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Toolkit

ADDRESSING SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

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

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

 


2.6. Equipment

a) The lack of appropriate equipment to help manage social conflicts may lead to excessive use of force by public security forces.

 

Good Practices*

Conduct/update needs and risk assessment

  • Assess company needs against the capacity of public security forces. The needs assessment should look at issues such as: transportation, communications, training and availability of non-lethal weapons.
  • Assess whether providing any of the above-mentioned resources to public security could pose a security or reputational risk to the company. Balance the benefits against the possible negative consequences.
  • Conduct research to analyse relevant past incidents involving logistical or financial support to public security forces.
  • Update the risk assessment regularly by drawing on local sources to ensure that changes to the security environment are taken into account.

Seek to ensure that the host government provides appropriate equipment and other resources to public security forces

  • Engage with the appropriate government agencies and emphasise the need for public security forces to have the proper equipment to fulfil their duties effectively in compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law standards. (MIGA: II-17)
  • Include a provision in the agreement/MoU that the host government will use part of the funds paid by extractive companies to provide equipment and other resources to public security forces. (MIGA: II-17).
  • Consider 'split' payments with a part going to central government and another part directly paid to the public security forces assigned to the area of operations.
  • Seek support from other stakeholders, such as home governments, multilateral organisations or local industry associations, to encourage the host government to assume its responsibilities regarding the good performance and adequate equipment of public security forces assigned to the area(s) of corporate operations.
  • Monitor the payments chain to ensure dedicated funds reach public security forces responsible for company security.

Support efforts by home governments, civil society and multilateral institutions to strengthen state institutions

  • Explore opportunities for international donors to provide necessary material and support (including training) within broader assistance programmes.
  • Identify security sector reform programmes, such as police reform and training programmes, that address equipment issues. Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to extend activities to the area of the company’s operations. (MIGA: II-18).

Ensure security forces have been trained on the rules for the use of force and firearms under human rights and international humanitarian law (See Section 2.5. Training)

If the company feels compelled to directly provide logistical, financial and/or in-kind support to public security forces, consider the good practices under Challenge 2.6.b.

In case of excessive use of force by public security forces consider the good practices under Challenge 2.7.a.

b) Companies may find themselves with little other option than to provide logistical, financial and/or in-kind support to public security forces in order to cover their most basic needs.

 

Good Practices*

Conduct/update needs and risk assessment

  • Assess company needs against the capacity of public security forces. The needs assessment should include issues such as: minimum salaries, food, accommodation, transportation, communications, training and availability of non-lethal weapons.
  • Assess whether providing any of the above-mentioned resources to public security could pose a security or reputational risk to the company. Balance the benefits against the possible negative consequences.
  • Conduct research to analyse relevant past incidents involving logistical, financial or in-kind support to public security forces.
  • Update the risk assessment regularly drawing on local sources to ensure that changes to the security environment are taken into account.

Consider alternatives to the provision of logistical, financial and/or in-kind support (See Challenge 2.6.a.)

Develop a company policy/protocol for the provision of logistical, financial and/or in-kind support to public security forces in collaboration with all relevant company departments. Ensure it includes the following provisions:

  • Address the following questions:
    a) What is provided: equipment, per diem, goods and/or services?

    b) Why is it needed?

    c) How will it be managed and used?

    d) Who is the recipient and what degree of oversight is required? (MIGA: II-17)
     
  • “Ensure all purchases are sourced through standard procurement processes. Consider making public the reasons justifying any assistance and seek approval from the recipient to publish details of any agreement related to the assistance.”[10]
  • Include support costs as part of the provision agreement.
  • Establish safeguards for equipment transfer/provision of logistical, financial or in-kind support to public security forces (see case study on IGTs: 72):
    a) Confirm the legality of the transfer.

    b) Prohibit the transfer of lethal equipment (e.g. firearms).

    c) Agree to such requests based on a written undertaking from both the capital and the senior official or officer at the local level that the public security forces will respect human rights and obey international humanitarian law.

