The five-year partnership will focus on creating technology to predict and respond to crises.
The $5 million, five-year project represents an “unprecedented level of support from a private sector organization,” the U.N. rights office said Tuesday.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said as a global company, the technology giant has a “responsibility” to help solve human rights crises.
“We have an untapped opportunity to use the power of technology to collect data, analyze that data, and equip the United Nations to advance human rights around the world,” Smith said in a statement.
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U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the partnership could be “truly groundbreaking.”
“We live in a rapidly evolving age, where technology can either be used to solve human rights problems or misused to erode human rights,” Hussein said. “Similarly, companies can infringe people’s rights, or they can be a major progressive force.”