Why you should read this note
The ICT sector faces ever-increasing scrutiny over how human rights issues are being considered in the design of products and services, as well as how their operations more broadly impact upon human rights-  online but also offline . The range of stakeholder interest is broad- including boards, shareholders and investors, as well as governments, consumers, civil society organizations, and the wider public.

This note examines the new UNHCR resolution, as well as existing resolutions and voluntary codes, and provides summary guidance to companies in the ICT and media sectors on the implications of the resolution for companies’ who are committed to supporting the attainment and enjoyment of human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals through their operations and products.

The note highlights the range of human rights and development impacts – both positive and negative- that may be present or possible through ICT companies’ goods and services. We focus in particular on markets where we see closing space for civil society and those markets that experience poor governance, political volatility, high rates of violent crime, or conflict.

Who should read this note

The ICT sector comprises companies offering a range of products and services, including hardware and software manufacturers, network vendors, telecommunications operators and web-based service providers.

This note provides summary guidance for companies across this spectrum, however,  understanding the role of your firm and identifying the specific responsibilities and potential human rights and development impacts associated with your company’s products and services, and for specific markets requires more in-depth analysis.

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