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03 – Human Rights

ICMM company members commit to respect human rights and the interests, cultures, customs and values of workers[1] and communities affected by our activities

ICMM members undertake to uphold the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and to cooperate in processes that remedy adverse impacts on the rights of employees and local communities.

Performance Expectations

Developed with extensive input from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and academics, our Mining Principles establish baseline performance expectations for a responsible mining and metals industry. ICMM's Mining Principles include nine Performance Expectations under Principle 3: Human Rights.

  • 3.1 – Respect Human Rights

    Support the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by developing a policy commitment to respect human rights, undertaking human rights due diligence and providing for, or cooperating in processes to enable the remediation of adverse human rights impacts that members have caused or contributed to.

  • 3.2 – Avoid Involuntary Resettlement

    Avoid the involuntary physical or economic displacement of families and communities. Where this is not possible apply the mitigation hierarchy and implement actions or remedies that address residual adverse effects to restore or improve livelihoods and standards of living of displaced people.

  • 3.3 – Manage Security While Protecting Human Rights

    Implement, based on risk, a human rights and security approach consistent with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

  • 3.4 – Respect the Rights of Workers

    Respect the rights of workers by: not employing child or forced labour; avoiding human trafficking; not assigning hazardous/ dangerous work to those under 18; eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination; respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining; and providing an appropriate mechanism to address workers grievances.

  • 3.5 – Provide Fair Pay and Working Hours

    Equitably remunerate employees with wages that equal or exceed legal requirements or represent a competitive wage within that job market (whichever is higher) and assign regular and overtime working hours within legally required limits.

  • 3.6 – Respect Indigenous Peoples

    Respect the rights, interests, aspirations, culture and natural resource-based livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples in project design, development and operation; apply the mitigation hierarchy to address adverse impacts; and deliver sustainable benefits for Indigenous Peoples.

  • 3.7 – Work to Obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent

    Work to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples where significant adverse impacts are likely to occur, as a result of relocation, disturbance of lands and territories or of critical cultural heritage, and capture the outcomes of engagement and consent processes in agreements.

  • 3.8 – Promote Workplace Diversity

    Implement policies and practices to respect the rights and interests of women that reflect gender-informed approaches to work practices and job design, and that protect against all forms of discrimination and harassment, and behaviours that adversely impact on women’s successful participation in the workplace[2].

  • 3.9 – Promote an Inclusive Workplace

    Implement policies and practices to respect the rights and interests of all workers[3] and improve workforce representation in the workplace so it is more inclusive.

Supporting Global Goals

As momentum behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues to grow, there is mounting pressure on the private sector to support the delivery of a wide variety of development objectives. ICMM’s Mining Principles can support the mining and metals industry in addressing climate change, ending poverty and tackling rising inequalities.

Each SDG connects with or can be directly influenced by ICMM’s Mining Principles. Unlike many other sectors, there is no primary point of connection between mining and a single SDG. Instead, operations have the extraordinary potential to contribute to several goals at once. The contribution mining products to almost every aspect of life is arguably becoming more important than ever – with metals and minerals enabling the innovations needed to deliver pathways to a greener, safer and more sustainable future.


1. 'Workers' is defined in the Health and Safety Performance Indicators Guidance, 2021, as 'people who are engaged in work-related activities on behalf of an employer. Workers may be employees, contractors or third parties'.

2. 'Workplace' is defined in the Health and Safety Performance Indicators Guidance, 2021, under work environment as 'the establishment and other locations where one or more workers are engaged in work-related activities as a condition of employment. The work environment includes not only geographic or physical locations but also the equipment or materials used by the worker during the course of his or her work'.​

3. All workers regardless of sex, gender, national origin, Indigeneity, age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, ethnicity, linguistic background, physical or mental ability status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, socio-economic background and/or other categories of under-representation.​