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24 Feb 2021

Total's response on attacks against Ugandan defenders in 2020 HRDs report

Total E&P Uganda position on Business & Human Rights Resource Centre article

24th February 2021

On 16th September 2021, Total E&P Uganda was alerted by a non-governmental organization that police detentions of two journalists and six Human Rights Defenders had occurred in Hoima, Uganda. Total was informed that prior to their detention these individuals were peacefully demonstrating against sugar cane projects and possibly oil projects. Total took immediate action and quickly established that the detentions were not related to Total’s activities.

In addition, following a non-governmental organization’s request for support, Total took proactive steps by contacting the relevant officials in order to insist on the need to respect the Human Rights of the persons detained. As a precautionary measure, Total also informed the representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Uganda.

Total is strongly committed to the defense of Human Rights in its activities all over the world. In particular Total recognizes the importance of protecting Human Rights Defenders and does not tolerate any attack or threats against those who peacefully promote Human Rights in relations to its activities. Further, Total seeks to promote dialogue and exchanges with Human Rights Defenders in the framework of its activities. Where appropriate as recommended by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Right, Total seeks to exert its leverage to influence others to respect these principles.

In the conduct of its activities in Uganda and in particular for the development of the Tilenga field, Total E&P Uganda strives to maintain a meaningful dialogue and to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed and can act freely. Further, Total E&P Uganda is proactive in maintaining a dialogue with government officials to promote protection of the rights of stakeholders, including those directly affected by the project, Civil Society Organizations and journalists.

Total maintains an on-going and active dialogue with Human Rights organizations. In addition, Total maintains a dialogue with the representation of the UN High-Commissioner in Uganda.