Skip to main content

Toolkit

ADDRESSING SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

Third Edition, Available in English, French, Spanish and Chinese

Click on the tabs below to access the language versions

A compendium of concrete good practices to security and human rights challenges aimed at companies, security providers, civil society, national regulators and other practitioners

 


2.5. Training

a) Training provided by host governments to public security forces may be inadequate and/or incomplete – e.g. security forces may not be trained in international human rights standards or minimal use of force techniques.

 

Good Practices*

Conduct a needs analysis that includes an assessment of the capabilities of public security forces. Although not always feasible, this practice should be promoted whenever possible, since it is key to the design of an adequate training programme.

  • Assess knowledge, fitness and aptitudes of public security forces.
  • Identify capacity gaps through an aptitude test (to be also used as baseline survey that will serve as a reference to measure progress made after the training).
  • Establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure quality is maintained as public security forces are rotated in and out.

Seek to ensure that the host government understands and covers training needs

  • In meetings with host government stakeholders emphasise the need to enhance the quality of training of public security forces to improve respect of human rights and international humanitarian law. Expectations related to VPs provisions as well as the obligation of the host government to meet these expectations should be clearly explained.
  • Seek support from influential stakeholders (e.g. national political or social leaders, home governments, international organisations) to ensure the host government assumes its responsibilities regarding the training of public security forces assigned to the area(s) of extractive operations.

Support national training programmes

  • Engage with the relevant ministry (e.g. ministry of interior or ministry of defence) to identify how the company can contribute to improving training on human rights and international humanitarian law for public security forces. For instance, the company can provide budgetary or logistical support to existing national training programmes.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE COLOMBIAN MINING AND ENERGY COMMITTEE[6]

In Colombia, it is recommended that companies do not provide training to public security forces on international humanitarian law, neither directly nor through contractors. Decisions on doctrine must be taken by national defence authorities. However, companies may review the training curricula and make recommendations to address identified gaps in the content. Companies may also provide logistical or financial support to ensure the appropriate tools and materials are available for the training.

As for human rights training, companies may support the national training programme by providing direct training to public security forces. However, in order to ensure the coherence of the defence sector, it is highly recommended that the content is identified jointly by the company and the relevant authorities, and that public security management approves of the choice of trainers and methodology.

  • Support sustainable approaches to national training programmes. Focus on train-the-trainer approaches and identify ways to embed good practices in the curricula of public security training institutions.

Map existing training programmes and partner with other stakeholders

  • Identify existing human rights and international humanitarian law training programmes developed by a UN Mission, donors, civil society or other institutions.
  • Support efforts to improve human rights and international humanitarian law training programmes at the national and/or local levels.
  • In situations of armed conflict, liaise with the ICRC or another recognised provider with local knowledge and experience to check whether they would be able to provide international humanitarian law training to public security forces in the company’s area of operations. If feasible, engage with relevant national and local authorities to ensure that all public security forces in the company’s area of operations receive training from the ICRC or another recognised provider.
  • Seek ways to develop linkages to security sector reform assistance programmes offering training to public security forces.

CASE STUDY: MONUSCO - TENKE FUNGURUME MINING (TFM) TRAINING OF PUBLIC SECURITY FORCES[7]

In the DRC, national law requires the presence of public security around extractive sites. At the same time, although not all public security forces have been trained to perform their duties according to international standards for international human rights and humanitarian law, private companies are not allowed to provide this training themselves.

In 2012, this issue was raised in the framework of the monthly Security and Human Rights meetings in Lubumbashi. The United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) was seen as one of the solutions to help address the issue. TFM approached MONUSCO, as one of the participants in the discussion group, and requested a partnership in order to help conduct additional human rights training for public security forces assigned to the TFM concession area. All the participants in the monthly security and human rights meetings have been invited to partner with MONUSCO to assist in the training of the public security used within their respective areas. Since training public security forces is part of MONUSCO’s mandate, this was a solution that complied with national law, addressed the challenge and was approved by all parties involved. The first training was held in December 2012.

The training focuses on the rule of law, democracy, use of force, human rights, Voluntary Principles, sexual violence and self-defence. It includes practical role play exercises allowing participants to learn how to react in real-life situations, such as having to confront a violent group. Participants include the mining police, territorial police, representatives of the national intelligence services, the public prosecutor’s office, local NGO representatives, as well as TFM employees and contractors.

The training, conducted on the basis of a partnership between MONUSCO and TFM, is an innovative and pragmatic solution to a genuine need. MONUSCO provides specialized trainers, while the company offers food, transportation for training attendants and training facilities on site. Beyond the direct benefits of the training, this approach helps to establish an effective working relationship between TFM and the public security forces assigned to their operations. Through dialogue-based training that introduces security providers to TFM, they become more familiar with the company policies and procedures that they are invited to follow.

