Human rights

Our aim is to know, show and manage our human rights impacts, risks and opportunities. With good faith efforts, our ambition is to improve over time and to be considered an industry leader in human rights.


Issues related to human rights, such as customer privacy, freedom of expression and surveillance privacy can pose a risk to users of telecom services. As an international group of companies with sourcing from tens of thousands of local and international suppliers, we need to manage supply chain-specific human rights risks such as child and forced labor, labor rights and basic health and safety provisions.

Our approach

The work is guided by the Group Policy – Human Rights.

We are committed to a number of international guidelines on human rights, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Global Compact principles, Children’s Rights & Business Principles and the Global Network Initiative (GNI) principles on freedom of expression and privacy. Specific commitments are further laid out in our Code of Responsible Business Conduct and in specific group policies on e.g. customer privacy, freedom of expression and surveillance privacy, and people. Human rights requirements on suppliers are covered in the Supplier code of conduct.

Human rights work is coordinated by a cross-functional working group which facilitates policy coordination, shared learning, analysis, business integration and alignment. Progress and risks are regularly reported to Group management and the Board.

Human Rights Impact Assessments

In 2015, Telia Company commissioned independent non-profit organization BSR to undertake human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of the companies in region Eurasia as part of ensuring local human rights due diligence and a responsible exit from the region. BSR undertook these HRIAs between October 2015 and May 2016 using a methodology based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. (No assessment was carried out for Ncell in Nepal, as a divestment was announced in December 2015.) Telia Company further commissioned BSR to carry out HRIAs for operations in Lithuania and Sweden during the second half of 2016.

Read more in the Annual and Sustainability Report.

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.