Response from TotalEnergies to Human Rights Defenders & Business in 2022 briefing
We are grateful for the opportunity to respond to these allegations and to set out the extensive measures which TotalEnergies subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania have taken to protect the rights of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) and to exercise leverage on relevant authorities in accordance with the... (UNGPs).
... Both EACOP and Tilenga Human Rights Policies, refer specifically to HRDs: “In particular we recognize the important role of Human Rights Defenders... We do not tolerate any threats, intimidation, harassment or violence against those exercising their Human Rights to freedom of expression to protest peacefully against our business or activities..."
... TotalEnergies EP Uganda... seeks to promote dialogue and exchanges with HRDs... and sets out a commitment to act where it is alerted to allegations of threats, intimidation, harassment or violence against HRDs in relation to its activities... The Projects are cognicent of their role in encouraging other actors to respect human rights of all stakeholders including HRDs, and in order to exercise leverage they regularly repeat the following message including in meetings with the authorities.
... The Company notes that the allegations of HRDs’ rights violations raised by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre are made against authorities rather than TotalEnergies subsidiaries or the Projects... #STOP EACOP protests occur from time to time in Uganda although numbers of protestors are generally limited. Whenever the Projects are aware that protests are occurring members of staff are immediately mobilised to the site of the protests to verify that protestors are being treated in accordance with the law and that no abuse or violence occurs against them. Follow up also occurs where arrests are made again to respectfully request the authorities that the protestors are dealt with in accordance with the law and human rights... TEPU values the work of all NGOs and activists and respects their freedom of expression even when they do not share the same views as TEPU...