The MTN Group has announced that it joined the Global Network Initiative (GNI), signalling its commitment to strengthening and innovating digital human rights efforts.
The GNI is a multi-stakeholder organisation whose mission is to protect and advance freedom of expression, privacy, and other key digital human rights by setting a global standard for responsible decision-making for companies across the information and telecommunications sector.
“Our commitment to digital human rights is an integral part of our business strategy and sustainability framework and is embedded in the highest levels of our governance structures. This membership is one example of our commitment to continuously evolve and innovate our approach in addressing human rights risk and the way we conduct our business,” says MTN Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer Nompilo Morafo.
“We believe that digital and financial inclusion cannot be achieved without deliberate efforts to respect the rights of all. MTN’s GNI membership allows us to explore new ways of safeguarding the rights of our customers and other stakeholders using the power of collective learning and collaboration with multiple stakeholders,” she adds.
GNI members commit to implementing the GNI Principles, which are based on internationally recognised laws and standards for human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The GNI Principles, along with the GNI and Implementation Guidelines, provide a framework for responsible company decision-making in support of freedom of expression and privacy rights.
“GNI and its 90 members will greatly benefit from MTN’s perspective, and we are particularly pleased to be continuing to expand into new geographies. We look forward to working with MTN to help protect the human rights of its customers and stakeholders,” said GNI Executive Director Jason Pielemeier.
The GNI regularly facilitates opportunities for members to contribute to shared learning and provides a forum for collective advocacy with governments and other key stakeholders in support of laws and policies that promote and protect freedom of expression and privacy.
MTN’s digital human rights framework adopts a pragmatic approach to systematically entrench digital human rights across the Group. The group says implementing the GNI Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy will further strengthen its approach.