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Mapping the Human Rights Impacts of ICANN Organization’s Daily Operations

ICANN org is currently undertaking an internal Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) to map our internal policies and procedures to their impacts on human rights. We will be using best practices, such as those outlined in relevant international human rights covenants and declarations, as benchmarks. This is the first time we have engaged in such an exercise, and it marks an important point in our evolution, as it will help examine and improve global operations.

This organizational HRIA will focus on four key areas: human resources, procurement, event planning, and the implications of running worldwide offices. The scope does not include an analysis of the multistakeholder community's policy development process. The assessment will provide ICANN org with a prioritized list of risks, opportunities, and impacts. Once finalized, we will assess the recommendations made and determine implementation priorities, while taking into account available resources. This will allow us to make improvements consistent with our mission and bylaws, as well as principles applicable to non-profit organizations as they relate to the human rights impacts of their operations.

We selected an independent third-party consultant firm, Löning-Human Rights & Responsible Business, based in Berlin, Germany, to perform the HRIA and deliver a final report, tentatively scheduled for late August 2018. The project is currently in the data collection phase. The below image presents the general timeline for the project:

Mapping the Human Rights Impacts of ICANN Organization's Daily Operations

We will continue to engage in discussions with the community on this topic and provide updates as new information becomes available.

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    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."