Human Rights

Report Dec. 20, 2019

In this article

Human Rights

Respecting human rights 


ExxonMobil is committed to respecting human rights as a fundamental principle in our operations, implemented through training and the application of our policies and practices. Our business presence can and should have a positive influence on the people in the communities where we operate. Our practices reflect the spirit and intent of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Elements of the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights also guide our approach to managing human rights.

Several key standards, procedures and processes guide our approach to human rights:

  • Our Standards of Business Conduct include the expectation that our businesses comply with applicable governmental laws, rules and regulations. ExxonMobil’s board of directors approves and oversees administration of all policies within the Standards.
  • ExxonMobil’s Statement on Labor and the Workplace reinforces our support for the principles of the International Labour Organization 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The declaration outlines four principles: abolition of child labor, elimination of forced labor, elimination of workplace discrimination and harassment, and recognition of freedom of association.
  • Our Upstream Socioeconomic Management Standard outlines best management practices in various socioeconomic areas, including human rights. 
  • ExxonMobil’s corporate-wide Operations Integrity Management System provides a standard approach to identifying, monitoring and managing risks in our operations, including potential human rights risks across our value chain. 

For information on our grievance management process to address individual and community concerns, including human rights, visit working with local communities.

2018 performance and initiatives

ExxonMobil conducts human rights training to help build an understanding of human rights issues and an awareness of potential human rights risks. More than 1,600 employees in 47 countries have completed the training since 2015. ExxonMobil utilizes a risk screening tool to assess potential human rights impacts associated with our activities, and integrates it into our Environmental, Socioeconomic and Health Impact Assessment process so that the risks are appropriately mitigated.

ExxonMobil, RISE International and Educate A Child partnered to help remove barriers to education in Angola, including plans to build 25 primary schools to help 24,000 children.
Our efforts to manage human rights issues reflect evolving international initiatives. ExxonMobil works closely with IPIECA to monitor business and human rights trends, and to share and develop practices in human rights supply chain management from the oil and gas industry and other extractive industries. ExxonMobil contributed to a set of practical guidance documents and tools issued by IPIECA on Company and Supply Chain Labour Rights in the Oil and Gas Industry. The series of guidance documents addresses the potential human rights impacts and issues that may occur through business relationships, particularly in the industry supply chain. 

Security and human rights


ExxonMobil’s Statement of Principles on Security and Human Rights establishes the expectation that all business units provide security for personnel, facilities and operations in a manner that respects human rights. The framework guides our majority-owned operating affiliates on how to manage interactions with both host government-assigned security and private security providers. It also provides guidance for documenting and recording allegations of human rights abuses by public or private security personnel and any incidents of inappropriate physical force used by security providers in the protection of company assets. Depending on the nature of an incident, our procedures include reporting to host governments. 

Where appropriate, our standard security services contracts include provisions requiring that personnel receive training to understand and comply with the following: 

  • ExxonMobil’s Statement of Principles on Security and Human Rights
  • Local laws and regulations
  • Provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights
  • The Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the 1998 International Labour Organization Declaration 
  • U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials
  • U.N. Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials

These standard security services contract provisions require contractors to monitor, report and investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Contractors are required to immediately remove any of their personnel credibly alleged to have committed a human rights abuse. 

2018 performance and initiatives

Since 2016, nearly 17,000 personnel have been trained on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, a multi-stakeholder initiative that focuses on ways to maintain the safety and security of operations while respecting human rights. Using the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights to train on-the-ground security personnel can help reduce human rights risks. 

In some instances, ExxonMobil is required by host governments to provide security services. ExxonMobil has signed agreements with governments in Chad, Colombia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Mozambique that include expectations for respecting human rights consistent with the Voluntary Principles, as well as compliance with relevant local, U.N. and other security-related frameworks.
Wes Spinder, safety specialist, and Petrus Paul, field operations technician, celebrate a job well done at the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant in Papua New Guinea.

Human rights in the supply chain 


ExxonMobil clearly communicates its expectations on human rights to its suppliers on an annual basis. These expectations include references to key international human rights frameworks, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Learn more about supply chain management.

ExxonMobil also complies with all relevant laws and regulations regarding human rights. For example, in compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, we prepare an
annual slavery and human trafficking statement. ExxonMobil’s annual conflict minerals filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides disclosures regarding supply sources of gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum.

2018 performance and initiatives

In 2016, we developed human rights awareness training tailored to procurement professionals to help improve their understanding of human rights. Since then, we completed training for more than 220 ExxonMobil procurement employees.

 Our procurement department reviews goods purchased in countries that are included in the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor. The list calls attention to goods and countries that may use child or forced labor in production. While our review does not assess a material’s country of origin, it enables us to assess purchases of higher-risk commodities. In addition, we use data from our global purchasing systems and the Department of Labor’s list to prioritize mitigation efforts in our direct supply chain.

Related content


Around the world, ExxonMobil aims to be a preferred business partner, neighbor, employer and supplier. ExxonMobil maintains a corporate-wide commitment to safeguarding the health and security of our employees and the public, responsibly managing our social impacts and upholding respect for human rights in our operations.

Sustainability Topic


Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

Workplace security

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

Community investments

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019