Human rights

Telia Company is committed to respect human rights throughout its value chain, applying human rights due diligence. Through connectivity and digital solutions, we also enable the realization of certain rights such as facilitating access to health care, education, and jobs. We work together with business partners, governments and other stakeholders to promote a broader human rights agenda.


Issues and risks related to human rights in our own operations include customer privacy, freedom of expression and surveillance privacy, children’s rights, discrimination and media freedoms. In our supply chain, we see risks related to child and forced labor, labor rights and more – risks that need to be managed throughout the entire supply chain.

Our approach

We are committed to a number of international guidelines on human rights, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human RightsGlobal Compact principlesChildren’s Rights & Business Principles and the Global Network Initiative (GNI) principles on freedom of expression and privacy.

Our Group Policy on Human Rights is available here.

Our approach is based on three parts:

  • Know: By applying ongoing due diligence and using human rights impact assessments to be aware of our human rights impacts, risks and opportunities
  • Show: By reporting and making other information public
  • Act: By acting to respect and support the rights of individuals based on our insights

Our work focuses on the human rights areas and issues that we have identified as the most salient in our markets and value chain. These are similar to the issues identified in GSMA’s Human Rights Guidance for the Mobile Industry as most salient for the industry as a whole.

More information can be found on pages 93-94 in the 2021 Annual and Sustainability Report.

Human Rights Impact Assessments

We are committed to undertake human rights due diligence and more in-depth human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) as appropriate to better understand local and Group-level impacts, risks and opportunities related to the rights of individuals. Between 2015 and 2017, we commissioned independent non-profit organization BSR to undertake HRIAs on local companies under divestment as part of a responsible exit from Eurasia, and on Telia Sweden and Telia Lithuania, to get a better general understanding of the impacts, risks and opportunities in the Nordics and Baltics.

During 2020, risk assessments were carried out for the divestments of Moldcell in Moldova and Telia Carrier. 

Throughout 2021 we performed the following impact assessments:

  • A 5G HRIA produced by Ericsson and human rights experts at Shift was used as starting point for further analysis from a telco perspective (ongoing).
  • A Children’s Advisory Panel was conducted to assess young people’s experiences of misinformation online to better understand impacts and coping strategies.
  • Implications of specific smart watches used by children were assessed through Telia’s Children’s Rights Impact Assessment Tool (developed in partnership with BSR and World Childhood Foundation).
  • Overall implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for employees, including issues related to vaccinations.
  • Impact assessments are included in our day-to day work on privacy and security-related risks and we also do risk analyses of varying depth ahead of mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

In 2022 we will further develop proactive assessments of human rights risks when developing products and services.

Human Rights Impact Assessments Telia Lietuva and Telia Sweden

"We hope that Telia Company’s publication of these HRIAs serves three key functions. First, that it enhances Telia Company’s ambition to integrate human rights into business decision making. Second, that it informs further dialogue on human rights in the eight markets covered. And third, that it provides insights for the broader business and human rights community on how to undertake HRIAs" says Dunstan Allison-Hope, Managing Director, who has lead BSR’s work on these HRIAs.

Read the Telia Lietuva report Read the Telia Sweden report

“BSR emphasizes integrating human rights factors into business decision making, especially in challenging markets. By including human rights assessments in its market exit planning, Telia Company has established an important foundation for the longer term implementation of global standards of business practice in its Business Region Eurasia, and developed new insights into how companies can exit markets responsibly. We look forward to these insights being used by the purchasing entities in the near term, and by the broader business and human rights community in the longer term,” says Dunstan Allison-Hope, Managing Director of BSR

Human rights impact assessments and responsible divestment plan for business region Eurasia

- Summary project report for Telia Company

Read the report

Grievance – Speak-Up Line

Telia Company strives to provide and promote grievance mechanisms for raising concerns without fear of retaliation or reprisal. The whistle-blowing tool Speak-Up Line enables employees and others to anonymously report violations of proper accounting, reporting or internal controls, as well as non-compliance with local laws or breaches of the Code of Responsible Business Conduct, group policies and instructions. Telia Company has a group-wide standard for performing internal investigations. The guiding principle is to ensure that investigations are conducted objectively and impartially; are carried out in a way to swiftly establish the facts with minimum disruption to the business or the personal lives of employees; and to make sure that confidentiality and non-retaliation are respected at all times.