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Sakhalin Energy Shared Its Best Practices in Respecting Human Rights at the UN Forum

Sakhalin Energy participated in the Regional Dialogue: Lessons Learned, Challenges, Innovation—Eastern Europe session of the 8th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights held in The Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 25–27 November. The session was organised by the UN Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises in collaboration with the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB).

As the world’s foremost gathering in the area of business and human rights, the Forum provides a unique space for dialogue between governments, business, civil society, affected groups and international organisations on trends, challenges and good practices in preventing and addressing business-related human rights impacts.

Tatyana Derivedmid, Head of Social Performance at Sakhalin Energy, shared the company’s experience in this area in the Russian context. “Considering that the business and human rights issues are some of the most important on the agenda, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) is among the organisations that heavily contribute to addressing them: both in terms of the methodological assistance and practical tools for corporate social responsibility and sustainable development,” noted Tatyana Derivedmid. She demonstrated the efforts in this area through the examples of the RSPP’s indices “Responsibility and Transparency” and “Sustainable Development Trajectory”, as well as public endorsement of corporate non-financial reporting, and others.

The company representative also talked in detail about the practice of ensuring due diligence in the supply chain, the grievance mechanism, and cooperation with the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities (SIM), including the 10-year experience of implementing the “free, prior and informed consent” principle, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) as well as in the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards (2012).

The session participants showed great interest in Sakhalin Energy’s experience. In particular, they asked questions about what urged the company to design the grievance mechanism, what special tools are used for stakeholder (including SIM) engagement, what international standards was the company guided by when developing its social programmes, etc.

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were approved by the UN in June 2011; since then they serve as key international standards on human rights for states and corporations.

Sakhalin Energy was one of the five companies worldwide selected for testing the Guiding Principles with respect to corporate grievance mechanisms (2009–2011). The company’s results of implementing its own procedures of this kind gained high praise from the expert participants of that project.

In addition to incorporating the Guiding Principles into the corporate human rights management system, Sakhalin Energy is actively promoting them. For instance, the company contributed to the development of the Oil and Gas Sector Guide on Implementing the Guiding Principles (as part of the initiative of the European Commission), as well as initiated and actively participated in developing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Business Reference Guide (joint project of the UN Global Compact, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the International Labour Organisation, etc.).

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29 November 2019

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