SOMO, on behalf of 474 civil society organisations, filed a complaint against Telenor to the Norwegian National Contact Point (NCP) on 27 July 2021. The complaint concerned risk-based due diligence, stakeholder dialogue and disclosure in Telenor’s disengagement from Myanmar.

An initial mediation facilitated by the NCP took place in June 2022. Following this, the parties arrived at a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU). The NCP commends the parties for engaging in constructive dialogue and mediation, and for showing transparency about the discussions to date through the MoU. The NCP will continue to facilitate the dialogue and mediation with a view to arriving at a final agreement. The mediation is facilitated by external experts Mark Stephens and Anna Triponel on behalf of the NCP.

See below a joint update from the parties and the MoU.

All documents in the specific instance are published here.

A joint update from Telenor and SOMO

Telenor and the 474 civil society organizations in Myanmar (represented by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)) have arrived at a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Telenor and the 474 civil society organisations (CSO) have been engaged in the specific instance procedure since a complaint was launched to the Norwegian National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines on 27 July 2021 related to the sale of Telenor Myanmar. An initial mediation facilitated by NCP took place in June 2022. After the mediation in June 2022, the parties arrived at this preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU) that captures the status of the mediation discussions, the agreements and acknowledgements made by both parties, and a path forward for further mediation and agreement.

Both parties share a deep concern for the people of Myanmar and the deterioration of respect for human rights in the country after the military takeover in February 2021. In this context, the parties have started taking steps to implement the agreements made in the MOU.

One such step, to enhance the understanding of risks to users related to their digital footprints, the parties will jointly select an independent researcher to conduct an ICT Eco-System Risk Study. Furthermore, Telenor is sharing expertise and experience about risks to digital rights and freedoms in Myanmar under the military junta. In addition, Telenor has already commenced an internal review process and has invited the complainants to provide input.

The parties agree that there will be regular meetings to follow up on the implementation of the MoU, with the aim of reaching a full agreement by the end of 2022. Following the completion of the independent digital risk study, Telenor has committed to support the implementation of the follow up actions recommended by it, including an exploration of how an independent Myanmar digital security relief mechanism could be established in the near term with the explicit aim of providing support to Myanmar citizens who are facing risks and impacts associated with their digital footprint.  

The parties involved in the mediation process have agreed to respect the agreed confidentiality whilst the process is underway, and we can therefore not share any further details about the mediation process or future steps at this point.