IGF 2023 WS #436 Tech & conflict: fostering responsible business conduct

Organizer 1: Isabel Ebert, ๐Ÿ”’
Organizer 2: Isedua Oribhabor, ๐Ÿ”’

Speaker 1: Isedua Oribhabor, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: 'Gbenga Sesan, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Alia Yofira Karunian, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Isedua Oribhabor, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Isabel Ebert, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization


Isabel Ebert, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. Which role do technology companies play in complex political environments?
B. What are best practices that technology companies can adapt to mitigate risks in conflict settings?
C. Which approaches can foster a collaborative approach between stakeholder groups, such as civil society, the private sector and governments?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain an enhanced understanding about the complex role of technology companies in conflict and post-conflict settings, and ways in which technology companies can navigate complex political environments and carry out human rights due diligence to protect rightsholders from harm stemming from or being linked to their activities.


Ongoing conflicts around the world are pushing companies to address the issue of what responsible business conduct looks like the midst of conflict. Investors also have a responsibility to ensure that their investments are not contributing to human rights abuses.

For tech companies, whatever they decide carries great weight โ€” whether itโ€™s to leave and risk cutting people off from essential services and tools of communication entirely, or to stay and risk enabling state repression, censorship, and other human rights abuses. This workshop provides an opportunity for tech companies, civil society, and investors to candidly discuss best practices for responsible business conduct in fragile state settings and post-conflict scenarios. We will discuss relevant good practices on how to identify and mitigate risks in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights,, the impacts of exit on communities, and the key questions tech companies and investors should ask in the face of escalating conflict or post-conflict scenarios.

Expected Outcomes

This multi-stakeholder discussion will provide a set of practical examples of good practices that we can assemble and turn into a guide to be shared more widely with companies, investors, and civil society. It will help companies in their decision making during conflict situations, and provide civil society and investors with concrete recommendations and questions to pose to companies in those situations.

Hybrid Format: We will facilitate dialogue through interactive note pads.
We will work with case studies.