Information & Communication Technology

ICANN’s Corporate Responsibility to Respect

17 November 2015

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet - thereby ensuring the network's stable and secure operation

This report sets out the reasons that the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are the most appropriate framework for ICANN to follow in its mission to develop human rights policies and processes.

Article 19 asked IHRB to produce a report on the human rights responsibilities of ICANN, with input from the members of the Cross Community Working Party on ICANN’s Corporate and Social Responsibility to Respect Human Rights (CCWP-HR).

This paper is intended to build on and complement the previous reports published by the Council of Europe and ARTICLE 19 on ICANN’s responsibility to respect human rights. The paper sets out the reasons that the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are the most appropriate framework for ICANN to follow in its mission to develop human rights policies and processes, and then presents options as to how ICANN can begin to implement them. One of the initial aims of this paper was to develop a template for human rights impact assessments (HRIA) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting.

The paper was presented for discussion by IHRB's USA Director Motoko Aizawa at ICANN54 in Dublin in October 2015.

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