GNI welcomes Facebook’s full publication of an independent report assessing the human rights impacts of the company in Myanmar, formerly Burma, where some estimated 20 million of the 50 million population are Facebook users.
Facebook commissioned Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a business network and consultancy dedicated to sustainability, to complete a human rights impact assessment (HRIA). The report shares high-level observations about the human rights landscape in Myanmar, including on freedom of expression and privacy, identifies and prioritizes actual and potential human rights impacts, and makes recommendations for mitigating and managing these impacts, while also offering global human rights recommendations for the company.
The GNI Principles call on member companies to undertake human rights due diligence to “identify, prevent, evaluate, mitigate and account for risks to the freedom of expression and privacy rights that are implicated by the company’s products, services, activities and operations.” More specifically, the GNI implementation guidelines call on member companies to utilize HRIAs “for markets, business partners and other relationships, technologies (products/ services) where the risk of adverse human rights impacts to freedom of expression and privacy is most salient.”
While member companies’ are expected to “demonstrate to external stakeholders consulted in the course of risk assessments that the findings are considered by senior management,” they are not required to publish these findings in full. For this reason, and although GNI does not take any position on the findings of the report, we recognize Facebook’s transparency efforts with the publication of this report.