Human rights are basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled. Human rights apply to every person across the globe regardless of their birthplace, age, personal beliefs and/or any other individual attribute. PanAust supports and respect human rights consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights encompass a broad range of issues in relation to PanAust’s employees, contractors and suppliers, local communities, business partners and other stakeholders impacted by its operations. The Company understands that to manage human rights risks and realise opportunities, PanAust needs to build collaborative and transparent relationships with key stakeholders across the mine life cycle. Where available, PanAust uses existing systems and processes for the assessment and management of human rights issues and as a minimum, PanAust meets applicable legal requirements in relation to human rights.
PanAust human rights management approach
- The PanAust Way
- Sustainability Policy
- Sustainability Standards
- Member Company – Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
- Commitment to the ICMM Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement
- Human rights risk assessment
- Human rights due diligence
- Social and Environmental Impact Assessment
- Stakeholder analysis (including indigenous peoples, gender, vulnerable and disadvantaged)
- Workforce practices and feedback mechanisms
- Stakeholder engagement (including disadvantaged groups) appropriate to the project and location context and the IFC Performance Standards
- Supplier evaluations and contract clauses related to human rights
- Project designs, development and closure consistent with cultural and social values of host communities
- Grievance mechanisms, resettlement and compensation protocols
- Community Development (including opportunities to enhance the human rights of host communities eg. access to water and improved healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities)
- Social and Environmental Management Plans
Check and report
- Periodic surveys (including socioeconomic, perception, employee surveys)
- Periodic audits (including deep dive reviews and annual audits of Laos operations against the IFC Performance Standards, contractor audits)
- Internal and external reporting
- Whistleblower Standard and Service
PanAust is a member of the United Nations Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) and has in place clear guidance and procedures to manage the human rights aspects of security at its operations and projects. As the Company’s activities in Papua New Guinea ramp up, PanAust’s existing security processes, procedures and training will be implemented.
In 2015, the only country in which PanAust had security personnel assigned to its operations was Laos. PanAust employs loss prevention personnel to perform an unarmed access control, static security and emergency response function across the Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai sites. The Lao People’s Army (LPA) also provide a security function and are required by the Government of Laos to have a presence at PanAust’s Operations and remote exploration sites. The Company works closely with the LPA through a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines the Company’s expected standard of behaviour and ‘use of force’ expectations.
The Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai Operations are located in Xaisomboun Province in Laos, which was historically the location of insurgent activities largely as a legacy of the Indo-China conflicts of the 1960s and early 1970s. The area remains one of the least developed in Laos and the legacies of conflict remain and, at times, security-related incidents have occurred within close proximity to PanAust’s operations and exploration activities. When such an event arises the Lao operations have well-developed security protocols. These include increased security presence and escorts, suspending remote work activities, and limiting personnel movements.
The LPA‘s role largely supports regional security external to PanAust’s active working areas, however they may also provide a presence alongside selected infrastructure and Company assets due to their criticality and/or vulnerability. The Company works closely with the LPA under strict standards observed through a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines the Company’s expected standard of behaviour and ‘use of force’ expectations while the LPA are supporting selected operational activities.
PanAust also employs Loss prevention personnel to perform an unarmed access control, static security and emergency response function across the Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai sites.
Prior to commencement, LPA undertake a Company-provided induction program each time they are engaged. The induction covers the areas of safety, use of force as it relates to the laws of Laos, and key components of the VPSHR, underpinned by The PanAust Way and the Company’s values and other behavioural guidelines.
Contracts for engaging public and private security providers outline PanAust’s requirements in relation to international law enforcement principles and the use of force on Company sites. This includes the ability to screen and remove from operating sites any person found to be in breach of PanAust’s requirements.
PanAust’s stakeholder engagement mechanisms incorporate regular engagement on security-related matters with communities and the Government of Laos. Monthly meetings are held between site security personnel and local village leaders to discuss local security issues or grievances that may exist and quarterly meetings are held with Provincial Commanders from the LPA. The process is supported by the Company’s grievance management procedure.
Periodic internal human rights risks assessments incorporate security-related human rights risks.
Details of any human rights issues that PanAust has addressed during each calendar year are published in the Company’s annual ‘Business Review and Sustainability Report’.