Print this page

Human Rights

Respect for human rights is at the heart of our operating philosophy and we use a number of mechanisms to embed this across our business and the wider diamond pipeline.

We have policies in place, including our Employee Human Rights Policy, our Security and Human Rights Policy, and the several human rights-related elements of our Social Performance Policy, which was updated in 2016. Review of our approach to human rights is coordinated by the cross-functional Human Rights Working Group.

Also, we are integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into our social performance management systems, and all our mining operations have carried out human rights risk assessments. Human rights due diligence and training will be further strengthened in 2017.

Our Best Practice Principles outline requirements to be met by our rough diamond customers and substantial contractors relating to human rights policy and procedures, labour rights, non-discrimination, and child and forced labour.

We are committed to providing a work environment in which every employee is treated fairly, respected and has the opportunity to contribute to business success - and to realise his or her full potential as an individual.

Specifically on non-discrimination, our Employee Human Rights Policy states that there will be no unfair discrimination in employment on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, gender orientation, national extraction or social origin, and that employees will receive equal pay for work of equal value.

We assess the risk of child and forced labour at all our operations. To date, no operations have been identified as presenting a significant risk of child labour.

Our Employee Human Rights Policy prohibits employment of anyone under the age of 16, and under 18 for roles that may be hazardous to their health, well-being or safety, including any night work, underground work and work involving machinery.

The policy also states that employees will not be subjected to any forced labour and that overtime will be voluntary and restricted to the national permitted level. As part of the policy, we respect the right of employees to associate freely and bargain collectively. No operations have been identified where the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining has been violated or is at significant risk.

Investments over US$20 million are considered by our Investment Committee. No significant investment agreements with the potential directly to affect human rights took place in 2016.

Security and human rights

Security is very important to our business. To ensure our responsibility in relation to security, we are committed to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. Across all our security functions, we have completed self-assessments aligned to the Voluntary Principles implementation guidance.

Our Security Services and Human Rights Policy applies to employees and contractors at every level of De Beers Group's majority owned and managed companies. The policy is aligned with the Voluntary Principles.

All security personnel receive training that includes human rights. Since 2006, we have required external contractors to ensure their employees are also trained in the human rights aspects of security. Public security officials and members of the community have also attended classroom sessions held as part of our training programme. In 2016, we completed a new security and human rights training curriculum, developed jointly with Anglo American and International Alert.

Overall, the number of training hours devoted to human rights rose to 4,259 in 2016, up from 2,496 in 2015. The number of people trained in human rights was 2,437 in 2016 (1,023 in 2015).