Australia has announced that it is to join Canada, the
Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Colombia, Switzerland, the
United Kingdom and the United States as a government participant in
the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
The Voluntary Principles are supported by participating governments, and a number of NGOs
with over 20 companies signed on, mainly major oil companies and
senior mining companies.
The Voluntary Principles were established by a small, but
growing group of governments, companies and NGOs in 2002 to help
extractive industries maintain the safety and security of their
operations within an operating framework that ensures respect for
human rights, fundamental freedoms and international humanitarian
The Voluntary Principles are, not surprisingly, voluntary and
nonbinding, providing practical methods to assist oil, gas, and
mining companies with:
Comprehensive assessment of human rights risks associated with
security, with a particular focus on complicity.
Plans for engaging appropriately with public and private
security in conflict-prone areas.
Proactive human rights screenings of and training for public
and private security forces.
Policies regarding when the use of force is proportional and
Systems for reporting and investigating allegations of human
In 2012, the Government of Canada hosted the Annual Plenary
Meeting at which members exchange views and experiences on the
issues and promote their aims. The 2012 plenary received reports on
Angola, DRC, Ghana, Iraq, Libya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Peru, Tanzania
and Yemen. Importantly, the 2012 plenary also approved the creation
of a formal not-for-profit administrative organisation, the
Voluntary Principles Association, to be based in the Hague,
Recognising that implementation of the Voluntary Principles can
be challenging, particularly for those not part of the initiative,
the International Finance Corporation, International Council on
Mining and Metals, IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry
association for environmental and social issues), and the
International Committee of the Red Cross have jointly published a
set of implementation guidance tools.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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