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Summary of consultation on the practical application of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the activities of technology companies - Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/50/56/Add.1)

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Human Rights Council
Fiftieth session
13 June–8 July 2022
Agenda items 2 and 3
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

Summary

The present report was prepared pursuant to the request of the Human Rights Council in its resolution 47/23. In that resolution, the Council requested the High Commissioner to convene a multi-stakeholder consultation to discuss the practical application of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the activities of technology companies. The report contains a summary of the discussions held during that consultation.

I. Introduction

1. In its resolution 47/23 on new and emerging digital technologies and human rights, the Human Rights Council reaffirmed the importance of a holistic, inclusive and comprehensive approach and the need for all stakeholders to collaborate in a more concerted way in addressing the possible impacts, opportunities and challenges of new and emerging digital technologies with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights. It requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to convene an expert consultation to discuss the practical application of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Guiding Principles) to the activities of technology companies and to submit a report to the Council at its fiftieth session. The Council further requested OHCHR to seek input from and to take into account the relevant work already done by stakeholders from diverse geographic regions.

2. In accordance with the latter request, a call for submissions1 was sent out on 22 December 2021 to all states and other stakeholders mentioned in resolution 47/23, and elicited 38 submissions. These submissions fed into the two-day expert consultation on 7 and 8 March 2022. The consultation explored the normative content, as well as the practical experiences, opportunities and challenges faced, in applying the Guiding Principles to the technology (tech) sector. The present addendum provides an overview of the expert consultation and the key content of the discussions that took place. The document complements a report on the subject matter (A/HCR/50/56).