• Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Human rights

As an international player, the Deutsche Telekom Group assigns high priority to human rights compliance, especially since the ICT img sector is frequently criticized for deficiencies in its supply chain. That is why we have established comprehensive social standards at Deutsche Telekom and implement these using appropriate methods. At our company we attach particular importance to complying with the right to collective bargaining and supporting diversity and equal opportunities. We expressly require our suppliers to assume responsibility as a way of making sure human rights are also protected outside of our Group.


  • Ensuring protection of human rights within the Group


  • Human rights due diligence program


  • Contact point for human rights
  • Social performance report
  • Effectiveness analyses

Deutsche Telekom has made an express commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights published by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. These principles require businesses to systematically identify the impact their operations have on human rights, and to prevent, mitigate or compensate these where necessary. In order to meet these requirements, we have developed an extensive program to implement the UN Guiding Principles and introduced an ongoing process comprised of several interconnected measures and tools (see diagram).

Human rights due diligence at Deutsche Telekom

The obligation to respect human rights is incorporated into Deutsche Telekom's fundamental policies: our Guiding Principles, Code of Conduct  and Social Charter . Deutsche Telekom's Employee Relations Policy and Diversity Policy are also relevant here.

Tools to assess possible impact on human rights
We use two tools to assess compliance with our Social Charter img: Every year we draw up a central Social Performance Report with the participation of all 111 fully consolidated Deutsche Telekom subsidiaries. This report did not record any violations of our Social Charter during the period from October 2014 to September 2015. We have also been offering a central Contact Point for Human Rights since 2013. This contact point can be reached via various channels, for example the public e-mail address humanrights@telekom.de. Others use our anonymous whistleblower system, which allows them to submit their information anonymously. All contact options are listed on our Tell me! whistleblower portal, the purpose of which is to resolve violations of legal regulations and internal policies. We look into all tips and reports received and introduce countermeasures as soon as the information is identified as plausible. Click here for more information on the measures we took to resolve violations reported in 2015.

We also continued the process launched in 2013 to integrate human rights issues into the due diligence activities conducted in the context of mergers and acquisitions. In addition, we introduced special evaluation processes to assess employer-employee relations as part of implementing our Group Policy on Employee Relations.

Content verified by PwCicon_check

Since the set-up of a dedicated Contact Point for Human Rights at Deutsche Telekom in October 2013, the Contact Point is also involved in inquiries that are related to human rights. In the reporting period (01/01/2015 31/12/2015), the Contact Point received eleven inquiries related to human rights which were directly sent to the contact point email inbox or the (anonymous) whistleblower portal.. Not all inquiries were identified as being plausible.

Most inquiries were related to issues of freedom of expression and discrimination In three cases Telekom has been asked to participate in surveys about “Business and Human Rights” and “ILO img Core Labour Standards”. Two inquiries addressed the refugee aid, specially the establishment of HotSpots img in refugee accommodations. One case was related to the “implementation of minimum wages”. All inquiries received are of course handled confidentially and with all due respect.

I'm interested in learning more about Deutsche Telekom's activities in the area of...