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Our approach to human rights

Our business is about connecting people and helping them manage every aspect of their digital lives. Through connectivity, our business promotes positive outcomes for a range of human rights-holders, including women and children, as well as supporting access to internationally recognised rights, including education and healthcare.

We recognise our responsibility to respect all internationally proclaimed human rights, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

We strive to ensure that we are not complicit in human rights abuses or adverse impacts. We shall, in all contexts, seek ways to honour the principles of internationally recognised human rights, even when faced with conflicting requirements. We are also committed to implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights throughout our business operations and supply chain.

As well as avoiding adverse impacts, we continuously seek opportunities to demonstrate best practice in the way in which we operate, as well as become a catalyst for positive impacts on human rights through the goods and services we offer.

Our beliefs and principles

We focus our efforts on the most salient human rights issues in our operations, and have established policies, governance and due diligence processes to avoid, reduce and mitigate the potential human rights risks.

Civil and political rights

Our most salient human rights risks relate to the individual’s right to privacy and freedom of expression. Our commitment to our customers’ privacy goes beyond legal compliance. We are focused on building a culture that respects the right to privacy in order to justify the trust that people place in us, and always seek to respect and seek to protect our customers’ lawful rights to hold and express opinions and share information and ideas without interference.

Digital rights and freedoms


Labour rights

We are committed to respecting the rights and freedoms of our employees and people working in our supply chain. We will not tolerate any forms of human rights abuse within our own operations or within our supply chain, and are committed to taking appropriate steps to ensure that everyone who works for Vodafone – in any capacity, anywhere in the world – benefits from a working environment in which their fundamental rights and freedoms are respected.

Human rights in our supply chain


Rights of the child

We are committed to helping children and teenagers get the most out of technology and become more confident and resilient when they are online. We design programmes to inform and empower parents and young people to become confident in today’s digital world. This includes educating parents holistically about technology and digital communications, so that they understand and embrace the technology used by their children. This means that they can, in turn, help their children to become responsible digital citizens.

Economic, social and cultural rights

The most relevant economic, social and cultural rights for our business relate to the social and economic consequences of bribery and corruption and the impact on civil society of undue political influence (including inappropriate political lobbying). In addition to this, we believe connectivity contributes positively to a number of other economic, social and cultural rights.

One of our highest priorities is respecting our customers’ right to privacy and freedom of expression

Our Digital Rights and Freedoms Reporting Centre contains our policies, principles and views on a wide range of topics, including law enforcement surveillance, freedom of expression and network censorship, customer privacy and the digital rights of the child.

We have established policies, governance and due diligence processes to avoid, reduce and mitigate human rights risks

Respect for human rights, together with robust systems to reduce risk and address abuses, are critical to our long-term success. Read more on our approach to managing human rights.

We are working to ensure integrity in our supply chains by managing risk and building supplier capability

Our businesses rely on international supply chains that span multiple tiers. We work with our suppliers, partners and peers to drive responsible and ethical behaviour and high standards across our supply chain as we recognise there are many different labour rights and safety and environmental risks inherent within such a complex supply chain.

Learn more related to operating responsibly

Supply chain integrity

We are working to ensure integrity in our supply chains by managing risk and building supplier capability.

People and culture

We strive to create an open, diverse and inclusive environment in which all employees feel equally valued and understand that ethical conduct is critical to our business...

Our commitment to workplace safety

We take safety extremely seriously in our operations. Keeping the people who work for us safe is one of our most fundamental responsibilities.

Download our Annual Report 2020

which provides detail on our sustainable business strategy, approach, focus areas and progress