The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: An Implementation Toolkit for Major Project Sites
This toolkit on implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is a by-product of a project undertaken by MIGA’s Japan Social and Environmental Challenges Fund for Africa in collaboration with one of MIGA’s client companies, Anvil Mining Ltd., to develop a comprehensive VPSHR implementation program for Anvil’s operations in Africa.
Investors in large-scale projects, particularly in the extractive industries, face the difficult challenge of how to safeguard company personnel and property in a way that respects human rights and the security of local communities. In a range of countries companies have faced allegations of human rights abuse related to security incidents where employees or other civilians have been killed or injured. In December 2000, the United States and United Kingdom governments, along with a group of extractive companies and non-governmental organizations, agreed on a set of principles, known as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), to guide companies on security and human rights. The VPSHR provide a short, concise outline of actions companies should take to assess risks and implement public and private security measures in a manner that respects human rights.
The tools and information generated during that project are now available to a wider audience. This document outlines how to develop and implement a VPSHR plan and how to gain senior management buy-in along the way. It would be impractical to provide a definitive, complete recipe book for compliance in all situations; rather, this document is a starting point for companies and projects to develop site-level VPSHR implementation plans tailored to their specific location and needs.
Readers should note that this document does not constitute official guidance either from the World Bank Group or from the VPSHR secretariat. Further, the secreformal recommendations for VPSHR implementation.