Respect for human rights

Access to communications is a basic human need and this is embodied in our approach to human rights. Over the past several years we have worked to develop and strengthen our human rights framework to fulfil our responsibility to respect human rights according to the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights.

Human Rights

We respect all internationally recognized human rights including the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour OrganizationĀ“s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We strive to avoid infringing on the human rights of others and address adverse human rights impacts with which Ericsson is involved. We have implemented the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights throughout our business operations, including UNGP on Business and Human Rights Reporting Framework.

Business and human rights statement

At Ericsson we believe that access to networks and technologies that enable communication is a basic human need that underpins the principles of freedom of expression and opinion and the free exchange of ideas and information. This statement clarifies Ericsson’s commitment, as described in our Code of Business Ethics and our Code of Conduct for Business Partners, to internationally recognized human rights and explains how Ericsson works to embed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) throughout our business operations.

Defining salient issues

Salient human rights issues are those human rights that are at risk of the most severe negative impact through a company's activities or business relationships, according to the UNGPs. We have defined our salient human rights issues to be the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression in connection to the use of our technology, and more labor rights focused issues in relation to our supply chain. For more details on salient human rights in our supply chain, see the Responsible Sourcing page. Our commitments to address and engage actively in our salient human rights issues are highlighted in our Code of Business Ethics (CoBE), Code of Conduct for Business Partners (CoC) and Business and Human Rights Statement. We identify and manage human rights issues in a number of ways, including Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA), stakeholder consultations, and internal processes such as sensitive business and responsible sourcing.

Human rights impact assessment

Our Human rigths impact assessment (HRIA) process considers potential adverse human rights impacts that Ericsson may cause or contribute to through our own activities, or which may be directly linked to our operations, products or services via our business relationships. The aim is to ensure that we respect human rights within the scope of our business operations and analyze the social, operational and human rights context for doing business. Over the years, we have carried out HRIAs in a number of countries since 2009. Our HRIAs address all relevant human rights issues, and provides us with valuable insights about how these issues arise and how they can be mitigated.

Conducting due diligence

Since 2012 we work with Shift, the leading non-profit center of expertise on the UNGPs, to systematically embed a human rights framework across our company. This work significantly strengthens our due diligence processes. We have integrated human rights due diligence into our sales process to help us assess, prevent and mitigate potential negative impacts on the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy – two of our most salient human rights issues. Specifically, we aim to reduce the risk that third-parties use our technology, services and knowledge directly or indirectly in a way that impacts negatively on these human rights. When risks are identified in a sales opportunity, each case is evaluated according to the sensitive business risk methodology and may be approved, approved with conditions or rejected. Conditional approvals include technical and/or contractual mitigations, and its implementation is monitored to ensure adherence.

Training and raising awareness

Raising employee awareness about human rights is key to our approach. We have a human rights and business e-learning available for all employees and it is mandatory training for certain functions, including Legal Affairs, Security and Corporate Audit. The training describes human rights issues, opportunities and challenges for Ericsson, international requirements, and key concepts used in the business and human rights framework.

Modern slavery and human trafficking

In Ericsson's Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement we describe how we are tackling the challenge of modern slavery and human trafficking throughout our operations and supply chain, in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act. Relevant Ericsson Group companies directly affected by the UK Modern Slavery Act arrange for local approvals of the Group statement. Signed versions will be available on file and a copy of the statement will be made available by the relevant Ericsson Group company to anyone who makes a written request for one.

Read the SCR report