This guidance is a first-of-its-kind tool intended to provide practical and accessible human rights guidance to U.S. businesses seeking to prevent their products or services with surveillance capabilities from being misused by government end-users to commit human rights abuses.

It is meant to be an easy-to-use roadmap in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for assessing the human rights impacts of relevant products or services, and evaluating a series of considerations before engaging in transactions with governments. The guidance also recommends human rights safeguards if a U.S. business considers proceeding with a transaction, such as developing a grievance mechanism, and publicly reporting on sales practices.

Businesses that implement this guidance will be better positioned to demonstrate to their stakeholders and the public at large their commitment to respect human rights. They will be better suited to minimize reputational and operational risk. And, most importantly, they will be able to undertake more rigorous measures to mitigate the risk that their products or services will be misused to infringe on the rights of others.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future