Children's Rights and Business Principles
The Principles provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and addressing the impact of business on the rights and well-being of children.
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A round table on children's rights was held in the Azerbaijani parliament on 22 May with the support of UNICEF. The event was attended by Vice-Speaker Bahar Muradova, Head of UNICEF Baku Office Mark Hereward, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Antonius Broek, as well as MPs Hadi Rahabli, Ziyad Samedzade and Vahid Ahmadov. A detailed discussion ensued, underscoring Azerbaijan's cooperation with UNICEF to improve the country's legislation, the persistence of child labour in the country, the obligation of entrepreneurs to support efforts of government and society to protect children's rights particularly in emergency situations, and the examples of advertising to children in the responsibility of business to respect and support children's rights.
17 January 2013
16 May 2014 – Children’s Rights in Sustainability Reporting
UNICEF has just issued a second edition of Children’s rights in sustainability reporting: A guide for incorporating children’s rights into GRI-based reporting, in which the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has participated.
An industry wide understanding of how to report on corporate impact on children’s rights is still in its early stages. Through this tool, UNICEF is starting a dialogue with companies on their actions to respect and support children’s rights and how these can be communicated in their sustainability reports.
15 May 2014 – ‘UNICEF Play Timer’ mobile app
Work-proof your mobile when spending time with your children with the new ‘UNICEF Play Timer’ app.
To increase awareness about ‘The Children’s Rights and Business Principles’, UNICEF Sweden has developed an app that enables children to spend quality time with their parents without any interruption from work.
The app is available in Swedish, English, Spanish and French; read more and download the app at http://unicef.se/playtimer.
22 March 2013 - World Child & Youth Forum 2013
The World Child & Youth Forum (a registered charitable trust) was established in Stockholm, Sweden in 2009. Its aim is to be an independent multi-stakeholder platform that inspires to realise the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The third annual Forum will take place on March 22 (by invitation only) at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden with the theme ”Children’s Rights – Any of Your Business?”. 300 participants from every sector in society will attend, over 60% of which represent business.
The World Child & Youth Forum is a catalyst to facilitate cross sector dialogue and partnerships for the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights. The Children’s Rights and Business Principles were launched in March 2012 and the forum will include a stock taking event on global achievements and challenges so far. The program also covers the recently-adopted General Comment by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights. Business’ role in youth employment and access to clean water and sanitation will be discussed in the afternoon.
Speakers include Lord Michael Hastings, International Director of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG; Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Jasmine Whitbread, CEO, Save the Children; Nigel Chapman, CEO, Plan International; Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom; Mikael Ohlsson, CEO, IKEA Group; Chris Avery, Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Marta Maurás, Former vice chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; and Laura Turner Seydel. Director, Turner Foundation.
6 February 2013 - UN Committee on the Rights of the Child UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopts General Comment No. 16 (2013) on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights
In February 2013, the Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted a General Comment on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children's rights. It is the first UN human rights treaty body to address this issue directly in a General Comment.
The General Comment provides States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child with guidance on the nature and scope of their obligations under the Convention to respect, protect and fulfil child rights in the context of the impact of business activities. It provides States with a framework for implementing the Convention with regard to the business sector in key areas, including on how States should ensure that the activities and operations of business enterprises do not adversely impact on children’s rights; how to create an enabling and supportive environment for business enterprises to respect children’s rights including across any business relationships linked to their operations, products or services and across their global operations; and, how to ensure access to effective remedy for children whose rights have been infringed by a business enterprise.
The General Comment considers the relationship between State obligations regarding business activities and the Convention, it examines the scope of obligations in contexts where the impact of business operations on children´s rights is most significant, and it outlines a framework for implementation, addressing specifically the media and communications industry where relevant.
In developing the General Comment, the Committee consulted and discussed widely over the course of two years, including through public calls for online submissions, multi-stakeholder consultations, consultations with children in several countries, and an International Symposium in Sion, Switzerland in October 2012.
26 January 2013 - UNICEF Platform on Business and Children’s Rights in Sweden
Following the release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in March 2012, the Swedish Committee for UNICEF launched a two-year corporate platform to engage Swedish companies on the implementation of the Principles using the draft due diligence tools developed by UNICEF. The platform is comprised of a series of ten workshops focused on helping companies better 4 understand how to fulfill their responsibility to respect and support children’s rights. The workshops are comprised of trainings and group exercises focused on: 1) the business and human rights landscape; 2) each of the ten Principles and the implications for business; and 3) piloting UNICEF’s due diligence tools, which will be finalised later this year.
More than 20 companies are participating in the platform, each of them representing more than $1 billion in annual turnover. The workshops provide an interactive learning environment through which participants share information and lessons learned on good and worst practices related to implementing the Principles. Already, some of the participants have started to incorporate a child rights perspective into their human rights due diligence processes by initiating child rights impact assessments and reviewing existing company policies to integrate relevant child rights components.
Business Role in Development Seen as Stronger than Ever Before, Media Coverage of Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Shows
June 15 to 19 - Corporate Sustainability Forum - Rio
The four day meeting will bring over 1900 participants including more than 50% from business, but also civil society, government, media and UN to look at the role of private sector to developing a more sustainable world. UNICEF will be participating at the forum. Gary Stahl, UNICEF Brazil representative, will represent the organization at the special panel on children; and Suba Jayasekaran (CSR-PFP NY) and Wim Desmedt (Head of PFP, Brazil CO) will participate throughout the forum.
Article on UNICEF participation to the Forum - Forum Registration list - Forum agenda - Video of the conference
Special activities that we had been organizing in relation to this event were:
Children and Business: Making the Connection to Sustainability – June 17, 2012
UNICEF, together with UN Global Compact and Save the Children will organize a panel at the event, presenting the Children’s Rights and Business Principles; and bringing together business leaders to discuss why business should consider children as they develop their sustainability strategies. The session will be moderated by Jo Confino – Chief Editor of Guardian Sustainable Hub, and will feature speakers such as Susanne Stormer (Vice President, Novo Nordisk), Greg Priest (Sustainability Policy and Compliance, Ikea), and Cecila Rena (Grupo Arcor). A special guest speaker Tatiana Alves, with extensive experience working on environment and sustainability issues from business and civil society will make a special presentation to highlight the linkages between children and sustainability for business. Gary Stahl, UNICEF Representative for Brazil, will represent UNICEF at the meeting. The panel will be screened live through webfeed.
Agenda of the session on Children and Business
Business Talks to Young People about Sustainability: Twitter Chat – June 7, 2012 - 11am ET
In the lead up to the Rio event, UNICEF will also be organizing a twitter chat with young people to engage business on themes of sustainability, and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer from Unilever will participate as a business representative. The questions from young people will also feed into the panel at Rio; and posed to the speakers on the panel. Join the chat here.Read the Article.
Resources for Business
The Guardian Sustainability Hub: Children's Rights and Business
UNICEF Children's Rights and Business Pocket Guide
Beyond the Promotional Piggybank Child-Friendly Financial Products
UNICEF CSR Working Paper
Monitoring the situation of children and women
Global challenges and strategies
Child labor - UCW Programme
Understanding children's work