Home / Issues / Business for Peace

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights 

Statement by the Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom 

Dec 19, 2000 

The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, companies in the extractive sectors ("Companies"), and non-governmental organizations, all with an interest in human rights and corporate social responsibility, have engaged in a dialogue on security and human rights.

We recognise the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world and the constructive role business and civil society (including non-governmental organizations, labor/trade unions and local communities) can play in advancing these goals. The participants in this dialogue developed a set of voluntary principles to guide Companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Mindful of these goals, the participants agree to continue this dialogue and keep under review these principles to ensure their continuing relevance and efficacy.

This has been a cooperative and constructive process. The Governments salute the willingness of the participants – Companies and civil society alike – to address these issues seriously and with a determination to both understand and account for each other's concerns. We look forward to continuing this dialogue in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding that led to broad consensus among the participants on these voluntary principles.

We hope that other companies, governments, and civil society organizations as well as international institutions will share these goals and choose to be involved in this continuing dialogue. We welcome their support for these principles as well as their participation in this dialogue. Those wishing to take up this invitation should contact either the U.S. Department of State or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The companies and organizations listed below support this process and welcome these principles:

Chevron, Texaco, Freeport McMoran, Conoco, Shell, BP, Rio Tinto, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Alert, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Fund for Peace, Council on Economic Priorities, Business for Social Responsibility, the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, and the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions.

(Full text of the agreement)