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Stand Up – it’s everyone’s responsibility

This blog is by Barry French, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Nokia
Twitter: @bhfrench


December 10th sees the celebration of International Human Rights Day. To mark the day, the UN Human Rights Office will launch a global campaign called “Stand up for someone’s rights today”. The campaign is a call to people across the world to stand up for rights, including in their everyday life. The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate how every person can exercise their rights and stand up for those who are subjected to harassment, bullying or discrimination.

In today’s connected world, issues of human rights touch our business every day and we see increasing tension between the right to have personal security on one hand and the right to privacy on the other.  We also see a wide range of other topics, from supply chain management to avoidance of modern slavery or child labor from ethical sourcing to the environmental impact and materials traceability of our products.  Given this, we are in full support of “standing up.”

STAND UP for the right to privacy and freedom of expression

The UN Guiding principles state that companies must identify the most salient human rights risks from their operations. For Nokia that means the potential misuse of our technology to limit freedom of expression or violate the privacy of individuals or groups. We believe the technology we provide ultimately benefits humanity and improves individual lives. We also understand the risks associated with the potential misuse of technology to limit freedom of expression or the right to privacy. To mitigate these and other human rights related risks we have put in place a number of activities, processes and programs.

This year, in order to increase transparency of our human rights related issues, we published an updated Human Rights Policy, while also making a related Q+A publicly available which underpins our commitment to respecting the right to privacy and free expression, while also calling for increased transparency from governments related to their surveillance activities and for greater clarity about the laws and regulations related to these topics.

Nokia is a founding member of the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (ID), a group of telecoms operators and vendors who jointly address freedom of expression and privacy in the telecommunications sector in the context of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In October 2016, Nokia’s Laura Okkonen was appointed chair of the ID. Additionally since February 2016, we have had official observer status with the Global Network Initiative (GNI), with the aim to become a full member in March 2017.

STAND UP for avoidance of modern slavery and child labor

As part of our robust supply chain management, we run thorough assessments to help our suppliers achieve our ethical standards while also offering them support to do so through improvement training programs. We also carry out assessments and in-depth audits of a number of key suppliers every year, looking particularly at labor conditions and environmental management. For 2016 we have set a number of key targets related to supply chain management including the goal of 40 in-depth audits.

Materials traceability through our supply chain is increasingly a priority as we aim to ensure our products are conflict free. This year we updated and published our Conflict Minerals Policy, which can be found with other key policies and guidelines here. We have set the longer-term target that 100% of the smelters identified in our supply chain are validated as conflict-free by 2018. As of 2014, we have published a separate conflict minerals report.

Next year we will increase the focus on modern slavery, when we start reporting on our prevention activities in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act. Nokia has, for a long time, had a strict zero-tolerance on forced labor and child labor both in its own operations and in those of our suppliers.

STAND UP for diversity, gender equality and anti-discrimination

Finally another key area of human rights touches on diversity, gender issues and anti-discrimination. Our Code of Conduct sets out our policy on ensuring all these topics are respected at Nokia, and to underline our continued commitment, Nokia has this year updated its Corporate Community Investment strategy. We work with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), customers and key stakeholders who understand the role of technology in connecting the unconnected, empowering women and saving lives.

We encourage everyone, employees, suppliers and all others, to use our Nokia Ethics alert line to report on any violations or unethical treatment of workforce or individuals.


Through our technology we are part of the solution to today’s global issues – including human rights.

Human rights is everyone’s responsibility – it starts with each of us – so stand up for someone’s rights today.

For more information and the call to action for the UN Human Rights Office “Stand up for someone’s rights today” campaign here

For a comprehensive view of Nokia in Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, visit the People and Planet Report

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #standup4humanrights #nokia #Sustainability

Barry French

About Barry French

Barry French is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Nokia. Areas of responsibilities include: heading marketing, communications, industry analyst and government relations, regulatory affairs, and corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

Tweet me @bhfrench.

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