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Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments

A  handbook of concrete good practices and tools to help companies address security and human rights risks in their operations.
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The Toolkit is for any company facing security and human rights challenges in complex environments.

In addition to company security managers, operational field staff, and sustainability and compliance officers, the Toolkit can also support the work of governments, international organisations, civil society and investors committed to promoting responsible business conduct.

Toolkit Challenge Areas

The Toolkit is divided into four challenge areas:

Working with Host Governments

Companies can face difficulties in engaging with host governments when they are setting up or implementing their security arrangements. In many contexts, national and local-level authorities are not aligned, and this can add further complications.  

This section helps navigate topics like:

  • How to use company leverage to strengthen respect for human rights
  •  How to effectively engage with host government interlocutors
  • How to address sensitive human rights issues constructively with the host government
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Working with Public Security Forces

In many contexts, companies need to work with public security forces in their area of operations. The presence of public security can lead to human rights risks for communities as well as security risks for the company.  

This section helps navigate topics like:

  • How to develop clear memoranda of understanding/agreements with public security
  • How to vet public security forces in fragile contexts
  • How to address gaps or weaknesses in training and equipment 
View Challenge Area
Working with Private Security Providers

Private security providers play an important role in protecting company personnel and assets, but their work is sensitive and can pose risks to human rights. 

This section helps navigate topics like:

  • How to vet private security providers including in the absence of public information
  • How to prevent the excessive use of force 
  • How to ensure culturally appropriate security practices
View Challenge Area
Working with Communities

Ineffective security management can undermine the rights and development of communities, jeopardizing the company’s social license to operate. Communities should therefore be systematically engaged on security issues relating to company operations.

This section helps navigate topics like:

  • How to build trusted relationships with representatives of all members of the community, including women and indigenous peoples
  • How to manage tensions and address social conflicts 
  • How to get senior company management buy-in for community engagement 
View Challenge Area

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Business, Security and Human Rights
Fact sheets

How to use this Toolkit

The Toolkit identifies and responds to real-life challenges faced by companies. Challenge areas explore risks and opportunities relating to host governments, public security, private security and communities. The Toolkit then provides targeted guidance, good practices, case studies, practical resources and tools to help users navigate each risk.

The challenge: Making sense of complex operating environments and an evolving regulatory landscape

The Toolkit facilitates risk management and compliance by providing a ‘one stop shop’ that brings together key international standards and mandatory human rights due diligence requirements. Integrating the Toolkit’s good practices at corporate and operational levels will help companies contribute to sustainable development and maintain their social licence to operate.