• Tools on Children's Rights and Business now available

    UNICEF has released a set of tools that provide practical guidance on how to integrate child rights considerations into broader risk management processes. They explain in plain language what children’s rights mean for business and how companies can respect and support children’s rights in their decisions, activities and relationships. 

  • Are Children Your Business

    A video that takes you through a visual journey of what children’s rights in business means; from the Convention on the Right of the Child to the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. It makes the case for children’s rights in business including through the voice of business leaders.

  • The Children's Rights and Business Principles

    In a process led by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children – the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) were developed to be the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.

  • 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. Find out more >>

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.
Learn more >>


RECENT EVENTS


Argentina Children's Rights and Business Principles Event
12 June 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Japanese National Release of the Children's Rights and Business Principles
16 May 2014, Tokyo, Japan

On the 16th of May, the Japan Committee for UNICEF, the Global Compact Network Japan, and Save the Children Japan hosted a special event at UNICEF House in Tokyo to mark the Japanese release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. 

To commence the event, an introduction of the Principles was presented by Beth Verhey - Senior Advisor for Corporate Social Responsibility, UNICEF; Greg Duly - Regional Director for South East and East Asia, Save the Children, and Toshihiko Goto - Board Member, Global Compact Network Japan. 

Following the introduction a panel including representatives from IKEA Japan, Ajinomoto and Yahoo Japan shared good practices, and links between children’s rights, sustainable business, and the ability of Japanese companies to operate in the best interests of children both in Japan and overseas were highlighted and discussed. 


Doing Well by Doing Good for Children 
14 May 2014, London, UK

UNICEF & the Guardian Sustainable Business Hub organized a morning of inspiration on child rights which took place at the Guardian’s headquarters in London on 14 May 2014. The event provided an opportunity to explore the range of impacts that business has on children, to be inspired by initiatives that are changing how business impacts children for the better and to gain practical insights on building children's rights into business decision making. 

View the participants list and event agenda, and follow the conversation on twitter at #CSRChildren.


Children's Rights and Business Principles - Global Conference
12 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya

UNICEF, UN Global Compact and Save the Children were pleased to host this year’s Children’s Rights and Business Principles global event which took take place in Nairobi on 12 May 2014. Featuring an engaged group of leading stakeholders from business, government, academia and civil society from the region and beyond, this event reflected on progress made on children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment, with an emphasis on the unique opportunities and challenges in Africa. The event provided a key opportunity to strengthen local, regional and global solutions for children and business. View the event agenda and follow the conversation on twitter at #CSRChildren.


New Tools on Children’s Rights and Business Principles Webinar
26 February 2014

Co-hosted by the UN Global Compact and UNICEF, this webinar was a presentation on the meaning of children’s rights for business and how companies can respect and support children’s rights in their decisions, activities and relationships. In this context, the webinar presented a set of tools developed by UNICEF that provide companies with practical guidance on how to integrate child rights considerations into broader risk management processes. These tools follow and builds on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which were developed by UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact.


Canadian National Release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles
13 February 2014, Toronto, Canada

Some of Canada’s most prominent companies joined forces with the Global Compact Network Canada, Save the Children and UNICEF for the Canadian national release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles this Thursday in Toronto. 

Key leaders from government, business, civil society and the media attended the Canadian release, including Lois Brown MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, who attended on behalf of the Government of Canada. The event also featured a panel discussion moderated by Diana Bishop, former CTV news correspondent, with: John LeBoutillier, President and CEO, Unilever Canada; Doug Horswill, Senior Vice President, Teck Resources; Juanita Montalvo, Senior Vice-President, Sherritt International; and Brendan Seale, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Canada.

Some key takeaways from the event were that Canadian businesses should feel encouraged to take the practical steps identified in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles to demonstrate their respect for children's rights while exercising good business practices. Also, opportunities to address the links between children’s rights and sustainable business, and the ability of Canadian companies to operate in the best interests of children both in Canada and overseas were recognized, reinforcing the message that children’s rights are everyone’s business.


Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights
4 December 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

In the context of the second Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, a multi-stakeholder panel on Business Respect for the Rights of Children was held on 4 December in Palais des Nations, Geneva. It was chaired by Marta Maurás, Senior UNICEF Consultant and included Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Ambassador Carmelo Angulo from Spain, and Porntat Amatavivadhana, Director of Sansiri, a Thai real estate developing company. The panelists engaged in a fruitful discussion with representatives from different States, civil society organizations and the business sector. Against the backdrop of CRC General Comment No. 16 on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights, the panel and the audience emphasised that business profit and competitiveness may never constitute an obstacle to effective human rights implementation. They also highlighted the necessity to move beyond the “do no harm-approach” in respect of impacting on rights and raised the issues of, inter alia, child consultation, child rights due diligence, the right to reparation and the role of the media. Particular emphasis was placed on States' important role in supporting and monitoring corporate obligations in terms of child rights. This role includes, but is not limited to, ensuring non-discriminatory business policies, as well as making sure that the best interests of the child is a primary consideration in every circumstance.

