Our ‘rights aware’ approach
In order to ensure respect for human rights in all our activities, we have a human rights policy that is integrated in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy and requires us to respect and support internationally recognised human rights standards; identify, assess and manage human rights risks; and ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place for those affected by our operations to raise and address grievances.
Our Corporate Responsibility Standard Operating Procedures and Human Rights Guidelines clarify what needs to be done, and the tools available to support implementation of our human rights policy across the business.
Over the years we have implemented a ‘rights aware’ approach, which means identifying potential human rights issues in our activities, assessing if we have influence over the issues and defining appropriate action to be taken by the business.
Our Human Rights Handbook contains guidance for managers on assessing human rights issues. This helps to ensure that human rights is one of the Corporate Responsibility (CR) risks considered at key stages of every project, and is reflected in our Project Delivery Process (PDP) (see Safe drilling). We use a five-step approach to identify and assess human rights issues in our sphere of influence.
Our guidelines are governed by the UDHR and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They also take into account guidance from the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) and the European Union (EU).
Before entering a new country as an operator, we apply human rights screening as part of our comprehensive due diligence process. Before operating activities, we assess human rights impacts as part of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) or, where necessary, we undertake a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA). If, following these assessments, any potential human rights issues are identified, we consider the most effective way to manage them through engagement with potentially affected communities. When considering a non-operated joint venture, we identify and check any human rights issues and establish any risks requiring management by the operator before proceeding.