Investor Coalition Warns of Human Rights Risks in ICT Sector

The Investor Alliance for Human Rights, a global collective action initiative run by the US-based Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), has published a briefing for institutional investors outlining human rights expectations for the sector and how some of these issues can be addressed. The briefing includes examples of the impact ICT companies may have on salient human rights issues, human rights due diligence guidance for investors, and an outline of the ‘business case’ for engaging with ICT companies on human rights-related issues. Despite the benefits around education, healthcare and other public services that ICT companies can offer, the Alliance pointed to research such as the results of a recent benchmark published by the Global Child Forum, which highlighted gaps in the ICT sector, including the protection of child rights. “Generally considered to be a good investment in terms of ESG and financial performance, ICT companies are increasingly coming under pressure from investors who are engaging with these companies on their human rights performance in a robust and organized fashion. ICT companies have a responsibility to address their impacts on child rights to ensure they are not causing, contributing, or directly linked to harm,” the briefing said. ICCR has also published human rights briefings on privacy and data protection, discrimination and political participation.  

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