South32 is committed to respecting human rights. We celebrate the diversity, dignity and uniqueness of every individual. Together, we can make a difference and improve people’s lives now and for generations to come.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is critical to the success and integrity of operating as a responsible business. We know that by respecting human rights this can lead to transformative positive impacts in people’s lives. Respect for human rights is at the core of our sustainability journey.

What are human rights?

Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person. They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood (Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

We respect all internationally recognised human rights as set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. We respect the rights of all stakeholders, and particularly focus efforts on those people most vulnerable to harm, being marginalised, or at risk of having basic dignity and equality undermined. Collaboration is crucial, and we are committed to working with our peers, suppliers, host governments, non-profit organisations, rights-holders, and our other stakeholders to address this risk in our supply chain and more broadly.

Our approach to human rights

Our Approach to Human Rights, which we first published in July 2021, can be viewed here.

Assessing our human rights impacts

We have due diligence processes in place to identify, prevent, mitigate, and remedy potential or actual adverse human rights impacts in our operations and value chains. We focus our efforts on addressing severe or irremediable risks to vulnerable or marginalised individuals or groups as well as risks connected to our operations.

Our material human rights risks and impacts are regularly reviewed through processes such as our community human rights impact assessments, supplier human rights assessments and other tailored human rights due diligence processes.

The most material human rights risks and impacts we face relate to: 

  • Workplace health, safety and labour conditions, including freedom from slavery, rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining; 
  • Equality and non-discrimination, including gender equality, inclusion and diversity and transformation in South Africa;  
  • Access to water and sanitation;  
  • The impacts of security services on human rights; and 
  • The impacts on the rights of communities that live near our operations, including Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.


Modern slavery

'Freedom from slavery' is one of the most fundamental freedoms that applies to all people.

Our annual Modern Slavery Statement outlines our commitment to identifying and addressing any modern slavery in our operations and supply chain. Read more about our stance against modern slavery here.

Human rights and responsible sourcing

Our approach to responsible sourcing relies on collaboration with our suppliers to minimise health, safety, environmental, human rights and other social risks. We set out our expectations of suppliers in our Code of Business Conduct and Sustainability and Business Conduct Supplier Requirements. In addition, we assess risks associated with our suppliers, support our respective teams to align with our internal standards through stewardship activities and track the effectiveness of our joint efforts

For further information please read our:

Security and human rights

Making sure everyone goes home safe and well sits at the forefront of all we do at South32.

Read more about our commitment to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and our approach to human rights and security practices here

Speak up

It goes to the heart of the way we do business, to ensure that any person can safely and freely raise concerns about adverse human rights impacts.

We encourage employees, individuals, suppliers and communities to raise concerns with us directly, through our complaints and grievances mechanisms at every operation.

For confidential concerns, we have an independent external platform 'EthicsPoint' for any person to anonymously report concerns regarding potential breaches of our Code of Business Conduct, including concerns related to human rights.