    d) Specify the use of the equipment or goods and seek to obtain formal agreement from public security forces on this.

    e) Prohibit the “transfer, loan or sale of equipment to a third party. Termination conditions should be included in the event that any funding, equipment, facilities or help-in-kind is misused.”[11]

    f) Establish “adequate controls to prevent misappropriation or diversion of equipment which may lead to human rights abuses”. (VPs: 3) If possible, “provide some tracking technology or tracking system, to some types of equipment”. (IGTs: 43)

    g) “Support training to enhance management skills or individual competencies within the recipient organisation to use funds or equipment responsibly.”[12]

    h) Establish a monitoring procedure to address misappropriation or diversion of equipment.
     
  • Ensure the “company policy (...) is realistic, flexible and open to scrutiny”. (MIGA: II-17)
  • “Gain senior level clearance”[13] from company management.

Engage with the appropriate government agencies to establish the conditions of the transfer

  • Communicate the company policy on equipment transfers. Explain that the implementation of the company policy will be monitored.
  • Agree on the terms and conditions for the provision of logistical, financial and/or in-kind support. For instance, agree that any equipment provided can only be used with the company's authorisation. Although it may be a sensitive issue to address, try to agree on a procedure to address potential misuse of equipment provided by the company.
  • Include a clause/clauses in the agreement/ MoU on the terms and conditions for the transfer of equipment. Attach the company policy on equipment transfers as an annex.
  • “List anything provided to (...) public forces in a Record of Transfer Register.” Identify “exactly what the company provided, when and for what purpose.” Items should only be provided against signature by a senior officer. (MIGA: II-19) (See Annex 1 - Record of Transfer Register)
  • Ensure full transparency of payments made and/or equipment transferred.

Monitor the use of equipment

  • “Monitor the use of equipment provided by the company and investigate properly situations in which such equipment is used in an inappropriate manner”. (VPs: 5) This may be done through reports and proactive checks by the company. “Another option is to seek third party verification that equipment that has been transferred is being used appropriately.” (IGTs: 43)
  • Consult with home governments “in cases where there are risks of inappropriate use of equipment transferred to public security (forces) by the company”. (IGTs: 16)
  • If company equipment is used without authorisation, follow the procedure established in agreement with the appropriate government agencies, where it exists, or otherwise refer to the company protocol.

Work with other concerned companies

  • Agree on a common approach to equipment transfers.
  • Share good and bad practices with other companies operating in the same area.
  • If feasible, “contribute to a consolidated program of equipment and training that will jointly benefit all companies in the area”. (MIGA: II-18)
c) Misunderstandings may result from companies operating with different policies on the provision of equipment to public security forces. Furthermore, when companies provide different types of equipment, maintenance may prove a challenge for public security forces.

 

Good Practices*

Seek to ensure that the host government provides appropriate equipment to public security forces

  • Engage with the appropriate government agencies to discuss equipment related challenges. Emphasise the need for public security forces to have the proper equipment to fulfil their duties effectively in compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law standards. (MIGA: II-17)
  • Include a provision in the agreement/MoU that the host government will use part of the funds paid by extractive companies to provide equipment and other resources to public security forces. (MIGA II-17).
  • Seek support from other stakeholders, such as home governments, multilateral organisations or local industry associations, to ensure the host government assumes its responsibilities regarding the good performance and adequate equipment of public security forces assigned to the area(s) of extractive operations.

Develop an information sharing system with other companies or other stakeholders. (IGTs, p.42)

Work with other concerned companies

  • Discuss the possibility of adopting a common approach to equipment transfers.
  • Contribute to a consolidated program of equipment and training that will jointly benefit all companies in the area. (MIGA II-18)

Work through a VPs in-country process, if any, or suggest launching one. Alternatively, approach the issue of equipment for public security forces through fora such as a ‘security managers working group’, industry association meetings, etc.