Human rights

We recognise that our mining activities have the potential to adversely impact the human rights of our stakeholders – particularly our workforce and members of our host communities. Gold Fields is committed to upholding and respecting the human rights of these important stakeholder groups.

We recognise our mining activities have the potential to adversely impact the human rights of our stakeholders – particularly our workforce and members of our host communities. Gold Fields is committed to upholding and respecting the human rights of these important stakeholder groups.

Our Human Rights Policy Statement, which is embedded in our Code of Conduct, applies to everyone working for Gold Fields, including directors, contractors and suppliers.

Our Code of Conduct can be found on our website at

The Human Rights Policy Statement commits Gold Fields to, among other things:

  • Uphold fundamental human rights and freedoms
  • Undertake human rights due diligence assessments
  • Provide training and guidance for all relevant employees, including security employees and contractors
  • Raise awareness of human rights issues with our business partners and collaborate with them to address any concerns identified
  • Encourage diversity and inclusivity in our workplace
  • Provide on-site grievance mechanisms for our workforce and communities

The Human Rights Policy Statement is informed by and supports various international standards. These include the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labour Organization, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), the ICMM Mining Principles and Performance Expectations and the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles.

Eight salient human rights have been identified at Gold Fields. These issues have the potential to cause the most severe negative impacts because of our activities or business relationships, and mitigating them is the focus of work by our operational teams.

In 2022, our operations and project continued to implement mitigation plans to address the findings of our most recent human rights due diligence assessments, as detailed below. Key findings from this assessment are:

  • All operations have a low probability of adverse human rights impact, and no operation was identified as having a high probability of adverse human rights impact
  • Physical and psychological safety, as well as procurement and gender issues, have a medium probability for adverse impact at most operations

We continued the roll-out of our elearning human rights training in 2022 to equip all our employees with a sound understanding of human rights, how these rights affect our company and stakeholders, and empower our people to uphold these rights. Over 90% of those assigned to the training completed it.


Our Human Rights Policy Statement commits Gold Fields to protect the rights of our workforce and uphold freedom from child labour, freedom from forced or compulsory labour, freedom from discrimination (while recognising the need to affirm previously disadvantaged groups) and freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Our Diversity Policy details our commitment to equality and the zero-tolerance approach we take to discrimination.

We have internal grievance mechanisms in place to ensure employees and contractors can raise human rights concerns. Grievances are handled by Gold Fields' HR function in consultation with legal teams. A confidential third-party whistleblowing hotline is in place for stakeholders. These mechanisms will be reviewed in 2023 in response to learnings from our workforce culture review.

Performance in 2022

  • We have a 2030 diversity target of 30% female representation. We achieved 23% Group-wide representation during 2022, and continue to drive and report on additional diversity and inclusion indicators see People programmes for strategic delivery
  • We continued to incorporate gender diversity as a metric in our long-term incentive programme
  • We updated policies related to job recruitment and selection, as well as flexible work practices
  • We conducted an independent review of gender and ethnicity (South Africa) pay parity and are addressing the findings
  • We adopted recognised living wage methodologies for our countries of operation, and publicly committed to pay all employees a living wage
  • To address adverse findings from the extensive employee surveys we undertook in 2022, we introduced culture, leadership and operating model strategic initiatives
  • We started an independent, Group-wide review to identify additional measures for safe, inclusive and respectful workplace environments. See Building a safe and respectful workplace for further information about gender safety at our mines
  • Following the 2021 internal and external reviews of our workforce culture in Australia, we commenced with the implementation of our Respectful Workplaces #listen programme around creating safe, respectful and inclusive workplaces

Our Living Wage commitment can be found on our website at


We seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with our host communities through meaningful engagement based on mutual respect and trust. More than for any other stakeholder, our operations have the potential to adversely impact the rights, traditions and cultures of our host communities.

Our Community Policy requires everyone working for or on behalf of Gold Fields to undertake mining activities in a way that avoids harm and builds respectful relationships with communities.

Performance in 2022

  • No resettlement was undertaken at our operations
  • We continued the roll-out of our ASM Strategy at our Ghanaian operations
  • Our Australian sites aligned their plans with the region's revised Aboriginal Engagement Strategy and Cultural Heritage Management Standard by developing detailed engagement and cultural see heritage management plans


Community grievance mechanisms

We are committed to addressing community issues and concerns relating to our operations timeously and effectively, where possible. We rely on an external grievance reporting system to maintain confidence and transparent communication with our stakeholders. This mechanism enables and encourages community members to voice their complaints freely, while obligating our mines to address the grievances within an agreed period. Where our team is not able to resolve grievances, they are escalated to independent mediation.

During 2022, our operations dealt with 92 (2021: 65) grievances lodged by our communities, of which 16 related to jobs and procurement, 29 to social and 48 to environmental-related issues. We resolved 84% of these grievances within the agreed timeframes. The grievances that took longer to resolve mostly concerned our contractors and suppliers.


Our suppliers are required to comply with the principles of the Group Code of Conduct and our Human Rights Policy Statement, among others, as a standard provision in all third-party contractual agreements. An external third-party screening system evaluates new and existing suppliers and contractors monthly for an array of pre-defined risk categories, including workers and other human rights and related violations and/or transgressions.

Gold Fields is committed to responsible materials stewardship. We support global efforts to prevent the use of newly mined gold from financing conflict. We implement the World Gold Council's Conflict-Free Gold Standard. No infractions were incurred in 2022.

Further information is available at www.

Performance in 2022

  • Gold Fields registered its second Modern Slavery Compliance Statement with the Australia Federal Government
  • Gold Fields Australia continued to implement a new cloud-based supplier sustainability solution to enhance its responsible sourcing programme in the areas of human rights, with the option to expand its use in the future for supply chain decarbonisation

Gold Fields' protection services teams work with private and public security providers to protect our workers and assets effectively and responsibly. Our operations are aligned with the VPSHR, a commitment we first made in 2017.

All Gold Fields and private security contractors receive human rights training during the induction process and at least annually thereafter, including the VPSHR. Security is managed at regional level because each region has its specific context.

Performance in 2022

  • There were no incidents of human rights abuse by private security or public law enforcement at our operations
  • A total of 49 police officers deployed to our Damang and Tarkwa sites in Ghana received VPSHR training
  • Training of security officers at South Deep meets the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers, and covered topics on the use of force by security officers, handling of firearms, health and safety, reporting and complaints handling
  • Training in the VPSHR was provided to 488 members of Peru's National Police
  • Implementation of the VPSHR continued at our Salares Norte project
  • There were 32 illegal mining incidents at our Ghana operations – all minor in nature – which were resolved peacefully in accordance with our ASM Strategy and our VPSHR commitment