Children’s Rights are at the heart of ‘Business’
Belgrade, 24 June 2011 – National consultations on the “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” were held today in Belgrade with the participation of over 30 representatives of the private sector, civil society organisations and media outlets.
“Business has enormous potential to impact children’s lives – both positively and negatively. The Children’s Rights and Business Principles offer companies an unprecedented opportunity to become a more beneficial force for children, maximizing their positive impacts while minimizing any negative ones”, said UNICEF Serbia Deputy Representative Lesley Miller in her introductory address.
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), to be launched this November, will be the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they may take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.
The private sector can make an important contribution towards the realization of child rights not only through its own practices and policies, but also by using its influence to change attitudes, policies and institutions.
This timely initiative addresses a void in children’s rights, and also reflects a rising interest within the corporate sector to move beyond the “do no harm” mentality and help foster child-friendly environments within stronger, more resilient communities. Aside from the moral imperative of protecting children, the principles also make good business sense.
The consultative process is also held online, in the organisation of the UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children. Suggestions and comments from the private sector, media and civil society organisations from all over the world will help shape the Children’s Rights and Business Principles document which aims to set the standard for child-friendly businesses everywhere.
“While the culture of corporate sustainability has broadened considerably in recent years, a child rights perspective is often absent during discussions regarding the human rights responsibilities of business,” said Christopher L. Avery, Director of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which is hosting the online consultation.
Supporting the Children’s Rights and Business Principles can help companies minimize material risks and discover new business opportunities. Research suggests that child-friendly policies and practices may be indicative of good corporate governance and better risk management - enhancing brand value, increasing employee satisfaction, driving consumer loyalty, and contributing to more sustainable value creation in the long term.
Intended to be a unifying point of reference for the impact of business activities on children, the Principles aim to cover a broad range of categories, including:
UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children are inviting businesses, civil societies and media outlets to take an active role in developing a global standard of business principles pertaining to children’s rights which will serve them as a useful guide in the realisation of children rights and at the same time help them maximise their corporate responsibility commitments.
About the Children’s Rights & Business Principles
Please visit (http://www.business-humanrights.org/) for more information and to participate.
For more information please contact: