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MTN ups efforts to drive digital human rights

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MTN Group has joined the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a rights advocacy group, which it says signals the telco’s commitment to strengthen and innovate its digital human rights efforts.

Africa’s biggest mobile operator says digital and financial inclusion cannot be achieved without deliberate efforts to respect the rights of all, hence the need to join forces with the GNI.

Launched in 2008, the GNI is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that aims to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy rights in the ICT sector.

The NGO’s principles are based on internationally recognised laws and standards for human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“GNI and its 90 members will greatly benefit from MTN’s perspective, and we are particularly pleased to be continuing to expand into new geographies,” says GNI executive director Jason Pielemeier.

“We look forward to working with MTN to help protect the human rights of its customers and stakeholders.”

Nompilo Morafo, MTN group chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer, comments: “Our commitment to digital human rights is an integral part of our business strategy and sustainability framework, and is embedded in the highest levels of our governance structures.

“This membership is one example of our commitment to continuously evolve and innovate our approach in addressing human rights risk and the way we conduct our business.

“We believe digital and financial inclusion cannot be achieved without deliberate efforts to respect the rights of all. MTN’s GNI membership allows us to explore new ways of safeguarding the rights of our customers and other stakeholders using the power of collective learning and collaboration with multiple stakeholders.”

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