Why use a multi-stakeholder approach?

The Voluntary Principles Initiative is composed of governments, key international non-governmental organizations, and companies in the industries of extracting, harvesting, developing natural resources, or energy. Together, members strengthen their capacity to address complex security and human rights issues in business operations around the world.

Security concerns present particularly challenging issues that benefit from a multi-stakeholder approach. Different stakeholders bring unique perspectives and have access to different types of information. Governments possess diplomatic information related to the security sector; companies have firsthand knowledge regarding the challenges of working with security providers on the ground, and NGOs have access to information regarding impact on local communities. By working together, stakeholders are better equipped to address concerns collectively.

Building trust and learning collectively

The multi-stakeholder aspect of the Voluntary Principles Initiative helps promote the sharing of best practices and provides opportunities for collective learning and problem-solving. These interactions between different stakeholders build trust which, in turn, promotes both improved collaboration to address root causes of existing security and human rights concerns, and coordinated and timely responses to specific challenges that arise over time.

Sharing challenges. Finding solutions

Through participation in the Initiative, governments, NGOs, and companies develop working relationships through which they can collaborate to share information and participate in dialogue regarding challenges in Voluntary Principles implementation and develop tools that will help define best practice for securing operations in a way that respects human rights.

Solving problems together

Engage in mutual learning and joint problem solving with a group that is well versed in security and human rights issues.

Thinking global, acting local

Create joint approaches and partnerships to address the challenges of security and human rights at the international, national and project level.

Bringing a lasting impact

Deepen understanding and collective solutions to complex on-the-ground problems lead to a more lasting positive impact on security and human rights issues.

Our Members

How to become a member

Applications are assessed during two annual windows. Therefore, all applications must be submitted in writing by March 31 or September 15. Applicants need to demonstrate how they meet the entry criteria. The Steering Committee, in consultation with members, reviews the application and requests additional information, if needed. An applicant may contact the Secretariat to check the status of an application at any time during the process.

Membership Documents

Joint effort. Collective gain

Through the implementation of the Voluntary Principles and participation in the Initiative, governments, NGOs and companies develop relationships through which they can participate in dialogue, engage in mutual learning and joint problem solving, create common approaches to address challenges, and jointly promote human rights for a lasting positive impact.

For governments

Reaffirms government commitment to the protection of human rights and prevention of conflict. Promotes transparency and good corporate social responsibility practices and encourages a more stable investment environment.

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For companies

Minimises security-related impacts on communities and aligns corporate policies with internationally recognized human rights principles. It also reduces reputational concerns and contributes to operational stability.

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For NGOs

Provides a better understanding of issues related to security and human rights, improving the ability to advocate for change. Provides tools and approaches that can be incorporated into their work.

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Resource library

Our library identifies key resources to support implementation of the Voluntary Principles and international best practices related to security and human rights.

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