10 Oct 2022

GPD and GNI launch guide to support civil society engagement with tech sector

GPD and the Global Network Initiative (GNI) today launch a new guide to support civil society organisations in engaging with the tech sector around issues affecting human rights.

Engaging Tech Companies on Human Rights: A How-To Guide for Civil Society is structured in three parts:

  • Part I identifies and explains the role of key actors within the tech sector and some of the common human rights issues they face;
  • Part II—the core of the guide—sets out a four-step, practical process for effectively engaging with a tech company; including targeted tips;
  • Part III presents real life case studies of successful civil society engagement around the world, examining the context, approach, and outcomes.

The guide continues GPD and GNI’s longstanding efforts to advocate for human rights-respecting approaches within the tech sector. The GNI—a multistakeholder coalition of civil society organisations, businesses and the technical community—has developed an influential set of Principles and Implementation Guidelines, which provide an evolving framework for responsible company decisionmaking in support of freedom of expression and privacy rights. GPD, a GNI member since 2018, has created pioneering insight, tools, and resources to support civil society engagement with tech companies. 

“For the past four years, GPD has supported local civil society organisations across three regions seeking to engage technology companies on making their practices, policies and services more rights respecting and aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” said GPD’s Programme Lead Kathryn Doyle. “The use-case for this guide comes directly from their experiences—particularly the challenges they’ve told us about in establishing relationships with company representatives and sustaining initial engagement.” 

“GNI has been working to build understanding and foster cooperation between civil society and tech companies for 14 years, and we are excited to have the chance to share some of our learnings through this tool,” said Jason Pielemeier, GNI’s Executive Director. “While ‘engagement’ is more of an art than a science, there is no doubt that there is more we can and should all be doing to support collaboration around critical tech and human rights issues.”

If you have any questions about the toolkit, please contact Kathryn Doyle (kathryn{at}gp-digital.org). 

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Download the guide here