Analyzing human rights risks
We want to ensure our guidelines for protecting human rights are followed everywhere. That is why, each year, we review compliance with our Code of Human Rights & Social Principles and Employee Relations Policy. To do this, we evaluate our employee surveys, which tell us how satisfied employees are with us and how prepared they are to recommend Deutsche Telekom as an employer, for example. Another important factor is how high the general risk of human rights violations is in the relevant country. We check this based on a recognized international index (Maplecroft’s “Human Rights Risk Index”). We work with the responsible executives on site to evaluate the results. If it turns out that we need to do even better in certain areas, we carry out detailed interviews with employees. This enables us to put in place targeted improvement measures. If necessary, we also carry out a “Human Rights Impact Assessment”, which involves surveying our employees, management, and the employees of our suppliers, as well as holding talks with NGOs. These assessments are supplemented with workshops. The aim is to ensure our managers and employees are well trained and informed on the subject of human rights. We refer to the entire process as “Human Rights Impact Assessment and Engagement”. In 2020, we also carried out an internal “Human Rights Gap & Risk Assessment”, during which we worked with external specialists to investigate whether our processes and guidelines could be improved. This assessment is based on the requirements of the five key elements in Germany’s National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. An initial evaluation has shown we are already very well placed in many areas, such as our human rights assessments and our supply chain programs. It has also emerged that we should update individual guidelines and our communications on human rights issues. We will tackle these issues in 2021.