Voluntary Principles Outreach

Existing Cooperation with Voluntary Principles Pillars and Other Entities

Ambatovy realizes that it is part of the national and international community and as such, it is working with organizations at all levels to deliver initiatives under the VPSHR. Ambatovy participates in regular information sharing and meetings with diplomatic representations in Madagascar as well as Rio Tinto, another large mining operation conducting works in the south of the island. Partnerships have been formed with the United Nations, the Ministry of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate and deliver Security and Human Rights awareness and training. In 2012, Ambatovy facilitated the conduct of a Security and Human Rights risk assessment by subject matter experts with wide internal and external stakeholder consultation, the recommendations of which largely contributed to the development of its VPSHR program. Ambatovy is continuously looking to develop further partnerships in order to strengthen its commitments and support for the VPSHR initiatives.

As a part of Ambatovy’s commitment to the VPSHR, the company hosted a five-day seminar from February 4-8, 2013, in Toamasina, framed within the context of the Voluntary Principles on Human Rights.
Over 50 attendees were present including representation from the Army, the Gendarmerie, the Police, the Judiciary, BIANCO (National Independent Anti-Corruption Office), and the Chiefs of the Districts of Toamasina and Brickaville as well as Ambatovy’s private security contractors.

The seminar was organized in partnership between Ambatovy, the United Nations, the Ministry of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The goal was to refresh the knowledge of and to create new understanding on human rights, specifically in the context of respect for the right of life and the protection of rights during arrests and detention as well as standards for use of force during public demonstrations.

In March 2013, Ambatovy attended the Voluntary Principles Association annual plenary meeting in the Hague, Netherlands, in order to better understand the role of participant members and learn the experiences, successes and challenges of member governments, corporations and NGOs.

Ambatovy collaborated with the French Embassy Gendarme cooperation program for a formal ‘non-lethal’ use of force training program to be delivered by the Embassy’s subject matter experts to Government Security Forces in Toamasina. In April 2013, a one week training program delivered international ‘best-practice’ techniques and procedures on the maintenance of public order to over 100 Army, Gendarmes and Police Officers.

Ambatovy requested the expert assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct a Train the Trainers program for Law Enforcement Officers in Toamasina, Moramanga and Brickaville with a view to achieving a sustainable framework for the promotion and respect of Human Rights in Security activities in Ambatovy’s area of operations. In July 2013, 25 Gendarme and Police Officers attended the course and will provide a sustainable capability on the subject of Security and Human Rights awareness training to Government Security Forces in the years ahead.

In March 2014, the first Human Rights awareness training was delivered by the Trainers to the FIGN (Gendarme Intervention Force) who have mobilized to Toamasina to conduct security operations.

On June 12, 2014, Ambatovy further strengthened its commitment to the promotion of the respect for Human Rights in Madagascar, hosting a symposium for the diplomatic, international business and security communities.

The central theme related to Public and Private security operations and speakers from the US State Department, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Search for Common Ground and Ambatovy’s Security Department offered differing perspectives as well as initiatives undertaken by their organizations to promote the respect for Human Rights in the Security sector. The interactive dialogue during the symposium offered the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned.

In 2015, Ambatovy provided training refresher courses for all of the government Security Forces involved in the protection of its zones and basic information on human rights was included in the training curriculum for all of the Company’s private security providers.