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Building Human Rights capacity among member companies

In order to guide the compliance of the mining industry in the area of human rights, the Minerals Council developed a Human Rights Framework that was approved by the Board in December 2018.

Based largely on the United Nations Guiding Principles as the authoritative standard, the framework outlines following priority areas for the mining industry: environmental management and conservation; health and safety; governance and ethics; security and human rights; transformation; human rights at the workplace; land-use and resettlements; and development of grievance mechanisms.

In developing the framework, various stakeholders including NGOs representing a broad range of interests, from mining communities, to environmental protection and human rights were consulted. We have taken their views onboard, and continue to engage extensively on this topic.

The Minerals Council started the process of rolling out the framework in 2019 with a view to – in time – incorporate adherence as part of the mandatory requirements of the Minerals Council Membership Compact which incorporates human rights issues as it is a code of ethical business conduct. While the framework is not yet compulsory, in future all Minerals Council members will be required to comply.

NGO partners, human rights practitioners, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Swiss Embassy, the United Nations Human Rights Council and members have been invited to participate in these sessions.

The Minerals Council has partnered with the UN Global Compact Network South Africa to host a series of seminars during the course of  2020 to discuss the content of the Framework, the importance of the Bill of Rights in the protection of human rights, understanding the South African Constitution, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the UN Global Principles on Business and Human Rights, Social Performance and Human Rights in Mining, and Responsible Sourcing and Human Rights.

The seminars are primarily aimed at junior members in need of more assistance with Human Rights preparedness than their larger counterparts with more resources. The first virtual seminar was held in June 2020 with a focus on the impact of COVID-19 on human rights. The second three-day seminar was hosted at the end of July.

Resources: 3-day seminar (29 – 31 July 2020)

Presentations:

Recordings:

  • Day 1 – 29 July 2020

  • Day 2 – 30 July 2020

  • Day 3 – 31 July 2020