Our endavours here are in line with the policy framework for business and human rights as formulated by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General, Professor John Ruggie.
In an effort to become aware of, prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of our operations, we have made a conscious effort to mainstream human rights across the company's general systems for assessing and mitigating non-technical risks. Key elements include:
- We systematically conduct analyses of countries relevant to our operations in order to build a robust knowledge platform about local conditions, business culture and external factors - including human rights and broader social, political, security and ethical risks.
- Additional risk and impact assessments are conducted before making an investment decision. In countries or contexts in which human rights risks are considered particularly significant, we may also conduct dedicated human rights risk assessments (HRRAs). So far, we have done so in five countries. In 2009, we published and began implementation of a new set of guidelines on integrated impact assessments, also with the aim of increasing the attention devoted to human rights during the project development process.
- As regards our relations with third parties, we have procedures for integrity due diligence that include screening the human rights reputation of partners, suppliers and other third parties with whom we may enter into a business relationship. Our standard contract language requires adherence to national laws and regulations, and we are also making efforts to include specific language related to human rights in contracts with partners.
These and other processes help us to identify the source and nature of potential adverse affects of our activities on the human rights of our stakeholders. On that basis, we can develop a remedial plan to mitigate potential adverse impacts.
In order to better understand the business implications of our commitments to human rights, we continued in 2009 to collaborate with different partners and stakeholders. Among others, we participated in consultations with John Ruggie, the United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Since 1998, we have also had a collaboration agreement with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), covering all Statoil employees in all countries in which we operate, which further affirms our support for fundamental human rights in the community and in the workplace. Furthermore, through corporate agreements, we continued to support the work of Amnesty International Norway, the United Nations Development Programme (Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund), the Norwegian Centre on Human Rights and the Norwegian Refugee Council.