22 January 2018

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has signed a landmark five-year partnership with Microsoft. As part of the agreement, Microsoft will provide a grant of USD 5 million to support the work of the OHCHR. This represents an unprecedented level of support from a private sector organization. A particular area of focus for the partnership will be the development and use of advanced technology designed to better predict, analyze and respond to critical human rights situations, which currently are proliferating in many parts of the world including areas previously viewed as stable and also growing in complexity. The new partnership builds on a longstanding relationship between the OHCHR and Microsoft that is based on two shared ideas. The first is a commitment to ensuring technology plays a positive role in helping to promote and protect human rights. The second is a recognition of the need for the private sector to play a bigger part in helping to advance the cause of human rights globally.

CoNGO E-Newsletter June 2017 7 Technology for Human Rights: While in some cases technology may contribute to human rights challenges, it also has an important role to play in tackling abuses. The grant from Microsoft will help develop and deploy new technology solutions specifically designed to advance the mission of the OHCHR and protect human rights. One example is Rights View, an information dashboard; that will allow UN human rights staff to aggregate large quantities of internal and external data on specific countries and types of rights violations in real time. It will help to facilitate analysis, ensure early warning of emerging critical issues and provide data to guide responses. This tool is powered by cloud computing and big data analysis. Business and Human Rights Microsoft will also work with the OHCHR to raise awareness of the role that companies can and should play in driving respect for human rights and to promote more responsible business conduct across the world. Microsoft will work closely with the OHCHR to help promote broader adoption and implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UN Guiding Principles provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.