Human Rights

Report Jan. 5, 2021

In this article

Human Rights

Respecting human rights 

Overview

ExxonMobil is committed to respecting human rights as a fundamental principle in our operations, reinforced through training and integrated into our policies and practices. Our business presence 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 and are guided by elements of the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Several key standards, procedures and processes guide our integrated 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’s 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.
  • ExxonMobil’s corporate-wide Operations Integrity Management System provides a standard and integrated approach to identifying, monitoring and managing risks in our operations, including potential human rights risks across our value chain. 
  • Our Upstream Socioeconomic Management Standard  outlines best management practices in various socioeconomic areas, including human rights.
  • We use a risk screening tool to assess potential human rights impacts associated with our activities, and we integrate it with the Environmental, Socioeconomic and Health Impact Assessment and Management process so risks are appropriately assessed, mitigated and tracked.
  • Our processes for stakeholder engagement and grievance management support our integrated approach to human rights due diligence. Through our grievance management process, for example, we help provide effective, accessible and culturally appropriate channels for individuals or communities to raise concerns, whether through community engagements, electronic or in-person submission, or third parties such as civil society organizations or nongovernmental associations. We then work to manage, respond to and, ideally, resolve issues in a timely manner, as appropriate.

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

2019 performance and initiatives

ExxonMobil conducts human rights training to help build an understanding of human rights and an awareness of potential human rights risks. More than 1,800 employees in applicable positions and locations across 49 countries have completed the training since 2015.

Our efforts to manage human rights issues reflect evolving international initiatives. We are actively involved with IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social issues, to monitor business and human rights trends. Our engagement also includes developing and sharing practices on human rights due diligence and human rights supply chain management from the oil and natural gas industry and other extractive industries.

In 2019, ExxonMobil contributed to the new edition of the Sustainability Reporting Guidance for the Oil and Gas Industry, jointly developed by IPIECA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Association of Oil & Gas producers (IOGP). We were actively engaged in the development of the expanded social performance section, which embeds human rights considerations throughout the sustainability reporting guidance.

ExxonMobil extends open dialogue and respect to the culture and traditions of indigenous minority peoples of the north (IMPN), residing in their traditional habitats close to our operations on Sakhalin Island.

Security and human rights

Overview

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 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 the expectations and their responsibilities with respect to the following:

  • ExxonMobil’s Statement of Principles on Security and Human Rights
  • Local laws and regulations
  • Provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights
  • International Labour Organization’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • 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 credible human rights abuse. Contractors are required to immediately remove any of their personnel credibly alleged to have committed a human rights abuse.

2019 performance and initiatives

Since 2016, we have helped train nearly 29,000 security providers 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 to train on-the-ground security personnel can help reduce human rights risks. 

In some instances, host governments require ExxonMobil to engage their security forces. In these cases, we have signed agreements with governments 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. We have agreements in place in Chad, Colombia, Indonesia, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea.

We developed targeted training modules in 2019 for ExxonMobil personnel in global affiliates where host government security forces are engaged. The training focuses on our expectations for host government security deployment, including identifying the risks of security-related human rights impacts in communities.

Since 2016, we have helped train nearly 29,000 security providers on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

Human rights in the supply chain 

Overview

ExxonMobil is committed to respecting human rights, and we expect the same of our suppliers. Our Supplier Expectations include our expectations of suppliers, vendors and contractors with regards to human rights. These expectations include references to key international human rights frameworks, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We reiterate our expectations on human rights to our suppliers through an annual letter to suppliers. 

For information on Procurement’s process and supplier qualification, visit supply chain management.

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

2019 performance and initiatives

Since 2016, more than 300 procurement employees have received human rights awareness training tailored to procurement professionals to help improve their understanding of human rights in the supply chain.

Our active engagement with IPIECA also includes developing and sharing practices on human rights due diligence and human rights supply chain management from the oil and natural gas industry and other extractive industries. In 2019, ExxonMobil contributed to a set of practical guidance documents and tools IPIECA issued on Company and Supply Chain Labour Rights in the Oil and Gas Industry.

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Social

Around the world, ExxonMobil aims to be a preferred business partner, neighbor, employer and supplier. We maintain 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

Safety

Sustainability Report Jan. 5, 2021

Workplace security

Sustainability Report Jan. 5, 2021

Community investments

ExxonMobil works closely with the communities where we operate to identify and invest in initiatives that help support their needs. We collaborate with governments and local stakeholders to invest in programs that promote local economic growth and help improve social conditions.

Sustainability Report Jan. 5, 2021