Cross-cutting Issues

Jun 7, 2019

Business and Human Rights is one of the main pillars of Ecopetrol´s Corporate Responsibility Strategy. It focuses on guiding the behavior of the Ecopetrol Group in matters of Human Rights, by following the guidelines of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. According to this Human Rights management is based on the due diligence principle, so Ecopetrol has a Human Rights Policy, implements risks analysis, adopts actions in order to prevent, mitigate and remediate negative impacts on human rights and has a strong relationship with the State in order to make additional efforts to respect human rights.

The definition of the Human Rights plan includes the changing expectations of stakeholders, best practices and international corporate responsibility issues, in order to leverage the achievement of business objectives.

This pillar is managed based on three premises that guide the Company's actions in this matter:

  1. Ecopetrol has publicly declared its commitment to respect human rights. Business and Human Rights” is a cross-cutting issue for the seven interest groups of Ecopetrol.
  2. As a mixed economy Company, it must adopt “additional measures” regarding how human rights are managed, in order to avoid negative impacts thereof derived from its operations (Report prepared by the Working Group on human rights issues for transnational companies and other companies, 2016).
  3. Based on the above premises, Ecopetrol's objective is to ensure that the Company carries out its activities in compliance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).

To achieve this objective, Ecopetrol formulated the 2019 Action Plan, based on three sources of information:

  • Identification of gaps based on diagnostics, external assessments and risk analysis on human rights.
  • International and national standards on human rights
  • Results of perception surveys to all of Ecopetrol's stakeholders.



Human Rights Guide - English version

Ecopetrol has a human rights policy, updated in 2019. Within the new version of the Human Rights Guide, the following should be highlighted:

  1. The Company's commitment to respect human rights is explicitly recognized, and its actions based on the following international standards:
    • (i) United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
    • (ii) The Ten Principles of the Global Compact
    • (iii) The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and
    • (iv) The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
  2. Five principles are incorporated into human rights management: due diligence in human rights, continuous improvement, mainstreaming, complementarity and collaborative work.
  3. Human Rights
    • Right to life
    • Right to integrity of the person
    • Right to liberty
    • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
    • Right to dignified, favorable, and appropriate working conditions
    • Rights of the Child
    • Right to equality and nondiscrimination in employment or occupation
    • Right to freedom of expression
    • Right to information
    • Ethnic groups’ right to participate through prior consultation
    • Collective and environmental Rights


  • Human Rights Assessments

Ecopetrol has carried out human rights risk analysis since 2013. In the last two years, it has carried out risk analysis from the regional point of view: in 2018 it carried out a risk analysis for the Oriente and Orinoquía regions and in 2019 it did it for the Magdalena Medio region. The three evaluations have been carried out by an independent third party, following the guidelines given by Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, taken into account additional standards like the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and OCDE Due Diligence Guidance for responsible business conduct.

The most recent risk analysis in the Magdalena Medio region was carried out by Fundación Ideas para la Paz (independent expert), in ten municipalities in this region, where Ecopetrol has operations: Puerto Berrío and Yondó in Antioquia; Puerto Wilches, Barrancabermeja and Sabana de Torres in Santander, Cantagallo in Bolívar, Puerto Boyacá in Boyacá, and San Alberto, Aguachica and San Martín in Cesar.

Currently, there are risk prevention and mitigation plans for the Oriente and Orinoquía regions.

  • Main issues


Ecopetrol provides mechanisms so that all stakeholders can express their disagreements, expectations and needs to the company, so that they can be managed and analyzed, giving timely and quality responses to requests from stakeholders.

Ecopetrol follows the provisions of the law on the “Right of Petition”, as a fundamental right.


  • Guías Colombia

Guías Colombia is a multi-stakeholder initiative that since 2006 has brought together companies, state entities, civil society organizations and international organizations. Its mission is to contribute to improving the situation of Human Rights and IHL in the country, by generating practical due diligence guidelines for companies that promote human rights-friendly operations.

As a sign of Ecopetrol's commitment to the implementation of the Guidelines resulting from the initiative, the company has applied the tool to identify gaps in Human Rights. In 2019 Ecopetrol apply the tool referring to the implementation of the Guide on the Purchase and acquisition of land rights and rights of use. During 2020 Ecopetrol will apply the tool related to the Guide on grievances and complaints mechanisms.


The program aims to promote diversity and consolidate an inclusive work environment, fostering a collective awareness of the value of differences and the development of fair working conditions. Each artist has a Senior Management Sponsor and a community of volunteers to promote the initiatives that are carried out in each one with the following purposes:

  • Gender: Increase the participation of women in the Ecopetrol workforce, promoting fair labor practices, greater participation in leadership positions, development of high-performing women and working conditions that facilitate their entry into the industry, such as family balance and prevention of gender violence
  • Disability: Favor fair working conditions of attraction, training, development and work environment for the population with disabilities.
  • Victims, reintegrated and withdrawn from the Armed Forces: Contribute to the reduction of social, cultural and economic gaps that must be faced by the population belonging to retired from the Armed Forces, Victims of violence and reintegrated.
  • Ethnic groups and origin: favor an inclusive work environment that promotes equal opportunities in the attraction, training and development of the population without distinction of race, origin, ethnicity, religion or social condition.
  • Sexual orientation: Favor an inclusive work environment that overcomes prejudice and promotes equal opportunities in attracting, training and developing the population without differentiating sexual orientation.
SDG 5. Gender equality
SDG 6. Clean water and sanitation
SDG 7. Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8. Decent work and economic growth
SDG 12. Responsible production and consumption
SDG 13. Climate action
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