Human Rights

At Telefónica, we are committed to respect and to the promotion the rights of all people. We work proactively to prevent any abuse related to our activity or that of our business partners.

Human Rights must be respected in all situations by both us and our suppliers, whether when we deploy telecommunications networks or use technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

Our priority areas for Human Rights given our business activities are: digital rights, responsible use of new technologies, e-inclusion, protection of minors and respect for social and environmental aspects in the supply chain.

In order to move forward, it is necessary to have the impetus of the highest level of the company. For this reason, Telefónica’s Board of Directors is the most senior body responsible for this issue, which, among other functions, is responsible for approving the Responsible Business Plan, which sets the strategic objectives in the area of sustainability and approves the Global Human Rights Policy.

For its part, the Sustainability and Regulation Committee ensures compliance with the Human Rights objectives set out in the plan.

Download the latest due diligence report for an overview of how we manage human rights and a summary of the Global Impact Assessment conducted in 2022

Digital rights: one of our priority issues

Digital Rights

At a time when the physical and the digital are increasingly intertwined, respect for Human Rights must be promoted in both worlds.

For this reason, Telefónica is committed to protecting and promoting digital rights such as privacy, data security and freedom of expression for our customers. To this end, we work every day to build a relationship of trust with all those with whom we are linked.

As part of this commitment, we offer you our Global Transparency Centre where you can find all the information related to the processing and protection of your personal data.

Our Due Diligence

We have a Due Diligence process that enables us to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate Human Rights impacts linked to our value chain.

The Due Diligence process is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and is aligned with the new regulatory guidelines.

  • We have a Global Human Rights Policy, approved by the Board of Directors, which reaffirms our commitment to respecting and promoting Human Rights and sets out general guiding principles.

    In turn, this commitment to Human Rights is embodied in other specific policies such as the Global Environmental Policy, which sets out the principles that guide us in respecting and preserving the environment, among other aspects.

    In turn, this commitment to human rights in emboied in other specific policies such us the Supply chain sustainability policy and the Global Environmental Policy, among others. 

    We have a Global Human Rights Policy
  • Global impact assessments

    We conduct global Human Rights assessments to identify the actual and potential Human Rights impacts of our products, services and business activities, and to address them. We also conduct:

    Specific impact assessments

    Regional or thematically focused assessments to get a more accurate picture.

    Biannual risk assessments

    On Human Rights in all our markets, in accordance with the Corporate Risk Management Model.

    In 2022, we conducted a Human Rights and environmental impact assessment with external experts and different stakeholders, following the new national, European and international Due Diligence requirements

    See here the main conclusions of the last global impact assessment: Impacted topics and affected groups.

  • Once we have identified impacts, we carry out initiatives to prevent, mitigate or remediate them. For example:

    • We implement recommendations, gathered from impact assessments.
    • We have a mandatory Human Rights course for all employees. In addition, we have a training portal with more courses related to human rights.
    • We integrate respect for Human Rights from the design of our products and services.
    • All our suppliers are committed to minimum sustainability standards, and we work with them to transfer our commitment to promoting Human Rights throughout the supply chain.
    We carry out evaluation and reporting actions
  • We carry out evaluation and reporting actions on an ongoing basis.

    • Evaluation:  we regularly monitor Human Rights-related impacts and assess the degree of implementation of improvements arising from the work plans of these assessments.
    • Reporting: we produce the annual sustainability report, as well as ad-hoc reports depending on business development and context.
  • We have a Whistleblowing and Queries Channel that allows any person or entity to express their concerns or complaints about Human Rights, among other aspects.

    This channel is a public mechanism, available in several languages, open 24/7 and which, in addition, allows the user to submit the query anonymously if he or she so wishes.

    The information collected in the query will be treated securely and confidentially, and we work diligently to provide remedies to all queries received.

    We have a Whistleblowing and Queries Channel

Key areas of action

  • Some key actions for the respect and promotion of Human Rights:

We assess the impact of Human Rights on 100% of our operations

We train all employees on HR issues

We audit our suppliers beyond Tier 1 and work with them to achieve good sustainability performance

100% of suppliers accept our sustainability standards

We collaborate with public-private sector associations and companies to promote respect for Human Rights in the business environment

  • We are part of some initiatives such as:
Jac Cooperation

JAC initiative: Association of telco companies promoting respect for sustainability in the telco supply chain

B-Tech

B-Tech: United Nations Initiative promoting HR and digital rights in our sector

  • We are proud of our leading position in:
Ranking Digital Rights

Ranking Digital Rights: 1st place in Digital Rights Ranking Telco Giants Scorecard 2022

World Benchmarking Alliance: Telefónica has been recognised as a global leader in inclusion by the World Benchmarking Alliance

Human Rights Policy

We promote respect for the rights of customers and employees, and seek to contribute to the progress of society.

Telefónica’s strategic, financial and ESG performance.

More info about Management and Sustainability (ESG) Report 2022