Respecting human rights
Our approach to human rights is consistent with the policy framework outlined in the 2008 report of John Ruggie, the United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. That framework recognizes the distinctly different roles of government and business with regard to human rights — the government’s duty to protect human rights and corporations' responsibility to respect them.
The United Nations Framework and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights was released in 2011 to provide further guidance on implementing the “protect, respect, remedy” framework. These Guiding Principles emphasize operational due diligence: corporations should be aware of potential adverse impacts and implement prevention measures. In 2012, the International Finance Corporation published revised Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability to reflect the Guiding Principles.
In 2012, the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) continued efforts to coordinate an industry position on the Guiding Principles, with a focus on industry due diligence. ExxonMobil recognizes the importance of successful voluntary initiatives and supports IPIECA’s effort to address the expectations of the Guiding Principles for the oil and gas industry proactively.
Providing human rights training
Our human rights awareness training program is based on ExxonMobil guidelines, practices and priorities. Training focuses primarily on employee awareness, company policies and approaches, company resources and our commitment to respect human rights. Each session also includes information on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the requirements of our Framework on Security and Human Rights and implementing the Framework in a given country.
We pursue a risk-based approach to providing human rights training in our highest-priority operating areas. It is ExxonMobil’s intent to facilitate the training of employees working on projects globally and to broaden the scope of those designated for training. In 2012, we coordinated training for approximately 50 site-based security personnel in Nigeria, Chad and Sakhalin, and more than 100 employees at our annual conference for socioeconomic professionals. We also continued to evaluate methodologies to reach additional personnel and expand the content of this training. Our plans include development of computer-based modules to provide greater access to security and human rights training. We will also evaluate combining this training with reviews of other business practice standards.
Policies and labor practices
Our commitment to human rights extends to our workforce and is supported by our Standards of Business Conduct and Statement on Labor and the Workplace, which is consistent with the spirit and intent of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, specifically the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination. Employees are required to comply with all employment policies and practices.
We seek business partners that observe similar standards. Our contract language requires adherence to all national laws and regulations. We prescreen suppliers and mandate compliance with all applicable laws, which include those regarding business practices and human rights. Formal requests for quotations typically include clauses relating to the prohibition of forced or child labor and the payment of wages in accordance with all local laws.