[CCWG-ACCT] What are the WS2 activities that ensue from a WS1 bylaws commitment to human rights?

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Fri Jul 31 08:11:45 UTC 2015


In order to outline some of the work that would need to be done in WS2,
given a WS1 bylaws commitment to human rights, e.g.  Drazek as ammended
by Lisse

/Within its mission and in its operations, ICANN will be committed to respect the fundamental human rights, inter alia, the exercise of free expression and the free flow of information./

I have extracted the following text from

* Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The UN text also contains explanations for each item.  But for those who do not have time to read the whole document and Holly's excellent papers on this, this list is a starting place. these guiding principles are based upon fundamental human rights as defined in the UDHR, the ICCPR and the IESCR, i.e. the International Bill of Rights and ILO Pundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

In my view, the operational policy already existing in ICANN and being added by WS1 meet many if not most of the conditions already.  The list serves as a guideline of issues to be further studied in WS2 as a means of meeting the committment we need to include in WS1.

Given an choice I would recommend that the first activity of WS2 would be for appropriate staff to produce a mapping of each of these to the various ICANN principles and operational practices.


These Guiding Principles are grounded in recognition of:

    (a) States’ existing obligations to respect, protect and fulfil
    human rights andfundamental freedoms;
    (b) The role of business enterprises as specialized organs of
    society performing specialized functions, required to comply with
    all applicable laws and to respect human rights;
    (c) The need for rights and obligations to be matched to appropriate
    and effective remedies when breached.

(1-10 all pertain to states)

*A. Foundational principles*

11. Business enterprises should respect human rights. This means that
they should avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should
address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved.

12. The responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights
refers to internationally recognized human rights – understood, at a
minimum, as those expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights
and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the
International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental
Principles and
Rights at Work.

13. The responsibility to respect human rights requires that business

    (a) Avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts
    through their own activities, and address such impacts when they occur;
    (b) Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that
    are directly linked to their operations, products or services by
    their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to
    those impacts.

14. The responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights
applies to all enterprises regardless of their size, sector, operational
context, ownership and structure. Nevertheless, the scale and complexity
of the means through which enterprises meet that responsibility may vary
according to these factors and with the severity of the enterprise’s
adverse human rights impacts.

15. In order to meet their responsibility to respect human rights,
business enterprises should have in place policies and processes
appropriate to their size and circumstances, including:

    (a) A policy commitment to meet their responsibility to respect
    human rights;
    (b) A human rights due diligence process to identify, prevent,
    mitigate and account for how they address their impacts on human rights;
    (c) Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights
    impacts they cause or to which they contribute.

*B. Operational principles*

16. As the basis for embedding their responsibility to respect human
rights, business enterprises should express their commitment to meet
this responsibility through a statement of policy that:

    (a) Is approved at the most senior level of the business enterprise;
    (b) Is informed by relevant internal and/or external expertise;
    (c) Stipulates the enterprise’s human rights expectations of
    personnel, business partners and other parties directly linked to
    its operations, products or services;
    (d) Is publicly available and communicated internally and externally
    to all personnel, business partners and other relevant parties;
    (e) Is reflected in operational policies and procedures necessary to
    embed it throughout the business enterprise.

*Human rights due diligence*

17. In order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they
address their adverse human rights impacts, business enterprises should
carry out human rights due diligence. The process should include
assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and
acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how
impacts are addressed. Human rights due diligence:

    (a) Should cover adverse human rights impacts that the business
    enterprise may cause or contribute to through its own activities, or
    which may be directly linked to its operations, products or services
    by its business relationships;
    (b) Will vary in complexity with the size of the business
    enterprise, the risk of severe human rights impacts, and the nature
    and context of its operations;
    (c) Should be ongoing, recognizing that the human rights risks may
    change over time as the business enterprise’s operations and
    operating context evolve.

18. In order to gauge human rights risks, business enterprises should
identify and assess any actual or potential adverse human rights impacts
with which they may be involved either through their own activities or
as a result of their business relationships. This process should:

    (a) Draw on internal and/or independent external human rights expertise;
    (b) Involve meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups
    and other relevant stakeholders, as appropriate to the size of the
    business enterprise and the nature and context of the operation.

19. In order to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts,
business enterprises should integrate the findings from their impact
assessments across relevant internal functions and processes, and take
appropriate action.

