“The UN Guiding Principles require companies to conduct human rights due diligence, particularly when the company is faced with a major business event, such as market entry or exit. Several ICT companies have conducted robust market “entry” HRIAs, and a few leading companies are starting to conduct market “exit” assessments.
Responsible exit is an emerging area of business and human rights practice and literature that is not well-understood by companies, civil society, and practitioners. How much leverage does an “exiting” company have when leaving operations behind? What vehicles are available to increase leverage? What are risks to rights holders when a responsible company exits? Are there situations where companies should not exit markets at all? Should the results of the assessment be made public?
This panel will explore these issues in conversation with practitioners with deep experience in conducting human rights due diligence. TeliaSonera is one of the first telecoms companies to conduct market exit due diligence and to publish the findings from those assessments. This panel will explore the challenges in obtaining internal buy-in, conducting the assessment, and lessons learned in hindsight.”