Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector - Human Rights Joint Committee Contents


  Examples of mechanisms we have used that are close to the point of action and can provide swift resolution are drawn from our Tangguh LNG construction project, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline construction and our current operations in Colombia:

    — The Tangguuh Independent Advisory Panel, funded by BP, was headed by the well respected US Senator George Mitchell. The Panel over the last seven years held open public hearings at which community members were free to raise concerns and complaints which were then relayed to BP and a response was expected. The Panel also held sessions in London and Washington to present their report and get feedback.

    — Where specifically there is a risk concerning the performance of security forces, we have a very detailed system of receiving and dealing with complaints regarding allegations of security and human rights abuses, The case of Colombia is illustrative where we have well documented procedures.

  BP Colombia's procedure for responding to complaints and allegations aims to make sure that community grievances related to actions of the public forces in our operational area, to our own actions or to the potential impact of changes in security arrangements, are recorded, analyzed, addressed and responded to promptly. It also aims to help the business to take preventative action to avoid recurrence of any incident.

  The procedure identifies individual responsibilities and actions in response to a complaint. It sets out how complaints are to be recorded and analyzed. It also provides guidance on the types of cases that would require an internal investigation, which would focus on identifying any acts or omissions by BP that contributed to the incident. If a complaint involves a possible breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the individual concerned would be urged to make their representation to the appropriate authority.

  Throughout the procedure there is an emphasis on record keeping as statistics on complaints received and remedied are used on an ongoing base to improve security management performance.

    — During the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey we put in place a number of measures to try to resolve complaints related to land issues in a fair and transparent manner.

  For example BTC Co, the consortium led by BP to build the pipeline, engaged a third party (the BNB Statistics, Economy, Informatics,

  Education and Trade Co.) in Turkey to provide independent verification that construction impacts and land acquisition grievances were being closed out, and that ongoing land acquisition activities were complying with Resettlement Action Plan requirements. In Azerbaijan, the Center for Legal and Economic Education (CLEE) provided free legal assistance to any land owner/user not satisfied with the result of the grievance response. Additionally, CLEE, on a monthly basis, selected ten closed complaints at random and contacted the complainants directly to verify that claims had been resolved.

Steve Westwell

Group Chief of Staff

18 September 2009

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Prepared 16 December 2009