Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector has a vital role to play in realizing human rights and in achieving the vision laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including by facilitating mobile banking and remote learning and enabling greater citizen participation, freedom of expression, and coordination of democratic movements through social media platforms. Yet, ICT companies can cause, contribute to or be directly linked to adverse impacts on workers, users, customers, or other individuals through business activities and business relationships.
Human rights issues in the ICT sector include digital rights, security and conflict, discrimination and range of supply chain impacts, including child labor and forced labor, among other issues.
While some companies have started embracing their responsibility to respect human rights in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including by joining multi-stakeholder initiatives like the Global Network Initiative (GNI), most are at an early stage of adopting and implementing human rights policies and processes, and few disclose information on these efforts.
Our corporate engagements therefore seek to encourage ICT companies to adopt and implement human rights policies and processes that respect human rights, including mechanisms that enable remedy for victims of abuses. We also engage governments and other standard-setting bodies to help ensure that these entities create enabling environments for responsible business conduct.
Engagement activities include:
Investor letters and statements;
Company dialogues on human rights policies and due diligence processes;
Filing shareholder proposals;
Engaging governments and international organizations to strengthen legislation, regulation, policies, and other relevant standards aimed at promoting corporate respect for human rights; and
Convening and participating in multi-stakeholder discussions.
A selection of Investor Alliance actions and resources
Know The Chain 2018 Benchmark Report on forced labor risks within global ICT supply chains
Ranking Digital Rights 2019 Corporate Accountability Index on disclosure commitments and freedom of expression and privacy policies
To become involved in the Investor Alliance efforts on ICT or to learn more, contact Paloma Muñoz Quick at email@example.com.