  

Business and human rights workshop: Embedding human rights across departments
20 November 2013, Milan, Italy

Co-organised by Sodalitas and CSR Europe, and hosted by KPMG, the workshop (see agenda) provided CSR managers in Italy the opportunity to discuss challenges and insights related to embedding human rights and children’s rights into everyday business practices.

Also in November, an Italian report, "Business and Human Rights: The Italian case" (in Italian only) was launched as the baseline study in support of the Italian Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the presentation aimed at an informed debate on the role of the Italian government in promoting respect for human rights by Italian companies - wherever they operate - and foreign companies with operations in Italy.

Furthermore, at this year's UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Bocconi University will be hosting a session on "UN Guiding Principles’ implication for Italian multinational corporations".


Spanish CRBP release event
23 October 2013, Madrid, Spain

On 23rd of October, UNICEF Spanish National Committee released the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Spain. Under the theme “Business and Children’s Rights: New challenges and opportunities”, the event brought together 150 business leaders and other stakeholders, such as human rights organizations, government bodies and academia. 
 
Her Majesty the Queen of Spain opened the event, followed by a speech by Consuelo Crespo, President of UNICEF Spanish National Committee. Other speakers included: the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who provided the State’s vision on the topic of businesses and children’s rights; Marta Maurás, Ex-Vice President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, who introduced a breakthrough perspective on how to articulate public and private sector efforts to protect children’s rights; and Andrés Conde, Fundraising, Corporate Alliances and CSR Director of UNICEF Spain, who presented the Principles.  
 
The event further included a discussion panel comprised of Belén Frau (IKEA Spain General Director), Carina Szpilka (ING Spain General Director), and José María Sanz-Magallón (Telefónica’s Global Institutional Relations Director). The panel, whereby the three business leaders spoke about their company’s practices to protect children, ended with a discussion on some of the main challenges faced today by companies to respect and promote children’s rights: supply chain, youth unemployment and financial education.


Power dinner with FTSE to promote CRBP in Indonesia
17 October 2013, Jakarta, Indonesia

Following the launch of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Jakarta earlier this year, UNICEF Indonesia organized an action week dedicated to the promotion of the Principles among the business community in this vibrant economy. One of the highlights during the week was a “power dinner” with Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive of the Financial Times Stock Exchange Group and founder of the FTSE4Good index. The event, which was co-hosted by UNICEF and the Jakarta Chief Marketing Officers Club brought together some 100 business leaders and other stakeholders, including from major market players such as Astra Group and Ikea Indonesia, partners like the local Global Compact network and Save the Children, academia as well as government counterparts. Referring to the more than 10 years of experience with FTSE4Good, Mark Makepeace, who is also the Vice-President of UNICEF UK, described CSR as an investment in companies’ sustainability and in their reputation with potential impact on their profitability. The action week further included a panel discussion with government and private sector partners on the need to strengthen the regulatory framework for CSR in Indonesia as well as a training session on CRBP implementation for child-friendly companies, both of them facilitated by PFP Bangkok and Geneva.  


Innovation & Action: UNICEF Workshop on Children's Rights and Business
18-19 September 2013, New York

The UNICEF Innovation & Action Workshop was a two-day workshop bringing together business leaders, child rights advocates and country experts to explore the impact that companies have on children’s rights and the responsibility of the global business community to support and respect children’s rights.

Speakers at the event included H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium; former President of Ireland and current UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Mary Robinson; UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt; CEO of Safaricom Robert Collymore; President of Sansiri Srettha Thavisin; CEO of RepRisk Philipp Aeby; and Jo Confino, chairman and editorial director of Guardian Sustainable Business. > video of Closing High Level Panel

At the event , UNICEF presented a set of practical tools as well as an innovative new platform, the Corporate Lab, which aims to help companies worldwide to identify and address their impact on children’s rights. The Corporate Lab will serve as a guide for companies to work with UNICEF to implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, to exchange ideas and find solutions to how business and development organizations can work together. The Lab will seek to advance sector-specific and country specific understandings of how business can respect and support children’s rights. > UNICEF Press Release


