Participants of the Working Group of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights had a successful first Plenary Meeting of the year on Wednesday 14 May, 2014.
The event took place at the British Embassy in Lima and had as main speaker the Peruvian National Police Colonel, Victor Fernandez, who is also the Director of Research and Development responsible for the oversight of contracts between the Ministry of Interior and extractive companies. He delivered a presentation explaining the efforts carried out by the Police to safeguard human rights and effectively implement these contracts and the efforts on both sides to make these contracts more efficient and transparent. After his presentation, there was a Q&A section where representatives from the three pillars of the Working Group (companies, NGOs and government officials) were able to express their views.
Participants at the meeting included representatives from Hudbay Minerals, Barrick, Yanacocha, Anglo American, Rio Tinto; from the Embassies of the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands, the US and the Delegation of the European Union; and from the following NGOs: SER, Socios Peru, and APRODEH. Government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers also participated.
Established in 2000 by the UK and the US, alongside companies in the extractive and energy sectors and NGOs, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are a set of principles designed to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights.
The Voluntary Principles are the only human rights guidelines designed for extractive sector companies. In Peru, the Working Group was established in 2010, following the model of the global Voluntary Principles Initiative, which includes three pillars (companies, NGOs and government officials) and international observers. The Plenary Meetings seek to promote dialogue, good governance and the prevention of social conflicts in Peru.