If the company feels compelled to provide training directly to public security forces consider the good practices under Challenge 2.5.b.

b) Companies may feel compelled to become involved in the training of public security forces assigned to their area of operations because of the low levels of awareness and understanding of security and human rights issues by these forces.

 

Good Practices*

Conduct a needs analysis that includes an assessment of the capabilities of public security forces. Although not always feasible, this practice should be promoted whenever possible, since it is key to the design of an adequate training programme.

  • Assess knowledge, fitness and aptitudes to work on public security.
  • Identify capacity gaps through an aptitude test (to be also used as baseline survey that will serve as a reference to measure progress made after the training).
  • Establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure quality is maintained as public security forces are rotated in and out.

Consider alternatives to providing training directly to public security forces (See Challenge 2.5.a.)

If the company feels compelled to provide training directly to public security forces, reach an agreement with relevant authorities (e.g. ministries of defence and interior) regarding the content and regularity of the training

  • Pre-deployment training should be provided to all public security personnel working on and in the proximity of the company’s premises.
  • Include as a minimum the following topics:
    a) Human rights, international humanitarian law (in countries affected by armed conflict), self-defence and sexual violence.

    b) Rules of engagement for the use of force and firearms applicable to the protection of a project site. Refer participants to the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. It is of key importance that public security forces understand the different rules applicable to law enforcement operations and to the conduct of hostilities (i.e. when international humanitarian law applies). As a rule, public security forces should adopt a defensive approach when protecting a project site.

    c) Conflict management, crowd control and public order. This “is often critical to help ensure respect for human rights and prevent interventions that may destabilise the (...) situation”. (OECD: 176)

    d) Incident response and first aid, to “ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons at the earliest possible moment” (VPs)
     
  • Conduct practical exercises that include locally-relevant scenarios and possible contingencies. One method is to “use the ‘talk-through, walk-through, run-through’ formula”: communicate all tasks and expectations to participants; discuss each step of the actions and responsibilities of participants; and run-through the whole scenario with role-players. “Training events are most effective if the scenario for the simulated incident is plausible or even a repeat of a previous incident”. (MIGA: III-9)
  • Conduct joint drills and rehearsals between public security forces, company security and local site mine management for incident management. In general terms, these exercises “should address the phases of an incident response including:
    • Preparation and review of Rules of Engagement,
    • Alert,
    • Deployment,
    • Designation of the on-site team leader,
    • Actions on contact,
    • Resolution of the incident,
    • Provision of medical attention (and evacuation) if required,
    • Review of post-incident lessons learned,
    • Final reporting and follow-up.” (MIGA: III-9)
  • Ensure the training addresses the specificities of providing security around corporate operations.
  • Demonstrate the value of training to trainees.  This can be done, for example, by issuing certificates with an internationally recognised qualification, or through the creation of incentives for participants by including additional skills-based training, e.g. first aid.

Use the right language

  • Use language that resonates with public security forces. Focusing on the rules for the use of force, presenting different scenarios and sharing good practices on how to respond to challenging situations can be a much more effective way of addressing security and human rights issues than talking about general principles. (see IGTs: 77)
  • Ensure the training is adapted to the literacy level of participants.

Complement the training with:

  • Induction training to familiarise private security personnel with the company, in particular with its structure, policies, processes (e.g. handling of complaints and lines of reporting) and the project site.
  • Five-minute talks focused on key VPs principles delivered regularly by supervisors.
  • Supporting materials (e.g. pocket book with principles on the use of force)

If necessary, cover the travel and per diem costs for trainees to attend the training. This is particularly important if the training takes place far from their home base.

  • Where possible, travel / per diem costs should be paid directly to trainees to ensure resources reach the intended recipients and reduce the risk of misappropriation.

Train the trainers

  • Support training programmes for trainers of public security forces.

CASE STUDY: ENGAGEMENT WITH PUBLIC SECURITY FORCES IN IRAQ[8]

Since 2009, BP has been working with the Government of Iraq to develop a comprehensive VPs programme for the Rumaila oilfield operations in Southern Iraq. One element of this programme is a Training Assistance Programme with the public security provider, the Iraqi Oil Police Force (OPF).

“Once the agreement was signed, Safestainable (an independent consultancy specialised on sustainable security management) was requested to operationalize the training concept, develop the course schedule and prepare the curriculums for a 3-year Training Assistance Programme, under the guidance and with close support from the Rumaila Security Department. Collaboration was essential to ensure all trainings were relevant to tactical requirements and reflected the operational environment and its constraints.

