The European Commission has chosen ICT as one of the sectors for which it will develop specific guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
Other areas to also get sector-specific guidance include the oil and gas industry, and employment and recruitment agencies. The guidance will be based on the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
"These sectors face a wide range of significant human rights challenges that could benefit from detailed guidance for companies," the EC said.
Apple announced yesterday that it had requested the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to begin voluntary inspections of its final assembly suppliers. Among these are Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, where there have been reports of poor working conditions.
The work planned for the development of the human rights guidance for ICT will also contribute to the implementation of the EC's 'No Disconnect Strategy' to promote internet freedom globally.
Consultations with businesses and all stakeholders will be carried out as part of the project, which will be coordinated by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and Shift, an independent, non-profit centre for business and human rights.
Any organisations or individuals wishing to provide feedback on the project can email [email protected].