Human rights

Committed to observing human rights

We have made a commitment to respect and protect human rights all along our value chain.
“With the Declaration of Principles and the Human Rights Policy, we have made a clear commitment to upholding human rights and to assuming responsibility in our value chain. We are committed to identifying all the negative effects of our business activities on human rights and to remedying them.”
Claudia von Bothmer
Human Rights Officer Telefónica Deutschland

As such, we are not only observing the statutory requirements, but also our own understanding of values. We make a commitment to protecting human rights in a declaration of principles, while our Human Rights Policy specifies our company’s obligations in this regard. Our actions are directed by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Management Board of O2 Telefónica bears responsibility for reviewing the performance and implementation of our human rights due diligence. A cross-departmental human rights and environment committee promotes the topic within the company.

We have been extending responsibility for upholding human rights to our suppliers and sub-suppliers too for many years now. The minimum requirements made of our suppliers and sub-suppliers regarding the observance of human rights are set out in the Supply Chain Sustainability Policy. Making supplier relations sustainable enables us to first and foremost reduce the risk of any regulations being violated. This is dependent upon there being maximum transparency, which we wish to achieve by analysing our supply chain structures and identifying country-specific and product-specific risks.

Reporting channel for complaints and whistleblowing

Even with the measures we implement to protect human rights, violations cannot be entirely ruled out and it is possible that they are not adequately brought to our attention. O2 Telefónica puts a on human rights and environmental violations at the disposal of all of its stakeholders. Information is treated in confidence and the human rights and environment committee follows up all reports. At the same time, the O2 Telefónica ombudsperson can be contacted anonymously via a confidential helpline at any time. Here, too, compliance with our privacy policies is a top priority.

Particular protection of children’s rights

We pay attention in particular to protecting children and young people. In our Human Rights Policy, we exclude child labour in our own business activities and oblige all of our suppliers to exclude child labour throughout our supply chain. Our actions are guided in particular by UNICEF Children’s Rights and Business Principles. These ten principles define measures that companies can effect in order to uphold and promote children’s rights. For information on the individual contributions we make here, see our commitments to children’s rights.

Identifying human rights risks and areas of action

It is by no means only in global supply chains and production facilities of developing countries and emerging nations that there is a risk of violations and actual human rights infringements. Human rights risks exist in developed countries too, such as discrimination or the violation of privacy. O2 Telefónica performs an annual analysis of human rights risks. Our efficient management system as well as risk-minimising guidelines and measures contribute to human rights risks being combated. We see our commitment to upholding human rights and the performance of appropriate risk analyses as an ongoing process that has to be continuously adjusted and developed. We incorporate the conclusions drawn from our risk analyses into our processes and decide upon measures relating to the prioritised topics, and we will review their effectiveness regularly. O2 Telefónica has additionally performed human rights risk analyses for specific product groups:

For mobile phones and accessories
For services and works

Further information on our ESG activities

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