has been to help members operationalise the UNGPs framework by distilling their shared experiences into practical guidance that they can then adapt to accommodate their respective sizes, business activities and geographies. It also provides opportunities for members to share lessons learned with one another. 

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights initiative

IPIECA and many of its members are active participants of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (a set of guiding principles on how to conduct security operations while respecting human rights), engaging in joint government, nob-governmental organization and private sector discussions to create common approaches to promote human rights and resources to help companies effectively implement the Voluntary Principles. Many members are also involved in other voluntary initiatives including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the UN Global Compact.

Managing human rights across the supply chain

The oil and gas industry business model is dependent on suppliers, in all phases of the value chain and during all stages of an asset’s lifecycle. IPIECA supports external initiatives such as the Joint Industry Platform on Human Rights and provides operators with the guidance, tools and resources they need to improve human rights due diligence in the supply chain and support supplier alignment with international human rights and environmental principles.

Human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals

Making human rights central to its business can enable a company to play a transformative role in the societies in which it operates.  

In the IPIECA - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - International Finance Corporation (IFC) Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas we make the business case for the Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting how by addressing human rights impacts, companies can advance the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, while also promoting economic growth accompanied by social fairness.

At IPIECA we believe that a world that fully respects the human rights of all is a world better prepared to deal with and recover from all crises.  

IPIECA 2020 highlights

Human right due diligence guidance: we are currently updating this guidance to reflect the continued evolution in how companies implement human rights due diligence processes and to include a new section on human rights and the energy transition. The updated edition will be launched at the beginning of 2021.

Labour rights training: in partnership with Building Responsibly, we are creating a series of adaptable online training materials with the objective of training suppliers and contractors  on human rights  to ensure effective corporate responsibility with respect to human rights/labour standards relevant for the industry.

Community engagement and Indigenous Peoples: we have promoted our Community liaison officers guidance at events and meetings throughout 2020, to help ensure local communities are engaged in projects and that relevant information is passed between local communities and companies.

Responsible security: IPIECA has continued to monitor and participate in the initiatives of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and shared learnings on its implementation with members.

Related resources

Human rights due diligence process

Community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas industry

Company and supply chain labour rights guidance

Integrating human rights into environmental, social and health impact assessments


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