Oil and gas companies are recommended to develop a policy commitment to respect human rights and to communicate their commitment publicly. This recommendation is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This study assesses, based on accessible information on the Internet, if the 35 largest oil and gas companies in term of revenues from Asia, Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Australia in fact are implementing the recommendation. The study also attempts to assess, if the implementation of the recommendation varies depending on a company's origin and nature of ownership. The study shows that the majority of companies state – explicitly or implicitly – that they are committed to respecting human rights and often with a reference to UN Global Compact. The exception is companies headquartered in Middle East countries. All companies in the study recognize the importance of corporate social responsibility. The majority understands human rights as what is referenced in the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and there are indications that this is regarded as the minimum standard for conducting business with legitimacy. If the company has an explicit policy commitment, it is approved at the most senior level. The policies assessed do not generally indicate that companies have undertaken a systematic assessment of their potential areas of impact, and the policies apply mostly internally or to business relations but rarely other parties directly linked to its operations, products and services in their application to other than internal of the companies.
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