Barrick explores and operates in diverse places in the world with varied security contexts.
We recognize the need for an effective security program to protect people, products, assets and our reputation. While the protection of people is foremost in our approach, we must also safeguard the gold that we produce and the equipment, vehicles, and other valuable assets that we own.
Barrick’s security approach is based on 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.
After adhering to the Voluntary Principles for several years, in 2010 we formally joined the Initiative, providing a very useful multi-stakeholder forum for us to engage on this issue, including with leading NGOs, peer companies, and governments. Barrick served on the Board of Directors of the Voluntary Principles from 2012 until June 2014 and served as the chair of the Corporate Pillar of the initiative in 2013/2014. We will be rejoining the Board steering committee in 2016. Barrick’s security personnel receive mandatory human rights training and training in the requirements of the Voluntary Principles.
Barrick has categorized our operations according to the security risk in the region and provides guidance, management and support from headquarters. Procedures, infrastructure, and protective equipment are employed to different extents at different operations, based on the security threat. At locations in developing countries where security risks are often elevated, we may employ or contract with a significant number of security officers. Effective security is a combination of physical security measures and strong community support. Competent security personnel play an essential role in these areas.
Barrick is a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
The Voluntary Principles guide and dictate our overall approach to the provision of security across the company. For example, the VPs require Barrick to embed human rights principles in contractual requirements with security providers. This includes both private security forces and host nation military and police representatives, who may provide external security and response assistance. The VPs also help the company develop guidelines and training on the use of force.
In some instances, security personnel may carry defensive weapons or use trained dogs to provide protection. Barrick has focused on the use of less-than-lethal munitions as a part of its security approach. All security managers and security personnel have received specific training on human rights, the Voluntary Principles and Barrick’s Use of Force Procedure, which is aligned with the United Nations Guidelines for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (as required by the Voluntary Principles). Personnel who carry firearms are required to be trained in and sign off on this procedure on an annual basis.
Before employing or contracting security personnel, background checks are completed – which can be challenging where central records are not held or not reliable. Therefore, we have developed a pre-employment procedure whereby we can use expanded searches and different forms of identity documentation, if needed, during background checks.
As part of our security system, 100% of security employees and security contractor personnel are trained in relevant human rights norms and the Voluntary Principles, and the company’s commitment to adhere to them. This includes undertaking annual human rights training approved by Barrick, along with the Use of Force training where indicated, as a condition of employment. Barrick verifies adherence to our training requirements during compliance audits performed by the internal audit group.
100% of security employees and security contractor personnel are trained in relevant human rights norms, the Voluntary Principles, and the company’s commitment to adhere to them.
We continue to conduct audits of both the Voluntary Principles (both internal audits and third-party audits) and all related policies and procedures, such as the Security Code of Conduct, Use of Force procedure, pre-employment screening, and related requirements. We have also, since 2011, engaged a third-party to conduct annual external ICMM assurance audits on the Voluntary Principles at some sites, resulting in a public Assurance Letter. Bureau Veritas completed a VP assessment at Veladero in Argentina in early 2016.
As the Voluntary Principles Initiative matures, the importance of participation by governments who host extractive companies becomes increasingly important. Voluntary Principles Initiative participants are now moving towards an increased focus on engagement with governments. We believe that participation by host governments will promote good business practices by companies and help governments undertake their duty to protect human rights.
As a member of the Voluntary Principles Initiative, we are also committed to engaging with local police in a number of areas where we operate, including negotiating the development of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and providing human rights training to police where appropriate. Barrick has MOUs with police in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Zambia.
Barrick currently has MOUs with police in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Zambia.
Barrick is a member of the Steering Committee of the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace initiative. Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Business for Peace (B4P) is a business leadership platform that aims to expand and deepen private sector action in support of peace – in the workplace, marketplace and local communities. The platform assists companies to implement responsible business practices aligned with the UN Global Compact Ten Principles in conflict-affected and high-risk areas and catalyze action to advance peace. This was completed and rolled out in 2015. We are currently leading the development of a Security and Human Rights assessment tool to be rolled out across the Business for Peace global network.
Going forward, we look to continue strengthening assurance using internal and external assurance mechanisms and to be a meaningful contributor to the Voluntary Principles’ four-year strategic plan.
Illegal miners are people who enter a mine property without permission with the intention of stealing gold-bearing ore. This differs from artisanal miners, who generate income from labor-intensive mining activities, often alongside large-scale mining operations. Safety is a very important issue associated with illegal mining. By entering unsafe areas of the mines (such as open pit walls, ore stockpiles and active mining areas), illegal miners put their own lives and the lives of our employees at risk.
Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.
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