Case study

Security and human rights

Embedding international standards

Security arrangements have been identified as a high-risk area for actual and potential human rights impacts. Vitol is committed to managing security arrangements in accordance with the United Nations Basic Principles for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), where appropriate.

Our 2021 VPSHR gap analysis highlighted some gaps against the VPSHR and the International Code of Conduct for Security Service Providers (ICoC) requirements e.g. in terms of training site security personnel to ensure awareness of Vitol human rights expectations.

To address this gap, Vitol rolled out a ‘train-the-trainer’ programme for security managers at operationally controlled sites. The training covered topics such as the use of force, de-escalation strategies, and responsible conduct in situations of community unrest or when managing unauthorised intruders. Training also covered security risk analysis, which considers the impact on human rights of the security arrangements, e.g. on employees, adjacent communities and the security personnel themselves. Over 40 global managers attended the training, which was delivered by an expert security management firm.

These managers then trained the security personnel deployed at their sites on the same principles, either directly or by training the supervisors of the contracted security personnel who then delivered the training to their staff. Sites that involve public security forces invited the police and military to knowledge sharing sessions on security and human rights.

To evaluate the impact of the training, attendees were asked to complete an evaluation form before and after the training, which revealed the knowledge level at the respective sites, whether key principles are understood, and where we need to focus further.

Vitol has taken all steps to ensure alignment with the VPSHR. We exceeded our 2022 target by training all directly hired, but also some contracted security personnel and facilitated knowledge-sharing sessions with public security forces. In 2023, we continued training on security and human rights for managers and security providers at operationally controlled sites and host two virtual conferences to facilitate learning between managers. The VPSHR capacity building was a success, with 102 participants attending and indicating the sessions as useful. Additionally, our VPSHR implementation guidance was finalized, detailing good practice examples, templates, and instruments to be tailored to security operations across all companies in which Vitol is invested.

As not all contracted security supervisors were VPSHR trained in 2022, this was achieved in 2023.

We will continuously implement our learn and share sessions for Vitol operational sites with security force presence. We also continuously collect KPIs on trainings delivered at operationally-controlled sites to inform our approach.