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Human rights

Our business principles require our employees and contractors to respect the human rights of other employees and the communities where we work. We reinforce our approach by incorporating human rights in our Code of Conduct. In 2011, we also drew up a series of principles for suppliers that include requirements to respect human rights.

We are focusing on due diligence and access to remedy, which are concepts in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We have been reviewing our existing processes and practices, and building on them with these principles in mind to provide our neighbours with a more effective way to lodge concerns about our operations.

In 2011, we started new community grievance pilot projects, based on the UN principles. What we learn from these pilots will guide our efforts to put new grievance mechanisms in place, or improve existing programmes, at our major projects and facilities in the future. This work builds on our experience of working with Professor John Ruggie, the former UN special representative on business and human rights, in piloting community grievance mechanisms at the Sakhalin 2 project in Russia.

We support the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), which cover how to keep employees, contractors and facilities safe in a way that respects human rights and the security of local communities. In 2011, we continued work to incorporate these principles into all our security contracts.


John Morrison, Executive Director of Institute for Human Rights and Business, London, UK (photo)

“In 2011, the UN adopted by consensus the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, putting into practice a framework of ‘protect, respect, remedy’. This is a historic achievement and while governments retain the fundamental duty to protect rights, it is now clear that all companies are expected to make respecting human rights a reality in their day-to-day practice. Companies such as Shell should lead by example: undertaking the due diligence steps set out in the Guiding Principles to avoid negative human rights impacts and to seek effective remedies when grievances occur.”

John Morrison
Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, London, UK