Issue Report: ICANN’s Human Rights Responsibilities

Issue Report: ICANN’s Human Rights Responsibilities - Digital

ARTICLE 19 has launched a report which focusses on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)’s corporate social responsibility to respect human rights. ICANN coordinates the distribution of Internet Protocol adresses.

It applies the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the specific ICANN context. Recognising the special nature and complexity of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder governance structure, it aims to help ICANN ‘translate’ respect for human rights into its own policies and procedures. The report offers practical recommendations and examples.

The report’s main recommendation is that ICANN should demonstrate a commitment to respect human rights in all of its practices. In our view, a rigorously implemented policy on respect for human rights is fundamental to ensuring that ICANN’s international, multi-stakeholder, bottom-up operating model remains efective.

The mechanisms through which ICANN can achieve respect for human rights should be built into every level of its organisation and mandate, beginning with its by-laws. This report highlights, in particular, the key policies and procedures ICANN should adopt in order to demonstrate its commitment to respect human rights. 

Read the full report.