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Respecting human rights


We expect our employees, officers and directors to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and seek to work with suppliers and business partners who share our commitment to human rights. Within our own workforce, our commitment to human rights is supported by our Standards of Business Conduct and our Statement on Labor and the Workplace. Our Statement reinforces support for the principles of the International Labor Organization 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, notably the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination.

Our approach

Our approach to human rights is consistent with the goals of the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles outline governments’ duty to protect human rights and businesses’ responsibility to respect them. ExxonMobil works closely with governments, civil society and industry to help advance the goals of the UN Guiding Principles. ExxonMobil works closely with IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, to monitor human rights trends in supply chains that are relevant to the oil and gas industry. We also work with IPIECA to collect information on best practices in human rights supply chain management from the oil and gas industry as well as other industries.

ExxonMobil operates in regions where engagement with host governments is undertaken to support security and respect for human rights in local operations. 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. Participants include representatives from governments, civil society and the extractives industry. We have been a member of the Voluntary Principles since 2002, and have served on multiple occasions as one of the corporate representatives on its steering committee.

Our Statement and Framework on Security and Human Rights states our commitment to conduct business in a way that protects the security of our personnel, facilities and operations. It also affirms our commitment to respect human rights. The Framework provides guidance to all of our employees on working with both host governments and private security personnel in a manner that respects human rights. We also have agreements with private security firms with which we work that contain requirements to uphold human rights. These agreements include expectations for training and compliance with relevant local, UN and other security-related frameworks.

Performance and initiatives 

In 2016, we supported the Voluntary Principles through the facilitation of pilot groups in Nigeria, Ghana and Myanmar, which were designed to enhance local collaboration on human rights among governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), companies and other stakeholders. ExxonMobil is actively participating in the Nigeria pilot group.

ExxonMobil has conducted human rights training for our employees in select regions for many years. We believe providing human rights training helps build an understanding and awareness of potential impacts. In 2015, we launched a new computer-based human rights training module to further enhance internal awareness of human rights. To date, more than 1,200 of our key employees in 46 countries have completed the training.

ExxonMobil is committed to respecting human rights, and we expect the same of our suppliers. In 2016, we published our ExxonMobil Supplier Expectations, a set of guidelines that outlines our expectations of contractors and suppliers inclusive of human rights. These Expectations include references to key international human rights frameworks such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labor Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Starting in 2017, the Supplier Expectations will become part of ExxonMobil’s annual letter to our suppliers. 

Internally, we delivered human rights awareness training tailored to procurement professionals in the supply chain. Through early 2017, we have trained approximately 100 ExxonMobil procurement professionals, and will continue training through the rest of 2017.