To further this commitment, Statoil has  been a supporting member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) since 2002. We endeavour to ensure that our use of security resources is in line with the Voluntary Principles.

Policies and procedures 

Our commitment to the VPSHR is enshrined in our policy on corporate social responsibility, and the Principles are further integrated into our security procedures and management system. These procedures outline how security resources are managed and deployed, and underscore how important it is that all security personnel working on Statoil's behalf display universal respect for human rights, act within the law and comply with the company's rules on the use of force and firearms - in line with the UN Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Code of conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

All Statoil-employed security staff must be given initial training commensurate with their duties. The training shall, as a minimum, also include training in human rights as well as rules of necessity and proportionality in the use of force. Security staff should also undergo refresher training once a year that includes updates on policy and procedures and reminders on ethics, human rights, the use of force and first aid. Further training in human rights, including our commitments to the Voluntary Principles, is also provided for all staff as part of our general training in corporate social responsibility. More in-depth human rights awareness sessions were also held in 2009 for exposed groups across the organisation.

In new contracts with private security personnel, we include human rights criteria as part of pre-qualification screening, integrity due diligence and contract provisions and clauses. Efforts were also made in 2009 to assess existing security contracts in priority locations with a view to integrating language that addresses human rights issues.

Our activities

While we are a major operator in Norway, most of our equity production outside Norway is produced by joint ventures or from licences in which we are a minority partner. Consequently in many countries, we are primarily responsible for the security of office activities only and for assurance and follow-up in the partner committees.

Our approaches to security vary to take account of the differing risks and risk levels in the different locations. While circumstances in some locations necessitate the use of armed security, our security personnel are unarmed in most of our locations. However, all of our locations are covered by the same corporate requirements, including our commitment to the VPSHR.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, we commenced an extensive process for the implementation of the VPSHR in priority countries. That process, which is still in progress, includes performing a human rights due diligence focusing on the company's security arrangements, addressing any identified risks and networking with international and/or local NGOs or other appropriate organisations to provide VPSHR training.

Four countries were initially identified for further review and implementation of the VPSHR. In 2009, another country was added to the list, bringing the total number of  countries in which VPSHR implementation activities were ongoing to five.