Microsoft has today released an updated Global Human Rights Statement. The rethought statement sums up the company’s position on human rights. Microsoft says it is “committed to respecting human rights,” and believes technology can play a positive role. Steve Crown, vice president of Microsoft’s Technology and Human Rights Center announced the update.
Nurturing human rights is essential in a connected world, Crown wrote in a blog post. The updated Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement coincides with Human Rights Day, which is tomorrow (Dec. 10).
To mark the awareness day, Microsoft has collaborated with UC Berkeley on a project to enhance human rights in business education. The company says the partnership will foster Microsoft’s commitment to transparency.
The Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement has been a foundation commitment for the company for over a decade. Among the initiatives the company has embarked on include the UB Global Project.
This program saw Microsoft contribute towards the Global Network. Crown points out that the company has also been a partner to numerous human rights groups.
Updated Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement
With an updated statement, Microsoft is reaffirming its human rights commitment in a changing tech world. The company points to the following key updates to the statement:
- Making explicit Microsoft’s recognition that technology is increasingly an essential gateway to the enjoyment of human rights everywhere;
- Expanding our human rights commitments to encompass the special consideration we give to vulnerable groups such as children, women and persons with disabilities; and
- Emphasizing the importance we ascribe to championing the rule of law informed by consideration of international norms.
The company is aware more investment is needed to nurture connectivity and protect human rights. By teaming up with the Center for Responsible Business at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on the Human Rights & Business Initiative, the company hopes to further awareness.
The collaboration will integrate human rights hot topics into business education. Microsoft says some of the issues include freedom of expression, education and employment, and privacy. Humanity United, a non-profit focused on forced labor and human trafficking, joins Microsoft and Berkeley on the project.
“We are excited for the opportunities with this program and the insights we hope to gain from it as we work to expand these efforts in the future,” Crown says. “Through education, we can empower the next generation of business leaders around the world with a strong foundation in human rights.”