News

Drummond Talks about Human Rights with Communities in its Areas of Influence

Cienaga, March 12, 2018

Representatives of communities in the areas of influence of Puerto Drummond during the meeting organized by the company to share information about its human rights policy.

Drummond Ltd. opened up an arena in El Cesar and Magdalena to talk with representatives of communities located in the company’s area of influence about the policy it has implemented for the promotion and respect of human rights.  The purpose of the meeting was to request feedback and identify opportunities for improvement.  The director of ARDURA S.A.S., Jose Unda, a human rights advisor joined Drummond Ltd. in the presentation.

The meeting, which took place first at the Pribbenow mine, was attended by councilpersons and municipal ombudsmen, as well as representatives of community action boards in the municipalities of El Paso (and the district of La Loma), Becerril, Codazzi and La Jagua de Ibirico.

A second meeting was then organized at Puerto Drummond with similar representation from districts such as Copey and Cordobita, Afro descendent communities, the Youth Committee, Asocomunal, and the municipal ombudsmen of Aracataca, Cienaga and Fundacion. In addition, the municipal games library, the office of the Secretary of Government of Cienaga, and the Presidents of the Community Action Boards in the neighborhoods Mar Caribe, Barrio Abajo, Ariza Celedon, Miramar, los Girasoles, La Floresta, Simon Bolívar and Nancy Polo all participated in the conversation.

The Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN in Spanish), with whom Drummond has partnered in social responsibility and reconciliation projects was present. Also at the meeting was the United Nations Office for Project Services, or UNOPS, the operator of the company’s partnership with the government’s Department of Social Prosperity, which provides housing solutions for vulnerable communities in its area of influence.

During the meetings, presenters explained that the implemented policy includes a matrix that describes how to manage human rights risks. It is oriented by standards such as the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs). Eight material rights were identified in the region where the company operates.

The (VPs) focus on making recommendations to oil and mining companies about how to act in a country where there is an internal armed conflict. This standard is based on analyzing the risk run by others, relations with the public security forces and private security contractors, the commitment on the part of employees to respect human rights, and the importance of talking about these issues with civil society.

The (UNGPs), developed by Professor John Ruggie at Harvard, can be summarized using three verbs: protect, respect, and remedy. The first function is the duty of the State, the second is the responsibility of companies, and the third is the combined responsibility of the two of them.

The representatives of the different communities underscored Drummond Ltd.’s position relative to the peace process and the post-conflict era, and its interest in identifying, preventing, and mitigating potential impacts on human rights for every one of its stakeholders in its different contexts. The sources of risk that have been identified and the management measures assigned to each one of them were also presented.

“It’s good they’ve established a policy for human rights, because inside Colombia we have had cases where companies have participated systematically in violating the rights of their employees. It’s important to adopt a policy of respect,” stated Luis de Leon, ombudsman in the municipality of Fundacion.

Martin Campo, Secretary of Government of the municipality of El Paso, Cesar stated, “These activities are very positive and give us a great deal of satisfaction, given that they indicate that the company is watching out for these rights not only in their neighboring communities, but also in the course of their operations.”

Each participant was given an opportunity at discussion tables to make suggestions and ask questions about Drummond Ltd.’s human rights policy, the standards adopted by the company, sources of risks, management measures, and the complaints and claims system. All of these opinions were recorded and will be properly reviewed in order to respond to them in a timely manner. In addition, it was agreed that an office would be opened to serve the community inside the office of the Mayor of Cienaga on Mondays from 7: 00 to 10:00 am, to make access easier in the case of any requests, complaints, or claims.