Overview of the Voluntary Principles


Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are a set of principles designed to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights.

The Voluntary Principles, or “VPs”, are implemented by many of the world’s leading oil, gas, and mining companies, as well as an increasing number of companies in other industries such as agribusiness and construction. Further, international lenders are increasingly encouraging or even requiring that companies adopt the practices outlined in the VPs.

The VPs are not a binding international treaty or a rulebook. Rather, it is a practical framework that can guide companies toward improving the effectiveness of their security practices and procedures while ensuring that the safety, security, and rights of local and affected communities are respected and safeguarded.

The VPs Plenary, a multistakeholder group of multinational companies, governments, and international NGOs, also exists to help guide the implementation of the VPs, sharing of best practices, and to promote the wider adoption of the guidelines in operations around the world.




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