ExxonMobil – Adopt a Human Rights Policy to Uphold the Principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2001 – 2002)
WHEREAS, we believe that transnational corporations operating in countries with repressive governments, ethnic conflict, weak rule of law, endemic corruption, or poor labor and environmental standards face serious risks to their reputation and share value if they are seen to be responsible for, or complicit in, human rights violations; and,
WHEREAS, Our company (ExxonMobil Corporation) operates in several countries where allegations of serious human rights violations have been made including: Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Indonesia, and Nigeria; and,
WHEREAS, our company does not possess a comprehensive human rights policy that would enable it to effectively manage and avoid these risks; and,
WHEREAS, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is recognized as the basic international standard for human rights; and,
WHEREAS, several of our company’s major competitors have already adopted a comprehensive human rights policy based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and,
WHEREAS, we believe that significant commercial advantages may accrue to our company by adopting a comprehensive human rights policy including: enhanced corporate reputation, improved employee recruitment and retention, improved community and stakeholder relations, and reduced risk of adverse publicity, consumer boycotts, divestment campaigns, and law suits;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the shareholders request the Board of Directors of ExxonMobil Corporation develop and adopt a comprehensive and verifiable human rights policy which shall include an explicit commitment to support and uphold the principles and values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the shareholders request the Board of Directors adopt such a policy at the earliest possible time and that they report on the progress made in this regard no later than November 1, 2002.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: In addition to basing our company’s human rights policy on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that any adequate company human rights policy should also include consideration of the following:
1. Workplace standards based upon the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO Conventions No. 29, 87, 98, 100, 105, 111, 138, and 182).
2. A policy on the use of security personnel, both private security and security forces provided by the government of a host country, that is based upon and consistent with internationally accepted human rights norms, such as the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
3. A policy requiring a human rights and social impact assessment be conducted prior to our company’s decision to invest in countries that are experiencing civil conflict or which have poor human rights records, as evidenced by credible reports by independent human rights organizations or by the annual country reports on human rights prepared by the U.S. Department of State.
4. A plan for implementing these commitments and policies throughout our company’s global operations that provides for a secure and independent complaint mechanism, provisions for consultation with local affected communities, provisions for social auditing by credible independent agencies, and provisions for annual public reporting.