Human rights

We work to create positive social impacts by mitigating human rights related risks, leading improvements and promoting respect for human rights across our operations and beyond.

Our policies are guided by international human rights principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the United Nations Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) and ICMM’s Sustainable Development Framework.

We clearly define our commitment to conduct business in a manner consistent with these human rights principles within our company-wide Sustainability Policy, Code of Business Conduct, Sustainability and Business Conduct Requirements for Suppliers and our internal standards.

We put these policies into practice through an integrated set of activities. We set appropriate labour conditions in our workplace in line with national laws and appropriate ILO conventions, and manage the activities of our security teams in line with the VPSHR. Our internal standards state our commitment regarding community resettlement which must be undertaken in accordance with the International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement. We conduct human rights impact assessments and supply chain due diligence programs.

In addition to complaints and grievances mechanisms at every operation, we make available EthicsPoint, an independent external platform for employees, contractors and the community to anonymously report concerns regarding potential breaches of our Code of Business Conduct, including concerns related to modern slavery. Further information on grievance mechanisms is in our Modern Slavery Statement, which can be found here.

Assessing our human rights impacts

In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, our internal standards require our operations to conduct human rights impact assessments. We do this so that we appropriately identify, prevent and mitigate potential adverse human rights impacts from our operations.

We use a tool to define the human rights risks for each of our operations, based on country location. At our South Africa, Mozambique and Colombia operations, human rights risk is assessed as medium or higher, and we complete a human rights impact assessment at these locations which is reviewed annually and externally validated every three years by an independent provider. At our Australian operations, human rights risk is assessed as lower, and our internal standards require us to complete, review and update a human rights self-assessment annually. 

These assessments include internal and external stakeholder assessments of our human rights practices and the extent to which our company policies, procedures and practices respond to international human rights governance standards.  Should impacts be identified, we develop and implement appropriate remedial actions and controls.

The nature of our operations means that we have equipment and supplies, which can be a target for criminal activity. In some places where we operate, we have experienced security incidents.

Human rights in our supply chain

Modern slavery is fundamentally unacceptable within our company and supply chain, and combatting it is an important element of our overall approach to business and human rights. With an estimated 40 million men, women and children living in modern slavery today, it affects almost every sector, region and company and it is difficult to determine if any supply chain is slavery free.

As a values-driven company that respects fundamental human rights, we recognise the important role we can play in addressing modern slavery within our sphere of influence. In FY16, we voluntarily published our first Modern Slavery Statement under section 54 of the United Kingdom (UK) Modern Slavery Act 2015. Our subsequent statements have built on the depth of our previous modern slavery work and can be found here.

In FY18, we partnered with our suppliers to conduct our first independent, in-person supplier audits, specifically targeting potential modern slavery. This advanced due diligence led to increased transparency in our shared supply chains and we continue to work in partnership with our suppliers to build capacity around modern slavery risks.

We will continue to test the effectiveness of our approach, enhancing our actions and responses as we work towards best practice and helping to drive meaningful change for the individuals most affected by the practices of modern slavery.



‘Freedom from slavery’ is one of the 30 basic rights and freedoms that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights defines as applying to everyone. Modern slavery refers to situations where one person takes away another person’s freedom so that they can be exploited. We use the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015’s definition of ‘modern slavery’ which is an umbrella term, encompassing the offences of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking.

Security practices

To protect our people and assets, we engage dedicated and professionally trained security teams. Our Africa based private security providers must meet the requirements of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers. Globally, all our private security providers must operate consistently with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), to which we adhere. Security service provider VPSHR training is a contractual requirement and we verify training through our internal governance processes to ensure that it is effective. Our Crisis Emergency Management procedure includes a requirement to document the communication of our VPSHR commitment to local police or relevant authorities prior to any community unrest events which may occur.

In FY18, we developed new asset protection management standards for our Africa based operations. These internal standards acknowledge the importance of developing and maintaining good community relations as a part of successful security risk management through cross functional collaboration.