New guide explains human rights responsibilities of companies in energy & natural resource sector & how failure to respect can increase legal risk

Author: Hogan Lovells’ International Business and Human Rights Group, Published on: 1 June 2018

"Respecting Human Rights in the Energy and Natural Resources Sector," June 2018 

This is a practical guide for in house lawyers, compliance departments and management to help them... effectively identify..., prevent... and mitigat[e] human rights risk... [It] explains how the responsibility to respect human rights applies to businesses operating in the energy and natural resources sectors... [B]usinesses should have in place “policies and processes appropriate to their size and circumstances”, including a human rights due diligence process... We consider that the safest way to reduce legal risk is to move from a “compliance” approach to a “prevention and transparency” approach, treating human rights risk as legal risk and ensuring that your organisation fulfils its responsibility to respect all human rights, wherever it operates.

... According to research carried out by the UN, business related human rights impacts occur more frequently in the extractive sector than in any other. Businesses operating in the sector have faced civil claims worth hundreds of millions of dollars, boycotts, divestment campaigns and their executives have faced personal, criminal liability. In this context, it is crucial that businesses operating in the sector understand human rights risk, how they might become involved in an adverse human rights impact and what they should do to regulate their conduct in response.

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