Ericsson joins the Global Network Initiative as an observer

In conjunction with the annual Human Rights Day, Ericsson is announcing that in 2018 it will participate as an observer in GNI, the leading freedom of expression and privacy forum related to the ICT sector.

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is a multi-stakeholder group comprised of internet, telecommunications operators and vendor companies, as well as more than 35 civil society organizations, investors and academic members. The group has created a collaborative initiative to protect and advance the internationally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

Human rights issues are fundamentally important to Ericsson, and for several years now the company has worked systematically to embed a human rights framework across the organization and strengthen due diligence processes.

In 2012, Ericsson committed to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) throughout its business operations and in the Ericsson Code of Business Ethics. Ericsson was one of the early adopters, and the first ICT company, to apply the UNGP Reporting Framework — the first comprehensive guidelines for companies to report on how they respect human rights.

“While the risks facing the various actors in the ICT ecosystem may differ, they can all benefit from exchanges of insights and best practices,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. “GNI companies — internet platforms, equipment providers, and telecommunications service providers alike —  face growing pressures from governments that risk harming the rights of their users,” she added. “We are thrilled to bring Ericsson’s expertise on vendor-specific challenges and awareness on ICT and human rights to GNI, helping us further build our leverage and best practices on free expression and privacy for the entire ICT value chain.”

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability & Public Affairs Officer, Ericsson, says: “Human rights issues are important for Ericsson and we believe that being an observer in GNI will allow us to share our experiences, join in peer learning, and continue to drive positive change in challenging areas. GNI is an important driver of protecting the right to privacy and freedom of expression and we look forward to joining the initiative’s activities in 2018.”

Ericsson will participate in the GNI as an observer starting January 1, 2018.  Observer status lasts for one year and is an opportunity for companies who are actively considering joining the organization to examine the initiative's policy advocacy, as well as the expectations and impact of the GNI Principles on free expression and privacy all GNI member companies must commit to.

Find out more about Ericsson’s responsible business practices here.


About Human Rights Day, December 10

Human Rights Day is observed each year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and established fundamental human rights to be universally protected.