Sustainability Report <SR> 2020

Human rights

“We have processes in place to identify, prevent, mitigate and report on our impacts on human rights.”


Respecting Human Rights is embodied in our values – from valuing the safety and health of individuals, treating every individual with dignity and respect, to valuing communities and the environment. We recognise that the issue of human rights cuts across the entire business and extends to our business partners including supply chain, state actors and joint venture partners, and public and private security providers. At AngloGold Ashanti, human rights continue to be material to the Company as we acknowledge the potential for our activities to impact them.

Our approach to human rights is guided by our Human Rights Policy and Human Rights Due Diligence Standard and Guideline. Our framework is informed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). We refer to all internationally recognised human rights as expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. See Integrated talent management for more on employee and labour relations, diversity and inclusion. Our policy is consistent with the 10 principles of the United Nation’s Global Compact (UNGC). Our commitment includes the rights of indigenous peoples, women, children and other groups in society whose situation may render them particularly vulnerable to adverse impacts on their rights.

We have set ourselves the 2030 human rights aspirational goal of “No human rights violations” in line with the SDGs. As such we continue to embed the culture that every AngloGold Ashanti employee has the responsibility to uphold human rights principles. We follow processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts we may have caused or contributed to. Potential human rights violations and allegations are generally self-reported. All operations have grievance and independent, anonymous whistle-blowing mechanisms to ensure that all grievances and allegations are investigated and actioned accordingly.

The human rights landscape is quickly shifting with government and regulators moving towards mandatory human rights due diligence (HRDD) and reporting regulatory requirements such as the Modern Slavery Act. The European Union is already looking at introducing legislation during 2021 to ensure companies prevent human rights impacts. In Australia the Modern Slavery Act passed in 2018 requires that we report annually on the risks of modern slavery in our operations and supply chains, and actions taken to address those risks. See Navigating regulatory and political risks.

2020 was a year like no other as the COVID-19 pandemic presented extraordinary challenges. Our focus was to ensure closer engagement with internal and external stakeholders as we worked to address the human rights concerns intrinsic to protecting the health of our employees and communities. Please see COVID-19 response for more about our COVID-19 humanitarian efforts.

“A key component of the AngloGold Ashanti Human Rights Framework is the implementation of a Human Rights Due Diligence assessment across the group”

Embedding Human Rights into the business

Our journey began in 2017 with HRDD assessments done at all our operations to set the baseline. By 2019, the assessments commenced at a Group level to continue embedding HRDD and assess progress from our baseline. Continued Group-level HRDD assessments at all our operations during 2020 were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-assessment reviews were, however, completed across our portfolio, and virtual group-level assessments conducted at Iduapriem, as part of the internal combined assurance audit. We are mindful that we cannot allow any complacency to creep into our business, particularly given its scale and diverse operating footprint. We therefore continually seek ways to improve our human rights performance. We provide human rights awareness training in the form of induction, classroom-based, refresher or online training. During 2020, a total of 11,574 people received human rights awareness training. We are also conducting a comprehensive review of the Human Rights framework, with the view to relaunching programmes and initiatives during 2021.

Human rights and security

As a member of the ICMM, AngloGold Ashanti actively participates in the ICMM Security and Human Rights Working group designed to promote human rights. We continue to participate in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) initiative, a collaboration between companies, governments and NGOs. These principles provide guidance on AngloGold Ashanti’s broad approach to security management (see Security). Within this context, our ongoing interaction with public and private security providers plays a central role in ensuring our security service providers maintain AngloGold Ashanti’s standards. In 2020, 99% of security personnel received training on the VPSHR, and the respect for human rights.

Human rights and responsible sourcing

Our approach to responsible sourcing demonstrates our understanding of the severity of potential human rights infringements in our supply chain, and the reputational risks this could hold for the Company. As such, we maintain our commitment to ensuring that we assess and investigate the ethics, labour and environmental practices of our direct and indirect suppliers. With our Supplier Code of Conduct we aim to provide our suppliers with clear guidance on our expectations for their behaviors and business practices. We continue to apply our supplier self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) to better monitor and track performance in this regard. During 2020, we undertook to update our SAQ to encompass the modern slavery requirements which focus on potential modern slavery risks in our supply chain.

Human Rights and gender-based violence

Gender-based violence is a topic that invokes sadness, grief and anguish. It is not an easy issue to tackle, but we recognise that businesses have an important role to play and a lot to gain by their efforts in this regard, including improved overall performance, productivity and retention. The victims of gender-based violence deserve our efforts.

