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Human rights are the universal political, civil, economic, labour, social and cultural rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled, without discrimination.1  

1 As defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 

Our ambition

We believe respecting human rights and contributing to the progressive realisation of rights is important to the sustainable operation of our business. Respecting human rights includes avoiding infringing on the rights of others, addressing our adverse impacts and contributing to the fuller enjoyment of human rights as part of our commitment to social value.  

Our approach and position  

Our approach to human rights is set out in our Human Rights Policy Statement and is founded in the belief that all human beings have the right to live a life of dignity. We recognise we have the potential to cause, contribute to or be directly linked to human rights impacts on people through our operated assets, closed and legacy sites, supply chain and relationships with business partners. These include rights related to workplace health and safety, labour rights, activities of security providers, land access and use, water and sanitation, Indigenous peoples’ culture, identity, traditions and customs, and communities near our operated assets – including resettlement and consultation and consent processes.  

We are committed to:  

  • respecting internationally recognised human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights  
  • complying with applicable laws and regulations of the countries where we operate, and where differences exist between Our Code of Conduct (Our Code) and local customs, norms, rules or regulations, we apply the higher standard  
  • being guided by the aims of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples as articulated in our Indigenous Peoples Policy Statement 
  • operating in a manner consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the 10 UN Global Compact Principles.  

Governance and oversight, engagement, disclosure and performance

  • Governance and oversight 
     

    For information on the role of the BHP Board in overseeing our approach to and delivery on sustainability refer to the Sustainability approach webpage

    Our Charter and Our Code set out the expectations and standards of behaviour for our people, as well as contractors, suppliers, and community partners (where under relevant contractual obligation).  The human rights commitments in Our Code are implemented through our Human Rights Policy Statement and our mandatory minimum performance requirements.  

    Our Human Rights Policy Statement was developed in line with Principle 16 of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, included consultation with internal and external stakeholders and was approved by the Board. It is reviewed annually as part of our assessment of management of human rights risks and potential impacts and applies to all operated assets and functions in accordance with our reporting scope and boundaries.  

     

    Human rights due diligence 

    Human rights due diligence is an important part of our approach to respecting human rights, assisting us to identify, prevent and mitigate potential adverse human rights impacts of our operations and business relationships, supporting our dialogue with stakeholders about our potential human rights impacts and identifying opportunities to promote respect for human rights. The Human Rights Policy Statement and the Our Requirements standards outline our approach to due diligence. For our operations, we require human rights impact assessments to be conducted at least every two years (and reviewed whenever there are changes that may affect the impact profile).  

    BHP has developed a globally consistent methodology for our human rights impact assessments that is designed to allow us to identify threats to and potential adverse impacts on, as well as opportunities to promote respect for, human rights throughout our activities. The methodology is designed to begin with a comprehensive view of all relevant human rights, the legal and regulatory context and stakeholders, and focus on the most significant human rights impacts so issues that present the highest threats or opportunities can be prioritised. It allows for local customisation but also enables a global view of human rights risks and potential opportunities for company-wide collaborations. All assessments must include engagement with rights holders and stakeholders to enable a more complete understanding of any actual or potential human rights risks and impacts.  

    Results of the human rights impact assessments are being integrated into BHP’s material risk profile to strengthen our approach to managing and monitoring human rights risks and potential impacts.  

  • Engagement 

    Capacity building  

    Our expectations relating to respecting and upholding human rights are set out in Our Code and associated guidance, which is reviewed annually by all employees and also shared when new employees join BHP. These materials are designed to prompt consideration of human rights both professionally and personally and understanding of the business case for respecting human rights and the processes designed to implement human rights commitments across our activities. 

     

    We also provide access to a human rights online training module for our workforce that can be taken at any time. This video is publicly available to provide the opportunity for our business partners and stakeholders to reflect on the responsibility of business to respect human rights. 

    Issue-specific human rights training is currently mandated for our Corporate Affairs team and our Commercial Compliance team, as these teams lead our human rights-related due diligence efforts. 

     

    Setting requirements for our suppliers  

    BHP’s risk exposure and controls relating to potential adverse human rights impacts in our supply chain are managed in accordance with our Risk Framework. We manage these risks through an approach underpinned by our Human Rights Policy Statement and the Our Requirements for Supply standard. Compliance with these requirements is necessary for suppliers of non-traded goods and services doing business with BHP and they are included in our procurement standard contract suite (along with a specific modern slavery clause), BHP Vessel Charter Party and purchase order terms and conditions.

     

    Our Ethical Supply Chain and Transparency team oversees BHP’s program to manage the risk of modern slavery within our supply chain.   

     

    For more information refer to the Value chain sustainability webpage and BHP’s Modern Slavery Statement

     

    Grievance mechanisms

    BHP has a confidential, 24-hour multilingual business conduct hotline (EthicsPoint) that is open to all, including employees and contractors and members of the public, and local community complaints and grievance mechanisms are required to be in place at our capital projects, operated assets, and exploration regions.

     

    In accordance with our Human Rights Policy Statement, we aim to acknowledge, review and document all issues raised through these mechanisms. Where complaints are investigated and substantiated, we seek to provide for or cooperate in their remediation, and we will continue to work with stakeholders to identify ways to communicate how complaints have been addressed and integrated back into our due diligence process. 

  • Disclosure

    We report annually on our human rights performance through our Annual Report, online sustainability disclosures and Modern Slavery Statement. See below for information on disclosures required by applicable reporting frameworks, including our priority human rights risks under the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 

     

    Resettlement  

    Any resettlements necessary for the conduct of our business must be carried out under a resettlement action plan that aligns with the requirements of the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement.  

     

    Security  

    We seek to manage security at our offices and operated assets based on our values, level of risk exposure and the business requirements of each specific site. This involves a requirement to review our alignment with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights annually and complete improvement plans to address any gaps.  

     

    Modern Slavery 

    BHP reports annually under the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) and the Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018).  Our Modern Slavery Statement describes our modern slavery risks and the actions we are taking to address those risks. 

     

    Areas of conflict  

    Four of the countries in which BHP has a presence meet the Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s definition of being in active conflict. Brazil is the location of a non-operated joint venture asset, Colombia is the location of exploration activity and was the location of a non-operated joint venture asset (prior to completion of divestment of BHP’s interest on 11 January 2022), and India and the Philippines are locations of BHP offices.  

     

    Water and sanitation  

    BHP respects the right to water access, sanitation and hygiene, and the traditional rights of Indigenous peoples and their cultural and spiritual connection to water. 

     

    Through our Water Stewardship program, we continue to improve our understanding of water impacts and challenges across communities. Through engagement activities, we identify opportunities for active contribution or collaboration in water agendas or initiatives. 

     

    Where we are providers of water facilities, we work closely with local authorities and regulators and have adopted a management system approach to help manage risks associated with our commitment to provide access to safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities and management of related infrastructure. This is outlined on our Water webpage.  

  • Performance
    We will take steps to assess adherence to BHP’s mandatory minimum human rights performance requirements across our operated assets and develop improvement plans where necessary. Refer to the ESG Standards and Databook for how we meet various sustainability standards, including human rights.  

Risk

The Sustainability Committee receives periodic updates on emerging human rights issues and trends. Our Risk team reports biannually to a joint meeting of the Board’s Risk and Audit Committee and Sustainability Committee on the Group’s material risk profile, including material human rights risks.  

For more information refer to the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 8 – How we manage risk