Human Rights Approach Principles

We respect human rights wherever we do business and recognize the equality and dignity of the people with whom we interact every day.

Respect for our stakeholders is part of our core values, which guide us in all we do.

We believe that responsible mining and economic development can and should improve the human rights of affected stakeholders, particularly in developing regions. When done responsibly, economic development is a contributor to a broad spectrum of human rights. Through employment and local procurement, development can directly help individuals enjoy the rights to work, food, property, an adequate standard of living, adequate housing and other key human rights.

Our Approach

Barrick operates mines in highly diverse social, economic and political contexts, including locations where human rights may not be fully recognized or respected. Wherever we operate, we will respect the human rights of all stakeholders impacted by our operations.

Our human rights approach operates with three key principles in mind.

First, we seek to act responsibly and work to improve human rights in every location where we operate. That may be directly, through employment, creating a stable tax base, or community engagement and programs, or indirectly, by engaging with the State to fulfill its obligation to protect human rights.

Second, we acknowledge our responsibility to respect the human rights of stakeholders. We have developed a global human rights compliance program as well as management systems in salient areas that may impact human rights, which are designed to help the company, its suppliers, and others who may act in connection with its operations to meet that responsibility.

Third, where we cause or contribute to negative human rights impacts, we strive to remediate them fairly and effectively; where we are directly linked to negative human rights impacts through our value chain, we seek to consider and use our leverage to prevent or mitigate the adverse impact.

In 2015, more than 22,500 hours of human rights training
were conducted across the company.

Our Commitment to Human Rights


A Passion for Respecting Human Rights

By Jonathan Drimmer

Barrick’s Human Rights Policy contains the underlying principle behind our human rights approach:

Barrick will respect the human rights of all stakeholders impacted by our operations.

The Policy is applicable to every employee of Barrick Gold Corporation or its subsidiaries, including senior executive and financial officers, and to members of the Barrick Board of Directors. The reporting requirement of this Policy is also applicable to Barrick’s contractors and suppliers.1

To help meet our commitment, human rights considerations have been embedded into Barrick’s values, governance frameworks and corporate management systems. From supply chain and human resources to security and community relations, Barrick considers our responsibility to respect human rights throughout the business. We have developed a human rights program that is robust and comprehensive, strives to be consistent with the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs), and is tailored to the issues and circumstances in every location we operate. 

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1 The Policy is not applicable to Acacia or the Porgera Joint Venture, which maintain their own human rights policies, or to Jabil Sayid, and may not be applicable at other locations in which Barrick holds a significant interest but does not exercise operational control.

Our Progress

  • Understanding our impacts: As part of our global human rights compliance program, in 2015, Avanzar conducted a human rights assessment at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. The assessment identified several areas of potential negative human rights impacts, including in relation to monitoring contractor working conditions and their compliance with domestic labour laws and international standards, gaps in noise monitoring by the site, impacts on a local river, and sexual harassment.  The assessment also identified steps the site has taken to address these and previously identified risks, which include:
    • Due diligence, including human rights-related due diligence, on new and renewing vendors, and self-certification of Barrick’s Supplier Code of Ethics
    • Investigations and audits of contractors where complaints are lodged (including complaints by contractor employees)
    • Dismissing contractors who fail to comply with our policies or the law
    • A risk assessment in the supply chain
    • Environmental monitoring, along with policies, procedures and a management system that includes audits and assessments
    • Enhanced human resources policies, procedures and training related to sexual harassment and discrimination more generally
  • Continued focus on training: More than 6,300 Barrick employees received online human rights training in 2015. In addition, more than 1,400 security personnel received focused human rights training comprising more than 10 hours of instruction per person. As a result, in 2015 more than 22,500 hours of human rights training was conducted across the company.
  • Emphasis on continuous learning: We commissioned an independent assessment of the Porgera Remedy Framework in 2015 and made that report public. Our intention was to provide durable lessons for ourselves, as well as other businesses and stakeholders, with respect to operational-level grievance mechanisms.
  • Working across the business: We took a number of steps in 2015 to help further embed respect for human rights across our business.
    • Updated company policies and procedures, including our Human Rights Policy, Remediation Guidelines and Escalation Policy, to further reflect align­ment with the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights;
    • Developed and implemented a new case management system for tracking human rights allegations;
    • Facilitated an online process for reporting and obtaining updates to human rights grievances;
    • Improved human rights requirements for employee and vendor onboarding and due diligence policies and procedures (see Supply Chain);
    • Improved our Supplier Code of Ethics by enhancing our approach to track, monitor and assess code of conduct cases (including human rights).
  • Security and human rights: In 2015, we also took a number of steps to further embed human rights into our security practices:
    • Completed seven audits across security-related subject areas.
    • Signed an MoU with police near the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. Following the MoU, we conducted training in the Voluntary Principles, human rights and use of force for more than 550 police officers, military personnel, contractors and members of the local community.
    • Participated in a number of working groups at the Voluntary Principles (VPs), including the Verification Working Group, which works to develop verification/assurance processes; Governance Review Working Group, which seeks to identify ways to improve the governance of the VPs; and the Outreach and Implementation Working Group. Barrick is also involved in revising the reporting guidelines.
    • Barrick led the working group at the UN Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) for, and were the primary authors of, an assurance protocol for implementing the VPs. Barrick is on the Steering Committee for the Business for Peace initiative that rolled out the protocol to UN Global Compact members via the UN Business for Peace platform.

