Canadian engagement in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative

Canada has participated in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative  since 2010. 

The Voluntary Principles Initiative is a multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. These guidelines help mining and oil and gas companies anticipate and mitigate risks so they can protect their operations without excessive force or human rights abuses. 

Other participants in the Voluntary Principles Initiative

The Initiative includes 10 governments (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States), 28 extractive companies and 10 civil society organizations. 

A number of Canadian companies are participants in the Initiative, including:

Partnership Africa Canada, a non-governmental organization, is a participant as well.

Chairmanship of the Voluntary Principles Initiative

Canada chaired the Initiative in the 2011 to 2012 and 2016 to 2017 fiscal years, as part of the country’s work to improve responsible governance of natural resources, including promoting and protecting human rights. 

Key achievements of Canada’s chairmanship during its 2016 to 2017 term include:

Canada’s chairmanship culminated in a successful annual plenary meeting held in Ottawa on March 2 and 3, 2017.

Guidelines for companies operating internationally

Created in 2000, the Voluntary Principles are one of the widely recognized international guidelines the government promotes to Canadian companies operating abroad, as part of its  Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy to Strengthen Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad.

Canadian companies are expected to integrate responsible business practices into all aspects of their operations. The Principles have been helpful to corporations operating around the world, including in high-risk zones.

Related link

Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Extractive Sector

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