Our Business Principles guide our approach to ethics and human rights. They require our employees and business partners, including contractors, to act ethically. We define this as upholding and promoting human rights within our areas of influence, which involves respecting the cultural heritage, customs and rights of communities - including Indigenous peoples - and not offering, soliciting or accepting any form of bribe.
To ensure that our actions and decisions align with these principles, Xstrata developed a Code of Conduct to provide guidance about how to put them into practice. We launched the code in 2011; we expect that all employees and contractors will be briefed about it by the end of 2012.
We screen potential investment and tenders on major contracts considering general human rights performance issues. Xstrata does not assess bidders and investment partners on human rights performance as a specific criterion. However, once we have chosen a preferred contractor or supplier, their contract with us requires them to adhere to our Business Principles and (since July 2011) our Code of Conduct.
Operating in Australia, with its relatively strong institutional framework of rights protection, we see a low risk to the rights of our people regarding their freedom of association and to collective bargaining, nor are child labour or forced labour issues for our operations or our contractors. Artisanal or small-scale coal mining generally does not occur in Australia and does not affect our operations, and there have been no instances where communities have had to be resettled as a result of our activities.
We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and our parent company is a signatory to the UN Global Compact (UNGC). The Xstrata Sustainable Development Framework is aligned with the 10 universally accepted principles of the UNGC in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.