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Respecting human rights

ExxonMobil is committed to respecting human rights.

Our approach to human rights is consistent with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which outline the distinct, yet complementary, roles of government and business with regard to human rights: the government’s duty to protect human rights, and business’ responsibility to respect them.

We believe that understanding and addressing the interests of communities where we operate, and the potential impact of our operations on them, is critical to maintaining a sustainable business. ExxonMobil actively engages with stakeholders in local communities and integrates these discussions into decision-making processes to identify any issues or concerns early on in a project.

ExxonMobil operates in environments where engagement with host governments is needed to support security and respect for human rights in local operations. We have been a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights since 2002, and in 2015 we became one of the corporate representatives on the steering committee of the Voluntary Principles. Through our role on the steering committee, we work closely with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry to share and promote best practices in security and human rights.

Our Statement and Framework on Security and Human Rights includes guidance on working with both host governments and private security personnel in a manner that respects human rights. We also have agreements with private security firms with which we work that contain requirements to uphold human rights. These agreements include expectations for training and compliance with relevant local, UN and other security-related frameworks. In 2015, we updated our Upstream Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) for security to address expectations regarding the Framework, including responsibilities for employees and contractors in our Upstream operations. We conduct assessments to verify implementation of the Framework as part of our OIMS process.

ExxonMobil complies with all applicable laws and regulations and seeks to work with suppliers and business partners who share our commitment to human rights. For information on detecting and preventing and managing human rights risks in our supply chain, see our supply chain management section. Within our own workforce, our commitment to human rights is supported by our Standards of Business Conduct and our Statement on Labor and the Workplace. Our Statement reinforces support for the principles of the International Labor Organization (ILO) 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, notably the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination.

Up Close: Human rights general awareness training

ExxonMobil has conducted human rights training in select regions for many years. We believe our training builds understanding of human rights and awareness of potential impacts. In late 2015, we rolled out a new computer-based human rights training module to further enhance internal awareness of human rights. This training primarily targets employees working in locations with higher potential human rights risks, and it includes information about what human rights entail as well as their relevance to ExxonMobil. As of year-end 2015, more than 1,200 employees in over 40 countries have participated in the training, including personnel working on the development of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline system. This newest training module complements existing training programs that have been underway for several years in security and socioeconomics.

  • Christian Lenoble
    Christian Lenoble

    General manager, Esso Exploration and Production Chad Inc.

    “The Chad-Cameroon development project involves complex operational, environmental and social issues. We believe a commitment to respect human rights is critical to our license to operate in our producing areas and along the pipeline route. The computer-based training provides our employees with a more in-depth understanding of potential human rights risks, and helps increase awareness of employee responsibilities regarding this issue.”