B-Tech foundational paper | Identifying human rights risks related to end-use
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide technology companies with a robust approach to focus attention and resources as they seek to address risks to people related to the products and services they provide. This is especially valuable for those companies that will have to regularly review and make decisions about products and services that can be used at scale, almost anywhere and by a large number of different private and public institutions, or individuals.
When it comes to identifying and assessing human rights risks - the first step of human rights due diligence - the UNGPs expect companies to:
-Maintain a wide view of possible impacts: This means identifying the risks to all humanrights related to the full range of a company’sbusiness activities and relationships. This includes whether and how the design, development, promotion, sales, licensing, contracting and use of its products and services could lead to adverse human rights impacts.
-Focus on the most serious harms: This means that any prioritisation of focus should bebased on where the company's business activities have – or could have - the most serious, widespread or lasting harms on people.
-Engage and communicate meaningfully with stakeholders: This means that a company should engage with relevant external stakeholders to first inform, and later explain, its human rights risks assessment and prioritisation.