The State of Children's Rights and Business 2022

Tech & Telecom

Tech & Telecom

Our collective lives have been reshaped by Covid-19 when it comes to dependence on digital tools, with all aspects of society growing more reliant on the technology and telecommunications (T&T) sector. Educational systems are no exception, utilizing a combination of TV, radio, online and mobile platforms to deliver remote learning. Laptops are as commonplace as chalkboards. At the same time, tech equity issues have multiplied. 

Because the influence of the T&T sector on children’s lives will, in all likelihood, continue to expand, Global Child Forum felt the time was right to take a close look at our findings on this sector’s performance with regard to children. This sector-specific benchmark allows for a deeper analysis and understanding of the performance of individual companies and sub-industries. 

The reality is that Covid-19 has triggered global trends detrimental to children. Economic downturns that increase poverty ultimately put pressure on children to become income earners. Or a parent’s illness or death can lead to financial stress that drives children to find work. Covid-19 has also necessitated widespread closure of schools, disrupting education, and alarms are being raised about the potentially long-term negative effects on the next generation’s prospects. Big picture: progress on children’s rights is threatened, and the most vulnerable children are at the highest risk. 

At times like these, citizens usually rely on governments to establish protocols and pathways out of crisis. But, at Global Child Forum we see evidence of the important role that business is playing in Covid-19 recovery – especially in protecting and supporting children. 

The Technology and Telecommunications sector is vast and diverse in its role and its impact. This sector has scored consistently in the top in past benchmarks, and many T&T companies demonstrate an understanding that business impacts children beyond the issue of child labour. We highlight positive changes and offer real world examples of businesses in this sector strategizing ways to contribute to the common good. 

And yet, especially for those companies in the sector with lower average scores, work remains — work made more pressing by the toll the pandemic takes on children. Gaps in performance and opportunities for more vigorous corporate action come to light in our focused look, and we invite this sector’s businesses to use this information as a catalyst. 

Please read the executive summary here.

Benchmark scores

This table present all the companies tracked and scored in the Tech & Telecom Sector. Each company received an average weighted score between 0 and 10, with 10 being the best possible score.

Select industry:
Companies Country Workplace Marketplace Community & Environment Average score

Company score-level on children’s rights work

Beginner

The company has developed a few policies and practices that address the organization's impact on children's rights or human rights in general.

Improver

The company has developed and implemented some policies and practices that address the organization's impact on children's rights or human rights in general. The company realizes that having policies in place and/or contributing to children's rights through different initiatives is an important first step to show commitment.;

Achiever

The company has developed and implemented several policies and practices that address the organization's impact on children's rights. The company realizes that while policies are important, in order to create change those policies need to be embedded into company practice, and followed-up on through monitoring, transparent reporting and programmes to create action for children's rights.;

Leader

The company has developed and implemented several policies and practices that address the organization's impact on children's rights across several important areas. The company has taken concrete steps to move beyond policies and have embedded children's rights into company practice, following-up through monitoring, transparent reporting and programmes to create action for children's rights.;

About our benchmark

Global Child Forum, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, has been benchmarking companies since 2014. Since then, we have produced 11 regional reports covering Middle East and North AfricaSouthern AfricaSoutheast Asia, the Nordic region and South America, as well as additional Global Benchmark reports in 2019 and 2021.

Our benchmarks are based on publicly available information assessed by Global Child Forum and are accompanied by insights, key take-aways and present wide-ranging recommendations for actions to raise individual company and sector scores.

About the selection of companies

All children have rights. What they don’t always have is a say in their future. That motivates us at Global Child Forum to focus on ways to support the next generation. With that in mind, in 2021-2022 we chose a specific sector, Technology & Telecommunications sector, and considered how change can be accelerated within this area. As part of that effort, we created this sector specific benchmark. It includes 252 of the world’s most influential IT companies (all the companies from the IT & Software Services, Telecommunications and Electronics industries in the SDG2000 list[1]). This study includes the 120 companies from the Technology & Telecommunications sector. In addition, we assessed the remaining 132 companies within the SDG2000 list from the Technology, IT Software & Services, and Telecommunications. This broad scope provides an opportunity for Global Child Forum to engage with companies that are not included in the Global Benchmark Study, which covers only the largest companies in the sector.

Scoring is based on publicly available information (in English) and was collected between March and June 2021. All companies in the study have been informed of their scores and have been given an opportunity to provide feedback on their results.

About the industries included in this study

The Technology and Telecommunications sector[2] is comprised of three industries:

Electronics

The electronics industry includes 93 companies that manufacture electronic devices (e.g. phones, laptops, computers, TVs, etc.) and other electronics components. The value chain includes the raw materials necessary to make these products, such as minerals.

IT Software & Services

This industry includes 55 companies that provide services online, including social media, financial payments, hospitality bookings, retail and home delivery/transport services.

Telecommunications

This industry includes 104 companies that build and host telecoms systems, the components of which include physical, electronic and digital infrastructure.

[1] In 2020, Global Child Forum joined the World Benchmarking Alliance and adopted their SDG2000 as the universe from which companies are selected for our Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights Benchmarks.

[2] The benchmark uses an adapted version of the Refinitiv TRCB Sector Classification system for classifying sectors and industries. A company can only belong to one sector and one industry. Companies are classified based on available information about their main business operations/source of revenue.

Disclaimer

Global Child Forum basis it’s benchmark scores on a company’s publicly available information, systematically assessing a corporate’s response to impacts on children’s rights. Scores are not a measure of actual company compliance with policies, outcomes of policies and/or programmes. Final scorecards were made available to all companies for fact checking purposes, but not all companies have acknowledged this review process.

 

Communications toolkit

Communicate about your score

You work hard to ensure that your operations are sustainable and that you adhere to the latest reporting standards. Let your networks know! We've pulled together a communications toolkit to make it easier for you.

Communications toolkit