Mine in Tanzania

G4S, a global security solutions company in the mining sector, has launched a global human rights policy, aimed at protecting employee rights, supporting the communities in which the company operates and ensuring that operational practices recognise and mitigate against human rights risks.

This latest policy is co-authored by human rights expert Dr Hugo Slim and senior G4S executives, and will be communicated to all the employees of the company in 125 countries across the globe.

The policy and its related guidance are designed to align with the ‘UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – 2011’ and to introduce further global guidelines for areas that are not currently covered by existing standards.

G4S noted that existing standards such as the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) are already key standards for the company and have been employed in the relevant parts of the business.

The new policy will also support the ongoing development of an ethical and sustainable business model that promotes the improvement of standards, job creation, community support and broader beneficial impacts on societies across the world.

G4S Global Mining director Andrew Hames, "This policy will enable us to ensure that not only are we looking to safeguard the rights of our staff and customers, and continue to align our approach with existing standards such as VPSHR, but also that we are able to influence and encourage positive change in the environments that we operate in."

G4S started the work on the human rights policy in mid-2011 following the official recognition of the new UN guiding principles.

The first phase involved identifying vital human rights applicable to the variety of services that the company offers, while the second phase worked on how to integrate the company’s human rights risks and challenges with international human rights standards and to recognise its strengths and areas for improvement.

The last phase will involve implementation of the policy, which will be supported by company-wide communications, awareness and training programmes in 2013 and beyond. Overall accountability will remain with the executive management of G4S and the Group’s CSR Committee.

Previously, G4S carried out wide activities as part of its drive to improve human rights standards in the regions it operates in.

G4S is an international security solutions group that specialises in secure outsourcing in countries and sectors where security and safety risks are considered a strategic threat.

Image: G4S started the work on the human rights policy in mid-2011. Photo: africa.

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