human rights

Our Charter value of Sustainability reminds us to put health and safety first, to be environmentally responsible and to support our communities. Respect for human rights is critical to the sustainability of our business and industry.

We commit to operating in a manner consistent with the:

  • United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact
  • International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining
  • Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

We must respect, and work to, uphold and advance human rights in everything that we do. We acknowledge that our activities have the potential to impact human rights and we manage this through our core business practices. This includes consideration of workplace health, safety and labour conditions, activities of security forces, land and water access and use, impacts on the rights and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and other communities that live near our operations, resettlement and local community programs.

Expectations and resources

Our approach to environmental management is based on the identification, assessment and control of risks across all phases from exploration to development, operation and closure.

  • Our expectations of you

    Our Requirements for Communications, Community and External Engagement and Our Requirements for Major Capital Projects – Phase Requirements require due diligence to be undertaken to assess human rights risks. As part of risk management, you must identify any risks to human rights that may arise through business activities, functions and processes and to mitigate, or wherever possible eliminate, such risks. If community resettlement is required, it must be undertaken in accordance with the International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement.

    You should never threaten, punish or take disciplinary or retaliatory action against anyone, inside or outside of BHP, for raising or helping to address a human rights concern.

    Indigenous peoples

    We recognise the traditional rights of Indigenous peoples and acknowledge their right to maintain their culture, identity, traditions and customs. You should exercise cultural sensitivity and recognise and respect sites, places, structures and objects that are culturally or traditionally significant.

    In relation to new operations or major capital projects that are located on lands traditionally owned by, or under customary use of, Indigenous peoples, comply with the ICMM Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining by completing host government regulatory processes or complying with domestic laws where they are consistent with the objectives of the ICMM Position Statement.

    Safety and security personnel

    When engaging a security provider you should communicate in writing our commitment to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and our expectations of them and provide training if required. If you are engaging a private security provider, they must be a signatory to, or agree in writing to align with, the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers.

    Grievance mechanisms and remedy

    For any adverse human rights impacts that may be caused, or contributed to by BHP, contact EthicsPoint or your local BHP office for information about the complaints and grievance process.

  • Our expectations of others who work with us

    We expect our suppliers to apply our human rights related minimum requirements for suppliers in relation to child labour, inhumane treatment of employees, forced or compulsory labour, non-discrimination and diversity, freedom of association, living wage, workplace health and safety and community interaction.

    We encourage our non-operated joint ventures and minority interests to adopt similar principles and standards to BHP’s.

  • Where to go for help

    • Your line leader or 2Up leader
    • Corporate Affairs
    • Legal
    • Human Resources
    • EthicsPoint
    • Local complaints and grievance processes
  • Tools and resources




  • Consider the human rights implications of Company activities.
  • Identify and address human rights risks and adverse impacts from the perspective of the person who holds the right.
  • Undertake due diligence on our suppliers to assess their alignment with human rights.
  • Report evidence of any human rights concern to your line leader or 2Up leader, through EthicsPoint or your local BHP office complaints and grievance process.
  • Ensure human rights concerns and complaints are investigated and remedied, if appropriate, and the outcomes are reported to relevant stakeholders.


  • Engage public or private agencies to provide security to a BHP site without confirming their compliance (for private security providers) or intention to operate consistently (for public security providers) with the requirements and intent of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
  • Threaten, punish, discipline, or retaliate against anyone, inside or outside BHP, for raising or helping to address a human rights concern.

Example questions and answers


Indigenous engagement

Question - I’m aware that the local Indigenous community has strong connections to the land on which we operate, but there doesn’t seem to be any active engagement to ensure their significant sites are effectively identified and managed. I raised this with my team and they seem to think that they don’t need to worry about it. Is this correct?
  • Show Answer

    All of our assets must implement a framework for identifying, documenting and managing aspects of cultural significance. You should speak with your line leader or 2Up leader, utilise the local complaints and grievance process, or contact EthicsPoint.


Supplier forced labour

Question - I visited one of our suppliers at their factory to inspect some equipment BHP is planning to purchase. While I was there, an employee of the supplier pulled me aside and said that the factory manager was withholding her passport and insisting that she work excessive hours for minimal wages. Is this illegal? What should I do?
  • Show Answer

    Forced labour is a violation of the basic human right to freely choose your work. The key element in many situations of forced labour is coercion — forcing people to work when they do not freely consent. Migrant workers may be coerced through withholding their passports or identity documents. If you are ever made aware of forced labour in any of BHP’s suppliers then you must immediately raise it with your line leader or 2Up leader, utilise the local complaints and grievance process or contact EthicsPoint. BHP has minimum requirements for suppliers in relation to forced or compulsory labour.

 Report a concern


In person: Speak to your line leader, 2Up leaders or Human Resources representative


Online: EthicsPoint Online

Phone: EthicsPoint Telephone


BHP Business Conduct,
GPO Box 86,
Victoria 3001, Australia