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Extractive Industries

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many reports he has received of breaches of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Voluntary Charter for Extractive Industries since December 2000. [105585]

The UK and US Governments jointly launched the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in 2000, with the participation of several UK and US energy and mining companies and NGOs. The Principles provide practical guidance to companies seeking to ensure that respect for human rights is central to the arrangements they make for protecting the security of their operations in areas of conflict.Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and expertise with each other as part of a learning process. We also discuss the Principles with the companies and NGOs concerned when particular human rights issues arise. It is through this dialogue that the process is carried forward, not on the basis of complaints or reports of specific breaches of principles.