Priorities in 2016

  • In line with Barrick’s decentralized operational approach, our program is now focused on integrating human rights com­mitments more deeply into our day-to-day procedures and processes – across our workforce, functional departments and mine sites – with the goal of making sure that human rights responsibilities are truly “owned” on a local basis.
  • Barrick will work to further refine our approach to third-party due diligence.
  • Barrick will continue our efforts in support of the VPs in 2016. This will include supporting the Government of Canada in its incoming chairmanship of the VPs; rejoining the Steering Committee of the Voluntary Principles Initiative; and assisting MAC in developing VP requirement for members.
  • We will continue to update relevant human rights guidelines and policies. This will include work to enhance sexual harassment training and programs, as we consider it a salient risk.
  • The company will conduct follow-up human rights assessments at four locations in 2016.
  • We are working to develop protocols to help drive respect for human rights at joint ventures and entities Barrick does not majority-own and/or operate.

Human Rights Compliance Program

Barrick has put in place a human rights compliance program to operationalize our corporate policies and help us meet our commitment to respect human rights everywhere we operate.

The compliance program applies on a global basis to all of our employees and Barrick-operated sites and is grounded primarily in helping instill our corporate values at all locations at all times.

The elements of the program include training, onboarding and oversight of employees and third parties, operational due diligence, grievance mechanisms and remediation approaches, among other components. The program also incorporates aspects of salient functional unit management systems so that human rights are operationalized throughout the organization.

The program was launched in 2011 and continues to evolve and grow. During 2012 and 2013, we focused on developing a framework of strong human rights policy commitments and assessing and remediating existing negative human rights impacts. In 2014 and 2015, Barrick further decentralized its operational approach, and our program has focused on integrating human rights commitments more deeply into our day-to-day procedures and processes – across our workforce, functional departments and mine sites – with the goal of making sure that human rights responsibilities are truly “owned” on a local basis consistent with the new business model. That effort will continue in 2016 as we develop approaches to extend relevant aspects of our program to those entities in which Barrick is not the majority owner and/or operator. 

In 2015, Avanzar, an independent human rights consulting organization, conducted a human rights assessment at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. This was the second human rights assessment at Pueblo Viejo.

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Barrick explores and operates in diverse places in the world where security contexts may vary greatly. Given these challenges, Barrick recognizes the need for an effective security program to protect people, products, assets and reputation. The protection of people is first and foremost. However, we also produce a precious commodity –gold and our mine sites house valuable plant, equipment, vehicles, commodities and materials that must also be safeguarded.

Barrick’s security approach is deeply influenced by a respect for people and human rights, and is guided by the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles). These Principles are integrated into our Security Policy and operationalized by our Security Management System, which consists of six elements: Security Risk Assessment Process and Reviews, Information Gathering and Analysis, Alignment with International Norms, Control Frameworks, Critical Incident Management and Investigations.

More than 1,400 security personnel (100% of security employees) received dedicated, live human rights training comprising more than 10 hours of instruction in 2015.

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Pilot Project Adds Children's Perspective to Human Rights Impact Assessments



An Interview with John Ruggie

Author of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Date Download Description
January 1, 2013 files/design/bodybg/human-rights.jpg
Responsibility > Human Rights
Gold  $ 1,266.93 -2.87 -0.23% Volume: April 27, 2017
ABX NYSE  $ 16.96 +0.00 +0% Volume: 23,683,300 April 26, 2017
ABX TSX  $ 23.05 +0.00 +0% Volume: 4,645,800 April 26, 2017
Gold  $ 1,266.93 -2.87 -0.23% Volume: April 27, 2017

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