FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oxfam leaves Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights multi-stakeholder initiativeApr 17, 2013
International relief and development organization Oxfam America has announced that it will be leaving the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights multi-stakeholder initiative for the extractive industry. Keith Slack, global program manager for extractive industries, made the following statement:
“Oxfam joined the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights (VPs) in 2006, but has decided to terminate its membership at this time. For the past 6 years, Oxfam was a leader in moving the VP agenda forward with key accomplishments in standards, complaint mechanisms, participation criteria and governance.
“Our decision stems in large part from our frustration at the lack of meaningful progress in independent assurance, despite more than ten years of deliberation and discussion -- and notwithstanding the commendable efforts of some companies to develop relevant indicators on the margins of the VPs. We believe that independent assurance - as a condition of membership - is essential to building and maintaining the credibility of the VPs and strongly encourage members to push for its adoption.
“We recognize the important contributions the VPs have made to the protection and promotion of human rights. We also recognize the on-going work of member companies working towards improvements in their on-the ground implementation of the VPs in many of their operations. We continue to be supportive of the VPs and wish it the best of success in its efforts.”