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Our approach to human rights is informed by general concepts from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We built on the strength of our experience and integrated human rights into existing governance and business management systems.


The Shell General Business Principles, Shell Code of Conduct and relevant policies in the areas of human resources, security, contracting & procurement, and social performance support our work to meet society’s expectations around human rights.

We focus on four areas across Shell’s activities where respect for human rights is especially critical to the way we operate: communities, labour, supply chains and security.

A working group of experts co-ordinates across our activities in this area across the company.

We seek to work with contractors and suppliers who contribute to sustainable development and are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. The Shell Supplier Principles provide a simple and consistent framework of our expectations for all our suppliers.

Before we invest in any project, for example, we require integrated environmental, social and health impact assessments to be carried out. We engage with local people who may be affected along with other interested parties, to finding practical ways to manage concerns and generate benefits through our business activities.

Our people

Staff in offices at the Pearl GTL project, Qatar

Staff in offices at the Pearl GTL project, Qatar

The Shell General Business Principles are designed to ensure that our employees respect the human rights related to their activities and seek business partners and suppliers to observe standards similar to our own.

Our Code of Conduct informs staff how to apply our Business Principles, including respect for the human rights of our employees and support for human rights in line with the legitimate role of business. 

In this code we recognize that conducting our activities in a manner that respects human rights as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the International Labour Organization supports our licence to operate.

We train staff on how to comply with the code.

Working with others

We support international declarations and conventions developed to protect human rights.

Together with other firms, non-governmental organisations and governments we are involved in several external voluntary initiatives designed to help implement human rights policies.

We also consult with experts to better understand social challenges in areas where we operate.

Our work with the Danish Institute for Human Rights is helping us to further shape our approach on human rights.

The collaboration has helped us integrate human rights thinking into our existing business processes, aiming to identify and address potential impacts; particularly when we consider entering or operating in politically sensitive countries and regions.

With our industry counterparts through IPIECA (The global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues) we contributed to the industry programme on human rights. The programme published guides on due diligence and community feedback mechanisms in the oil and gas industry.

We are a member of the Global Business Initiative for Human Rights, a group of businesses from  different sectors that aims to advance human rights in a business context around the world.

Our support also includes external initiatives designed to uphold human rights, such as the UN Global Compact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.