BYND 2015: Global Youth Summit 
9-11 September 2013, San José, Costa Rica

The Global Youth Summit was hosted by the Government of Costa Rica, and organized by ITU together with other organizations in the UN family, as well as partners from government, industry, media and civil society. In 2012, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared youth as one of five main priorities in the run up to 2015, the date for delivering the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Summit in Costa Rica brought young people from around the world together – both physically and virtually – to participate in a series of workshops, presentations and conversations on how technology could be leveraged for social good and, specifically, how information and communication technologies (ICTs) could contribute to development goals. The Summit sought to contribute to the United Nations and civil society engagement processes (often referred to as Beyond-2015) while prioritizing ICT inclusion as a central pillar of a post-2015 development agenda. The Summit crowd-sourced a multimedia statement from young people onsite and virtually, for delivery to the United Nations General Assembly by the President of Costa Rica.


Korean Children's Rights and Business Principles Conference
30 May 2013, Seoul

Since the release of the Children's Rights and Business Principles in March 2012, the Korean Committee for UNICEF, Save the Children Korea, UN Global Compact Korea and Hankyoreh Economic Institute have examined the social and economic climate of Korea to identify appropriate avenues for the dissemination of the Principles. The findings emphasised the need for an international conference to provide a comprehensive introduction to the Principles and best practice examples from a range of industrial sectors. The Children's Rights and Business Principles Conference 2013 was held in Seoul on the 30th May. The conference illustrated the practicality of the CRBP and their broad relevance with business practices in Korean Industry, and highlighted best practices of CRBP implementation, drawing on the experiences of leading companies, the Swedish Government, and the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in China.

  
Release of the Children's Rights and Business Principles in Azerbaijan

23 May 2013, Baku
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.


"Beyond the Promotional Piggy Bank" released at Child and Youth Finance International Summit
7 May 2013, Istanbul

The Second Annual Child and Youth Finance International Summit & Awards Ceremony was a dialogue between 70 youth form 40 countries and 346 senior-level participants form 83 countries representing governments, financial institutions, NGOs, children's rights advocates and academics. At the event, a discussion paper which is a joint effort by UNICEF and CYFI aiming to facilitate and encourage feedback and sharing was launched. "Beyond the Promotional Piggy Bank - Towards Children as Stakeholders:  A discussion paper on developing child and youth friendly products and services" uses the Children's Rights and Business Principles framework to outline processes that can help financial institutions consider children's rights effectively.


World Child and Youth Forum 2013
22 March 2013, Stockholm

On Friday 22 March, the third World Child & Youth Forum (WCYF) began at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. This year's theme, "Children's Rights - any of your business?", follows on from the guidelines launched by UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact a year ago in the Children's Rights and Business Principles. At the event, which was attended by 350 invitees from businesses, and the world elite in connection with children's rights issues, the progress since the launch of the principles was discussed, and a Global CEO Study by Boston Consulting Group was released, finding that children's rights are low on CEO's CSR priorities.


Release of the Children's Rights and Business Principles in Indonesia
14 February 2013, Jakarta

UNICEF, the Indonesia Global Compact Network and Save the Children joined forces with Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection as well as other national partners in calling on the business community in the country to put children's rights at the centre of the corporate social responsibility agenda. The partners released the Children's Rights and Business Principles during a national ceremony in Jakarta that was attended by the Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar, the Vice Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), Cr. Suryani Sidik Motik, as well as representatives of national and international private sector companies. See the press release and agenda.


Online Discussion hosted by The Guardian - Child Rights: Assessing Business Impacts
17 January 2013 

Guardian Sustainable Business and UNICEF hosted an Online Expert Panel on Assessing Business Impacts on Children, whereby practitioners, companies, academics and civil society discussed how companies can become pro-active in supporting child rights by addressing where their operations affect children. The panel comprised of Viktor Nylund (Senior Advisor, Corporate Social Responsibility, UNICEF), Claire Methven O'Brien (Danish Institute of Human Rights), Helena Wright (Imperial College London), Debbie Coulter (Ethical Trading Initiative), Luke Wilde (TwentyFifty), Matthias Leisinger (Kuoni), and Milka Pietikainen (Millicom), who discussed 'How can business better assess any impacts on children's rights?'. UNICEF's Impact Assessment Tool is being piloted with selected companies and is due for public release in April, 2013.


16 May 2014Children’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 2013UN 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 2013UNICEF 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

Article on Global Compact

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 

 

Sustainability Reporting on Children's Rights

UNICEF CSR Working Paper 

 

UNICEF's Child Info.Org

Monitoring the situation of children and women

 

Child Safety Online, UNICEF 2011

Global challenges and strategies

 

Child labor - UCW Programme
Understanding children's work

 

 The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights  Interpretative guide by OHCHR

 

Assessing The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism