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Responsible Corporate Security Practices: A Discussion with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development

On 6 May 2021, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) hosted and animated a webinar “Responsible Corporate Security Practices: A Must in High-Risk Environments”. The objective was to discuss with WBCSD member companies how they can ensure that security management respects human rights in conflict-affected or other complex environments and contributes to the sustainable development of communities.

The Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) co-organised this webinar and served as panellists alongside BP, a multinational oil and gas company and a WBCSD member.

The webinar highlighted that security is an issue for all companies whether it relates to their operations and/or supply chains including contractors. Challenges are compounded today by an evolving security landscape, marked by human rights impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, companies must build and maintain their social license to operate. An increasing number of international regimes and instruments require companies to undertake human rights due diligence, and security is increasingly recognised as a core part of such requirements, in all contexts of company operations.

The panel discussion highlighted the centrality of responsible corporate security management as a stepping stone for companies’ contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. Good practices were profiled such as engaging early with local communities, applying inclusiveness in the consultation processes, overcoming siloed approaches and encouraging transversal engagement on security issues across company’s departments. The discussion also allowed to present various guidance documents such as the Toolkit: Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments and to stress on the value of multi-stakeholder engagement to tackle challenges.

To learn more about the context of this webinar, please visit the DCAF-ICRC blog hosted by WBCSD here.