New Tool on Operationalizing the VPs Through the Lens of Protecting the Rights of Women and Other Disadvantaged Groups

October 3, 2023 •

The Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) is pleased to launch the IGT Companion Tool — Operationalizing the Voluntary Principles Through the Lens of Protecting and Respecting the Unique Needs and Rights of Women and other Disadvantaged Groups.  

The new Companion Tool serves as an additional resource document to the existing Implementation Guidance Tools (IGT) developed by the Initiative in 2011. Used widely since its creation, the IGT was developed to provide guidance to companies seeking to ensure their security operations are undertaken in a manner that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  However, since the IGT was developed in 2011, there has been growing recognition that some groups are often at a heightened risk of experiencing security-related human rights violations due to their sex, gender identity, age, ethnicity, religion, or other factors. These groups, such as women, children, and Indigenous Peoples, may suffer greater impacts and face additional barriers to accessing the mechanisms meant to address human rights violations. In response to such recognition, the VPI oversaw the IGT Companion Tool to focus on the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in the context of protecting the rights of disadvantaged groups, including in conflict-affected settings.  

Funded by Global Affairs Canada , and authored by ESG management consultancy Stratos and non-profit organization IMPACT after extensive analysis and research, the IGT Companion Tool equips organizations with a number of important concepts and steps to better identify and respond to potential risks and negative impacts that their security operations may have on women and other disadvantaged groups, along with practical tools, informative case studies, examples and links to additional resources.   

“Empowering disadvantaged groups is not just a moral imperative, but a strategic necessity. The IGT Companion Tool sheds light on how companies can, and should, implement the Voluntary Principles in a way that the unique needs and rights of women and marginalized groups are protected, fostering safer and more inclusive communities to the benefit of everyone,” said Mora Johnson, Head of the VPI Secretariat.  

The IGT Companion tool is now publicly available on the Resource Library page of the VPI website.  

Additional Useful Resources

About the Voluntary Principles 

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are an internationally recognized set of principles that guide companies on how to conduct their security operations while ensuring respect for human rights. 

To promote implementation of the Principles, the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) was created. The Initiative is comprised of over 60 members including companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations that share best practices and mutually support the implementation of the Principles. 

Contact the VPI Secretariat at 

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