The Training Assistance Programme has been based on a Train the Trainers approach to promote OPF ownership and increase its sustainability. The programme follows a systematic training cycle and relies on a training model called the Systems Approach to Training to guide the formal curriculum development, validation and evaluation process.

The programme aimed to develop a cadre of OPF trainers with the skills and knowledge to train their counterparts to effectively carry out all duties. It followed that over the 3 years the OPF trainers would deliver foundation, intermediate and advanced courses to all OPF policemen on the Rumaila field. Arabic speaking training consultants were engaged, all of which had professional backgrounds in senior positions in Middle East and North African public security forces and thereafter with human rights experience gained in the UN or ICRC.

Training consultants initially delivered a pilot course to the OPF to introduce the curriculum, and then participated in the trainer selection process, before delivering a series of “Train the Trainer” courses. Thereafter they acted as mentors to the OPF trainers, providing continuous refresher training and monitoring the quality of training to ensure effective delivery. The Rumaila security training team oversaw all aspects of programme management and ensured continuity in the absence of the visiting training consultants.

Each year the Training Assistance Programme is evaluated to measure its impact on OPF policemen performance and identify further training needs. At the end of the programme a final evaluation is scheduled to measure its impact as a component of the overall Rumaila VPs programme with its objective to maintain security in Rumaila operations carried out under a frame that guarantees the respect of the human rights.”

  • Support capacity building programmes for representatives of civil society organisations on how to train security forces. “It helps in building local training capacity, ensures that content is relevant and sensitive to local contexts, and maximises the outreach to community level.” (OECD: 230)
  • In case the country of operations is affected by armed conflict, explore opportunities for the ICRC to provide international humanitarian law training to trainers.

Evaluate impact of training

  • Conduct a test at the end of the training and compare it with the baseline survey (or aptitude test conducted as part of the needs analysis) in order to evaluate the impact of the training.
  • Follow up on the impact on human rights of the training. For instance, this can be done through surveys or consultations with local communities, including all vulnerable groups (e.g. women), in order to find out whether the provision of security and the human rights situation have improved as a consequence of training.

Facilitate regular refresher trainings

  • Refresher trainings should be an integral part of the training programme agreed with the host government with an agreed timeframe.
  • Include a few new topics on each refresher training.
c) Companies may lose the benefit from the briefings, induction and training they provide due to the frequent rotation of public security forces.

 

Good Practices*

Engage with the relevant ministry (e.g. ministry of interior or ministry of defence) in order to:

  • Understand rotation policies (be they explicit or implicit policies);
  • Request that sufficient notification is provided with regard to deployment of new staff;
  • Emphasise the need for adequate training to be provided prior to deployment (not once they have already assumed their roles);
  • Ensure that personnel stay in post for sustained periods; and
  • Request notification of any changes to deployment/rotation policies.

Support national training programmes to improve the capacity of public security forces

  • Engage with the relevant ministry to identify how the company can contribute to improving training on human rights and international humanitarian law for public security forces. (See Challenge 2.5.a.)

Support training programmes provided by other stakeholders at the national or regional levels to ensure all public security forces receive training.

  • Support human rights training programmes developed by multilateral organisations, NGOs, national human rights institutions or other stakeholders.
  • In situations of armed conflict, liaise with the ICRC or another recognised provider with local knowledge and experience to check whether they would be able to provide international humanitarian law training to public security forces in the company’s area of operations. If feasible, engage with relevant national and local authorities to ensure that all public security forces in the company’s area of operations receive training from the ICRC or another recognised provider.
  • Support security sector reform programmes offering training to public security forces.

Brief public security forces assigned to the project site area on company policies and VPs standards on a regular basis to ensure that new personnel are familiar with these policies and standards.

d) Security actors may have very different attitudes to human rights than found in VPs member companies’ home states.

 

Good Practices*

Communicate company’s adherence to the VPs and include this commitment in agreements with the host government to facilitate acceptance by national security actors

  • Prepare a clear statement of policy that stipulates the enterprise’s human rights expectations of its partners or parties directly linked to its operations. The statement should also be publicly available to enhance its weight (GPs: 16). It “provides a starting point from which the enterprise can better leverage respect for human rights”. (UNIG: 27)
  • Communicate company policy regarding ethical conduct and human rights to public security forces. (VPs: 3)
  • Consult national laws to identify existing norms reinforcing VPs standards and make reference to them in any contracts or agreements with host state actors.
  • Include VPs in contracts/agreements/MoUs with the host government. The existence of “contracts or other formal agreements can play an important role in requiring or creating incentives for those other parties to respect human rights”. Effective “communication between the company staff that draw up the contract, departments that will be involved in its execution and those that have oversight of human rights issues” is essential. (UNIG: 47-48).

