Finance

Telecommunications and Human Rights - An Export Credit Perspective

07 February 2017

Under an export credit system, loans and risk cover can be arranged for a domestic exporter’s international customers. Providing loans to international customers promotes a country’s export industry and reduces the risk of non-payment to domestic exporters. Such export support also carries with it inherent human rights risks and responsibilities.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights refer to the responsibility of States to “take additional steps" to protect against human rights abuses by businesses that receive substantial support and services from state agencies such as export credit agencies and official investment insurance or guarantee agencies, including, where appropriate, "by requiring human rights due diligence”.

This Report, launched in Paris the week of the OECD's 3rd workshop for practitioners from Export Credit Agencies, focuses on export credits granted to the telecommunications sector by Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board (EKN) and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), the organisations involved in Sweden’s export credit system. The purpose of the Report is to:

  • Clarify the Swedish export credit system´s responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles in telecom transactions
  • Suggest principles for human rights due diligence for export credits in telecom transactions

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Commentary by Julia Batho, Research Fellow, IHRB