Interacting with Public Security Forces
Governments have the primary role of maintaining law and order, security, and respect for human rights. However, companies have an interest in ensuring that actions taken by governments and their security forces are consistent with the protection and promotion of human rights. Sometimes, public security forces may be called upon to protect company operations, and companies may sometimes be requested to provide support to those forces. In all instances, it is critical that there is engagement between companies and public security forces to reduce the risk of human rights abuses and to ensure the continuing respect and protection of the rights of local and affected communities.
Influencing the Deployment & Conduct of Public Forces
The VPs encourage companies to engage with and, as much as possible, influence governments to ensure appropriate deployment and actions of security forces, and that forces respect international standards for human rights.
- Encourage public security forces to deploy personnel that are competent, well-trained, and in numbers that are proportional to the level of risk in the area;
- Ensure that any payments or transfers of equipment from the company to public security forces are lawful, properly accounted for, and its appropriate use is monitored;
- Encourage public security forces to deploy only personnel with clean records, in particular free of any allegations of past abuses;
- Encourage public security forces to implement appropriate use of force protocols and ensure that security personnel are trained on those protocols;
- Insist that freedoms of assembly and association be respected and protected;
- Report to the relevant authorities any incidence of alleged abuses by security forces.
The VPs encourage regular consultation between companies and government on security issues, as well as transparent communication of security arrangements.
- Consult with authorities and security forces on actual and potential impacts of security arrangements;
- Encourage open communicate with authorities and security forces on their own security policies and expectations of responsible conduct;
- Act as transparently as possible regarding their security arrangements with public security forces.
Consultation and Advice
The VPs encourage regular meetings between companies and security forces on issues relevant to company security arrangements.
- Seek to meet regularly with security forces to coordinate on security arrangements and convey expectations;
- Insist that security forces and relevant authorities act lawfully and observe the rule of law;
- Promote training on human rights among security force personnel.
Responding to Allegations of Abuse
Where any human rights-related incidents do occur, companies are expected to record allegations, report incidents to the appropriate authorities, and to monitor the follow-up of any investigation. Further, whenever such incidents may occur, companies are expected to provide medical aid to anyone who may require it.
- Ensure that any payments or transfers of equipment from the company to public security forces are monitored;
- Record and report to appropriate authorities any allegations of abuses by security forces;
- Where allegations of abuse are reported, monitor the status of investigations and proceedings by authorities.