Meet regularly with the management of public security forces

  • “Establish a pattern of regular, formal meetings with public security providers in order to exchange security information and address concerns regarding human rights and (international) humanitarian law.” (IGTs: 40)

Focus on common values

  • Focus the dialogue on concepts like “operational excellence,” “best practice”, “respect for human life and dignity” or other shared values. Also, “establishing camaraderie between the public provider and the company security manager on the basis of shared or similar experiences in public service can be very effective” in making the case for VPs relevance and importance. (IGTs: 41, 47)
  • Work with local public security force commanders to establish mutually agreed Rules of Engagement for the use of force under human rights and international humanitarian law. “These rules then should become a part of any training the public security forces do prior to deployment to the company’s facilities.” (MIGA: III-8)

CASE STUDY: HUMAN RIGHTS TRAINING IN CAMEROON[9]  

In Cameroon, as in many countries, oil and gas operations are considered a national asset, with public security forces charged with the responsibility for the safety and security of extractive operations. However, when Kosmos Energy started their operations at the Sipo-1 well in February 2013, it was the first time for an oil project in Cameroon to be situated onshore. The human rights challenges commonly present at extractive operations were accordingly new to most of the actors involved. Firstly, Kosmos Energy could not rely on public security forces to be either trained or familiar with the human rights standards central to the company’s VPs commitment. Secondly, the military and company presence created an unfamiliar, unprecedented and possibly insecure situation for the nearby local communities.

To avoid any local conflict or human rights violation, Kosmos Energy needed to reach all the different stakeholders and thus enable them to act in concert to ensure their compliance with applicable human rights standards. The challenge the company faced was to identify a shared discourse, which is consistent with universal human rights standards while resonating with the reality of the local context.

In order to identify and design a suitable human rights training, Kosmos partnered with The Fund for Peace (FFP), a U.S.-based organisation that promotes sustainable security, to assist and build the training capacity of the special unit of Cameroon’s military in charge of the extractive operations security, known as the Battalion d’Intervention Rapide (BIR).

 

At the beginning of this joint process FFP interviewed members of the BIR from different ranks as well as representatives of local communities affected by the extractive operations. A meeting was convened with the village chief, the leadership council, and prominent members of the community. FFP briefed the community members on the intent of the programme and sought feedback on concerns related to the deployment. This feedback was factored into the design of the programme. Based on this scoping study a training programme was developedaround five key elements.

Firstly, the training focused on practical situations the soldiers of the BIR have commonly encountered in the past. The programme was based on everyday situations such as local protests and road blocks rather than general principles of human rights (FFP, 2013: 2). Secondly, the joint process identified common values such as honour, respect and ensuring human security, which were used in the training to ‘translate’ the aim of human rights standards into the local discourse (ibid.). Thirdly, the training material was adapted to the local context. For instance, the programme approached concepts such as ‘human security’ from the perspective of the family, since the initial scoping study identified the deep importance of family to Cameroonians (ibid. 4). Fourthly, the joint process provided a platform for the BIR participants to present and discuss their own operational experience. BIR soldiers and commanders could review their peers’ challenges and share personal good practices. Lastly, the joint-process found a suitable medium through which all affected actors could best be reached that was designed to augment and support the actual training course, and provide a take-away resource for participants. It was decided that the best approach would be a series of comic books, which proved easy to disseminate. The comic series, entitled “Captain Cameroun”, reflected local and challenging situations highlighting both inappropriate and appropriate security responses focusing on the previously identified shared values: family, honour, respect and ensuring human security.

The outlined training approach proved successful in numerous ways:

  • The approach created a sense of local ownership and thereby avoided any top-down and possibly condescending and ineffective implementation of human rights standards.
  • The platform allowed the BIR to be taken seriously as a professional and committed security actor, which can contribute to the human rights training programme.
  • Common values were able to bridge the gap between abstract human rights standards and the local, complex security reality on the ground.
  • The focus on the local context and practical situations ensured that the classroom messages could be recognised and applied in the soldier’s everyday work.

Work with stakeholders at the national level to develop a discussion around the VPs (See Challenge 1.1.b.)

  • Work with other companies, home country officials, NGOs and industry associations to advance the dialogue on the VPs. (IGTs: 47)
  • “Consider recommending that the government establish a formal in-country VPs process.” (IGTs: 47)