Computing, digitally-powered innovation, and connectivity are some of the most influential forces at work today. They lie at the heart of Microsoft’s business activities, and we see them transforming the lives of people everywhere. Grounded in the principle proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “all persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, we are committed to developing technologies and services that enrich individual and shared experiences across the globe. The Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement describes our approach to advancing human dignity and respecting human rights.

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Introduction Our responsibility Foundational principles Key areas of impact Internal governance

Introduction

Technology should be used for the good of humanity, to empower and protect everyone and to leave no one behind. Respecting human rights is a core value of Microsoft. It is inseparable from our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with our technologies. We believe that people, organizations, and societies will only use technologies they trust, and they will only trust technologies that respect their rights and advance human dignity, agency, and wellbeing.

 

While care and respect for others is a core Microsoft value, our approach to advancing human rights across the globe incorporates international laws, principles, and norms, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the work of the United Nations on good governance and the rule of law.

Microsoft is committed to helping people use technology:

  • For the good of humanity
  • To connect with others around the world, finding and sharing information, knowledge, ideas, and inspiration
  • To overcome discrimination, exclusion, or oppression
  • To save our planet
  • To improve the health and wellbeing of people everywhere
  • To defend and promote democracy, good governance, and the rule of law
  • To protect and advance privacy, security, safety, freedoms of opinions, expression, association, peaceful assembly, and other human rights

How we meet this commitment:

Engage, learn from, and work with a broad range of stakeholders: Engagement leads to dialog. Dialog allows us to share our values, our voice, and our knowledge of constantly evolving technologies and how they could and should be used. It helps us learn and understand the concerns and perspectives of stakeholders from all segments of societies around the world. We work with them to find new ideas and solutions for a digital society that respects and advances human rights.

Embrace challenges and do and speak for what is right: We believe we can more effectively respect human rights by being present in, rather than absent from, countries with significant human rights challenges. We believe that in the long run, engaging responsibly with people, governments and other stakeholders in difficult environments often holds greater promise for the advancement of human rights.

Operationalize human rights in our business and technologies: We conduct due diligence to assess the impact of our technologies on human rights. We look to international principles and norms such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to guide our diligence. We use what we learn from stakeholders to challenge our thinking, develop and refine our policies and practices, mitigate risks, and improve our technologies and how we provide them to fulfill our commitment to human rights.

 

Microsoft Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith

Brad Smith

Microsoft Vice Chair and President