Informations about National Regulations and Regional and International Initiatives.

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs), established in 2000, is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving States, companies and CSOs. The VPs are specifically designed to guide extractive companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations in an operational framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. More specifically, the VPs guide companies in carrying out a human rights risk assessment as part of their engagement with public and private security providers, to ensure that human rights are respected during operations to protect business facilities and premises.

The VPs address the interactions between extractive companies and private security providers. The VPs note that it may be necessary to engage private security providers to complement the services provided by public security forces and put forward a series of principles to guide the behaviour of private security actors.

Relevance for CSOs

The VPs formulate a series of voluntary principles and provide practical guidelines to help extractive companies effectively manage security and human rights risks. The VPs recommend that companies using private security providers include these principles in the contractual arrangements contained in agreements with private security providers and ensure that private security personnel are adequately trained.

The VP initiative provides a platform for mutual learning, joint problem solving and a framework for building the capacity of key actors – including CSOs. In particular, CSOs can commit to support the VPs and can utilise these standards at two levels. At the international level, CSOs can join this initiative in order to guide it and share experiences, concerns and good practices with other CSOs, governments and member companies. Please find additional information as well as the application framework under: for-ngos/.

At the national level, CSOs can establish or join a working group on the VPs: this is a multi-stakeholder group that focuses on the implementation of the VPs depending on their national context. VP working groups currently exist in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Myanmar, Nigeria and Peru. As part of a working group, CSOs can contribute to activities relating to human rights at the local and/or national level. Please find below additional information on the development of the model used by the Peruvian working group:

For more information:


Lite Africa and the VPs

Lite-Africa has been a member of the VPs since 2006. Their activities  have included the completion of a human rights training programme for Chevron Nigeria Ltd’s security personnel, from which over 1,500 operational staff benefited. The training has helped to reduce tensions between the company and local communities, but also resulted in a reduction in security breaches at the company’s facilities.


Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
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