Focus on Human Rights

Content: Summary Report of the Human Rights Impact Assessment for ICANN

Year: May 2019

Language: EN

Keywords: Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA), The ICANN organization, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), human rights due diligence, human rights performance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 


ICANN is as a globally operating organization with the mission of helping ensure a stable, secure and unified global internet. The new ICANN bylaws include a commitment to “respect internationally recognized human rights as required by applicable law.” In June 2016, the global multistakeholder community began to work on the development of a Framework of Interpretation (FOI) for human rights, to guide how this commitment should be understood, following the process called for in the bylaws. In parallel to these discussions, ICANN org recognized the importance of proactively carrying out an internal human rights impact assessment of its daily business operations. 

This report presents a summary of the process, the identified human rights impacts at ICANN Organisation and the resulting recommendations. The report is drawn from a thorough document review, interviews with management personnel, onsite visits and an online staff survey. Our analysis identifies actual and potential impacts of ICANN’s operations on people’s rights and assesses the effectiveness of current measures in place to manage these impacts. This HRIA should be seen as the starting point for continuous improvement in human rights performance.

Authors: Cecilia Barral Diego, Stephanie Borowiec