Dear Mr. Ganesan, Ms. Wong,

Thank you for your letter regarding investment in the telecommunications market in Myanmar. Telenor Group shares the view that telecommunications has significant potential to positively contribute to realisation of human rights, as well as building strong socio-economic benefits. We are equally aware of potential challenges telecommunications companies might face.

Our commitment to respect human rights is clearly stated in our top governing documents including the Telenor Group Code of Conduct, Supplier Conduct Principles, and reflected in several of our policies. The concept of ‘human rights due diligence’, as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is integrated into our Corporate Responsibility Policy. We have also summarised the essence of these policies and our approach in our Human Rights Principles. Here we have sought to formulate our stand on how we approach government requests for personal information, sending messages with political content, network shut downs and censorship. In addition, we have a well-established privacy and data protection regime, including our Privacy Policy and privacy officers in all our Business Units (BUs).  The idea of ‘continuous improvement’ is essential to our approach, recognising that on many challenging issues we may not get the desired results immediately but rather through efforts over time.

At the point of writing the license application process in Myanmar is still on-going. Similarly, the legal aspects concerning a potential license are not yet clear. Thus we are not able to comment on your questions in detail. However, we would be happy to continue our conversation with Human Rights Watch on these issues should a license be awarded and if a decision to invest in Myanmar is made by Telenor.

Kind regards,
Mai Oldgard