At Cerrejón, we are committed to respecting the human rights of our employees, contractors, and neighbouring communities.

Our policy is aligned with Colombian legislation, agreements on human rights by the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and standards adopted by the company, which include:

  • The United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
  • The Global Compact
  • The social and environmental Performance Standards 1, 5, and 7 of the International Finance Corporation

As part of the ICMM Sustainable Development Framework, we have defined due diligence processes to understand and suitably manage the risks and impacts our activity may cause.

Human Rights Policy

Due diligence process in human rights

According to international standards, specifically the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies should implement processes to identify, prevent, and mitigate all their impacts (potential and real) and offer compensation when they do occur.

We have designed a due diligence process that includes:

  1. Identification of social and human rights impacts
  2. Definition of management measures
  3. Communication and engagement on impacts and their management
  4. Integration of results into corporate systems
  5. Handling complaints related to impacts
  6. Process assurance and continual improvement

Assessment of human rights impacts

Independent consultants have carried out two assessments of human rights risks and impacts.

The first one took place from 2010 to 2011 and the second one from 2016 to 2017. Both assessments included multiple interviews with employees, contractors, community members, civilian organizations, authorities, and so on.

These studies have provided us with a better understanding of our surroundings and our impacts, allowing us to develop plans to improve our impact management and, therefore, entailing a higher commitment to respecting human rights.

In 2016, we commissioned another human rights risks and impacts assessment. We have been presenting the results internally and will soon share them with outside groups

Socialization of results of impact studies

Cerrejón is committed to promoting constructive dialogue with our employees, contractors, and neighbouring communities on impacts identified by the company both in our own exercises and in the aforementioned studies. Therefore, Cerrejón organized sessions to talk with over 500 people from communities in our area of influence about the impacts found in the first study on human rights impacts. The impacts found in the second study, as well as the management measures, will be discussed with our stakeholders with the goal of learning their opinions and recommendations to enrich both impact identification and management.

Application of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

We are aware of the security risks deriving from our operations’ area.

We are committed to implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights standard, which seeks to have security activities for assets and people take place with complete respect.

At Cerrejón, we have defined a process for applying this standard that includes such fundamental elements as:

  1. Including clauses on human rights and respect for the Voluntary Principles in contracts and agreements with the public security forces and with private security companies that provide security services to the company.
  2. Divulging our policies and commitments on this topic with the public security forces and private security companies.
  3. Offering training in human rights and the Voluntary Principles to the public security forces and private security companies.
  4. Maintaining continual engagement with the public security forces and private security companies in order to ensure their commitment to human rights and the Voluntary Principles.
  5. Handling complaints related to security topics.
  6. Holding regular talks on handling security issues.
  7. Measuring performance.

We are an active member of the National Mines and Energy Committee on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, a group comprising Colombian government institutions, companies from the extractive sector, and certain civilian organizations interested in sharing good practices on implementing this standard.


We are aware that our responsibility is for the entire operation. Therefore, we have designed clauses in the contracts for the provision of services and suppliers that commit contractors to respect the human rights of their workers and communities.

The contracts are explicit as to respect for all labour standards and worker rights.

We audit these contracts, and there is a joint mechanism with the trade union to address claims concerning contractor performance.

Complaints Office

As part of the due diligence in human rights process, since 2010 we have had a Complaints Office to address possible negative impacts of the operations on employees, contractors, and communities neighbouring the operations.

Our Complaints Office is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles, which define the criteria for establishing rights-based principles.

Learn more about schdules, e-mails and general information about our complaints office.