Comment on Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and World Benchmarking Alliance Statement on Juukan Gorge
16 July 2020
We note the announcement by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) and the World Benchmarking Alliance that it would append a statement to our latest CHRB results on recent events concerning the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people regarding the destruction of a cultural heritage site at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.
We understand the importance of stakeholders being informed of our approach to respecting human rights. To this end we continue to provide information on our website around our response, which includes ongoing conversations with the PKKP people as well as a board level review of our heritage management processes within Iron Ore following the events at Juukan Gorge.
The CHRB provides stakeholders, including investors, with key insights into companies’ human rights policies, procedures and performance. This includes the steps companies are taking not only to prevent involvement in human rights harm but also their commitment to remediation and the processes they have established to address harm when it occurs. This is in line with the third pillar on access to effective remedy in the UN Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework underpinning the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which we have committed to implement. Our decision to conduct a board-led review of events at Juukan Gorge reflects our determination to learn lessons from what happened and to make any necessary improvements to our cultural heritage processes and governance. Our ongoing conversations with the PKKP people will also provide an important avenue to address their grievances. We understand that these responses will be examined in our 2021 CHRB assessment.
We have supported the CHRB since its creation and will continue to do so. We are committed to engaging with the CHRB and other stakeholders on our human rights performance.