Latest Publications

12/2017

It has been six years since the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs have been accepted by international organisations and companies across different sectors as the universal standard for identifying and managing human rights risks related to business. International standards and frameworks have been updated to ensure alignment with the UNGPs, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Environmental and Social Performance Standards and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN’s Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.

Despite the rapid uptake of the UNGPs as a normative standard, implementation of the UNGPs has been slower. The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) assessed the human rights performance of 98 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies in three sectors and found significant gaps in implementation of the UNGPs. According to the CHRB, of the 98 companies assessed in 2016:

  • one third do not have a publicly disclosed human rights policy;
  • half do not indicate how their board considers human rights in decision making;
  • three quarters have no provisions on access to remedy; and
  • only one third identify human rights risks, of which only half indicated how they mitigate such risks.

Of the 98 companies benchmarked by the CHRB, only six received a score of above 50 per cent and only three companies (two of which were extractive sector companies), scored above 60 per cent. The average score across the sample was approximately 30 per cent.

Against this backdrop, we ask questions about why, how, and to what extent the UNGPs can be integrated into corporate policy frameworks, and operationalised in practice. The paper responds to these questions. It draws on our collective experience of working for BG Group, when we were tasked with establishing the Social Performance and Human Rights function as part of a company-wide change management program.

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08/2017

In March 2015, Barrick PJV approached the Centre for Social Responsibility (“CSRM”), part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute (“SMI”) at The University of Queensland in Australia, about the possibility of partnering with a PNG-based entity to serve as an independent observer for the pilot project. The company stated that it was cognisant of the difficulties involved in moving people off the lease area, and wanted to document lessons drawn from the pilot’s activities.

As a preliminary step towards appointing independent observers, Barrick PJV agreed to fund CSRM to conduct a rapid review of relocation at Porgera, and to understand the parameters of the off-lease resettlement pilot framework. The agreed scope of work for this review required CSRM to (i) provide a brief history of relocation at Porgera and (ii) offer an opinion on the ‘suitability’ of the off-lease resettlement pilot framework. In the interests of transparency, Barrick PJV and CSRM agreed, from the outset, to make the report available in the public domain. View the report here.

After conducting the initial review, an Independent Panel of Observers (“the Panel”) was formed in March 2016, chaired by CSRM. The Panel’s primary function is to observe project activities, engage with project stakeholders, and to report on key developments as the company, government and landowner stakeholders attempt to progress the pilot project. Panel members are not involved in planning or implementation of activities, and do not hold decision-making power. The three Panel members include:

  • Professor Deanna Kemp, CSRM, Centre Director (Chair)
  • Associate Professor John Owen, CSRM and resettlement specialist
  • Rhonda Gwale, Senior Lecturer, PNG University of Technology.

The Panel is required to produce an annual public report. These reports are intended to document where progress is being made and to identify critical issues that arise throughout the process. This report constitutes the Panel’s first public report following one year of engagement from March 2016 to 2017. Members of the Local Resettlement Committee (“LRC”), including the PJV, were provided with an opportunity to review the report and to provide feedback to the Panel before its public release. PJV is responsible for covering the costs associated with the Panel’s engagement. Editorial control over the report sits with the Panel.

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08/2017

Article is extracted form AusIMM Bulletin, August 2017 and is written by Bruce Harvey MAusIMM, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland. Original link (here)

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08/2017

This report was supported by research funds provided by The University of Queensland’s Vice Chancellor’s strategic fund, core operating funds from the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) and pooled contributions of five mining companies: Anglo American, Newcrest, Newmont, MMG and Rio Tinto. These parties participate in the Mining, Resettlement and Livelihoods: Research and Practice Consortium, which is hosted by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), part of the SMI.

The primary aim of the report is to understand the mechanisms and instruments that governments are using to manage resettlement risks in the mining sector. Key findings show that the existing international standards have been unevenly incorporated into national frameworks. The study authors compare legally binding instruments related to mining induced displacement and resettlement (MIDR) across six mining jurisdictions – Botswana, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Papua New Guinea and Peru – and benchmark these against requirements from the international lender community. Examining the extent to which national-level systems are responding to pressure from the international lender community is important for two reasons: first, these developments indicate the level of alignment between lenders and sovereign governments on the importance of codifying safeguard standards and procedures into national law and regulation; and second, the extent to which national-level instruments align with global safeguard frameworks provides valuable insight into the likely difficulties that lenders, companies, governments and local citizens will face when negotiating how resettlement events are designed, planned, and implemented.

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08/2017

The Navigator presented here navigates the user through relevant instruments to promote diversification of resource-rich economies. It presents instruments (initiatives, tools and good practices) and at the same time takes into account different types of economic linkages. By using the Navigator, representatives of partner governments and stakeholders from the private sector and development cooperation can identify instruments relevant for the respective context and find information about their application in the form of short descriptions, tables, diagrams and case studies.

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