In 2018, UN Secretary General António Guterres described violence against women and girls as a “global pandemic” and “a mark of shame on all our societies.” Indeed, gender-based violence affects 1 in 3 women globally. Of its many forms – including physical, sexual, psychological and economic – physical and sexual violence carried out by intimate partners, or domestic violence, is the most widespread. Among their many negative effects, domestic violence and sexual harassment interferes with women’s full and equal participation in the workforce. They impair employees’ physical and mental health and well-being, leading to stress, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, motivation, and even job loss. It also affects women’s opportunities for advancement and career progression. Women usually bear the brunt of genderbased violence, although others are also at risk, including members of the LGBTQI community.

We aim to support our employees through a suite of policies and procedures including our Sexual Harassment Policy, whistleblowing policy, reporting and grievance mechanisms. We continue to create awareness across the business through staff briefings and encouraging staff to sign up and support the various initiatives such as the He4She movement, an initiative of UN Women. AngloGold Ashanti supports the international campaign for 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. We also continue to work in partnerships with the various NGOs and/or places of safety.

In 2020, AngloGold Ashanti through the Corporate CSI Fund contributed $17,000 towards the purchase of equipment for the care and maintenance of the Frida Hartley Shelter, a refuge and recuperation space for abused women and children including programs to aid the healing process and empowering women with skills to be able to stand on their own.

Through the AngloGold Ashanti Chairman’s fund, the company supported the Institute of Healing Memories with funding of $67,000 towards the organisation’s Gender Based Violence programme and social cohesion dialogues across a few provinces in South Africa.

The rights of indigenous peoples

Embedded in our values is the understanding and respect for the values, traditions, and cultures of the local and Indigenous Communities in which we operate. Although only our operations in Australia are close to indigenous communities. AngloGold Ashanti seeks to ensure that our interactions with Indigenous Peoples are in keeping with the basic human rights and their social, economic and environmental interests. We are guided by our human rights framework and the Indigenous Peoples Management Standard which aligns to the International Standards and conventions including the ICMM Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and the IFC’s Performance Standard 7 on Indigenous Peoples. The principles of free, prior, informed consent are therefore largely applied in all our interactions with host communities and indigenous peoples, focusing on good faith negotiation. In addition, our Cultural Heritage and Sacred Sites Management Standard, also supports our focus on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We contribute through various programmes aimed at providing opportunities for participation in employment, education, gender equality, inclusive procurement amongst others.

Even though the roll out and/or implementation of most projects was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, we were able to assess a number of our programmes virtually or by other appropriate means. In response to COVID-19, we were able to contribute significant funds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Foodbank and Lifeline (a free mental health service) through our membership of the Gold Industry group in Western Australia. Other immediate needs for communities in Laverton and Kalgoorlie were met through sourcing hand sanitiser stations, soap and community hand washing machines.

Our Indigenous Employment Programme known as “Get into Mining” saw seven trainees who started the programme in 2019 successfully graduate and transition into full-time roles at our Tropicana Gold Mine during 2020. This was the third successful delivery of the programme by AngloGold Ashanti and its business partners Macmahon and Carey Mining.

As part of our education programmes, we started supporting the Dandjoo Darbalung initiative in partnership with JV partner at Tropicana Gold Mine, IGO, Sunrise Dam mining contractor, Barminco, and Sandfire Resources. Through the partnership, we have committed to a three-year sponsorship of this programme to provide support for Aboriginal students with their tertiary studies while encouraging and nurturing their cultural identity.

As a founding member of the Laverton Leonora Cross Cultural Association (which adopted a new constitution and new name to become the Laverton Cross Cultural Association Inc. in 2019), we continue to provide management support to the association. This community-based association is a collaborative project also supported by Glencore, Lynas Corporation and Gold Fields, as well as local Aboriginal organisations, pooling their resources to generate stronger and more sustainable local community-based initiatives. The LCCA operates as a community hub, which includes an art gallery for Aboriginal artists to display and sell their works, a women’s room for arts and crafts projects and a workshop shed, which is used for a range of activities from wood working to music programmes.

Our performance

New suppliers screened in 2020
Using labour practices criteria46
Using human rights criteria46
Using environmental criteria46
Using impact on society criteria51
13,483 people received human rights awareness training
Indicator 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Number of human rights reported incidents under VPSHR00032
Number of human rights allegations under VPSHR03126
Security personnel trained in the organisations' human rights policies and procedures (%)99.099.5989494
Incidents of violations involving the rights of indigenous peoples00000
New suppliers screened
Using labour practices criteria 46408030.59100
Using human rights criteria 46407577.59100
Using environmental criteria 46404330.59100
Using impact on society criteria 51406830.59100
Operations and suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labour and measures taken to effectively abolish child labour* 00
Operations and suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour* 00
  • * As an organisation we have not identified instances of child labour at any of the operations. AngloGold Ashanti subscribes to the International Labour Organisations principles and as such have internal global policies to this effect, namely:
  • Ethics Regional head of departments, general manager’s and all management are responsible for the implementation of the policies.