    (a) Effective integration requires that:

        (i) Responsibility for addressing such impacts is assigned to
        the appropriate level and function within the business enterprise;
        (ii) Internal decision-making, budget allocations and oversight
        processes enable effective responses to such impacts.

    (b) Appropriate action will vary according to:

        (i) Whether the business enterprise causes or contributes to an
        adverse impact, or whether it is involved solely because the
        impact is directly linked to its operations, products or
        services by a business relationship;
        (ii) The extent of its leverage in addressing the adverse impact.

20. In order to verify whether adverse human rights impacts are being
addressed, business enterprises should track the effectiveness of their
response. Tracking should:

    (a) Be based on appropriate qualitative and quantitative indicators;
    (b) Draw on feedback from both internal and external sources,
    including affected stakeholders.

21. In order to account for how they address their human rights impacts,
business enterprises should be prepared to communicate this externally,
particularly when concerns are raised by or on behalf of affected
stakeholders. Business enterprises whose operations or operating
contexts pose risks of severe human rights impacts should report
formally on how they address them. In all instances, communications should:

    (a) Be of a form and frequency that reflect an enterprise’s human
    rights impacts and that are accessible to its intended audiences;
    (b) Provide information that is sufficient to evaluate the adequacy
    of an enterprise’s response to the particular human rights impact
    (c) In turn not pose risks to affected stakeholders, personnel or to
    legitimate requirements of commercial confidentiality.


22. Where business enterprises identify that they have caused or
contributed to adverse impacts, they should provide for or cooperate in
their remediation through legitimate processes.

23. In all contexts, business enterprises should:

    (a) Comply with all applicable laws and respect internationally
    recognized human rights, wherever they operate;
    (b) Seek ways to honour the principles of internationally recognized
    human rights when faced with conflicting requirements;
    (c) Treat the risk of causing or contributing to gross human rights
    abuses as a legal compliance issue wherever they operate.

24. Where it is necessary to prioritize actions to address actual and
potential adverse human rights impacts, business enterprises should
first seek to prevent and mitigate those that are most severe or where
delayed response would make them irremediable.

*III. Access to remedy*

*A. Foundational principle*
25. As part of their duty to protect against business-related human
rights abuse, States must take appropriate steps to ensure, through
judicial, administrative, legislative or other appropriate means, that
when such abuses occur within their territory and/or jurisdiction those
affected have access to effective remedy.

*B. Operational principles*
*State -based grievance mechanisms*
26 & 27 refer to state obligations

*Non-State -based grievance mechanisms*

28. States should consider ways to facilitate access to effective
non-State based grievance mechanisms dealing with business-related human
rights harms.

29. To make it possible for grievances to be addressed early and
remediated directly, business enterprises should establish or
participate in effective operational-level grievance mechanisms for
individuals and communities who may be adversely impacted.

30. Industry, multi-stakeholder and other collaborative initiatives that
are based on respect for human rights-related standards should ensure
that effective grievance mechanisms are available.

*Effectiveness criteria for non-judicial grievance mechanisms*
31. In order to ensure their effectiveness, non-judicial grievance
mechanisms, both State-based and non-State-based, should be:

    (a) Legitimate: enabling trust from the stakeholder groups for whose
    use they are intended, and being accountable for the fair conduct of
    grievance processes;
    (b) Accessible: being known to all stakeholder groups for whose use
    they are intended, and providing adequate assistance for those who
    may face particular barriers to access;
    (c) Predictable: providing a clear and known procedure with an
    indicative time frame for each stage, and clarity on the types of
    process and outcome available and means of monitoring implementation;
    (d) Equitable: seeking to ensure that aggrieved parties have
    reasonable access to sources of information, advice and expertise
    necessary to engage in a grievance process on fair, informed and
    respectful terms;
    (e) Transparent: keeping parties to a grievance informed about its
    progress, and providing sufficient information about the mechanism’s
    performance to build confidence in its effectiveness and meet any
    public interest at stake;
    (f) Rights-compatible: ensuring that outcomes and remedies accord
    with internationally recognized human rights;
    (g) A source of continuous learning: drawing on relevant measures to
    identify lessons for improving the mechanism and preventing future
    grievances and harms;

    Operational-level mechanisms should also be:

    (h) Based on engagement and dialogue: consulting the stakeholder
    groups for whose use they are intended on their design and
    performance, and focusing on dialogue as the means to address and
    resolve grievances.

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

More information about the Accountability-Cross-Community mailing list