Children's Rights in Policies

The commitment to respect and support children’s rights can be integrated within company statements of business principles, codes of conduct or other values-related corporate commitments and policies. This commitment can also take the form of a stand-alone statement or a specific child protection policy or code of conduct.

This tool recommends ways for all businesses to incorporate children’s rights into their policies and codes of conduct, based on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and reaching beyond the traditional focus areas of child labour and philanthropy. It outlines the children’s rights elements that are relevant to all companies, and also includes elements that companies can adopt and integrate as appropriate, based on their biggest areas of risk and opportunity.

Although businesses do not necessarily have to develop a stand-alone child rights policy, it is important that all companies include a statement of their commitment to fulfil their duties on all human rights – including children’s rights – in their existing policies and codes of conduct and, when material, include policy elements and code of conduct provisions that address specific child rights impacts. ‘Material’ issues in a child rights context reflect the perspective of children as key stakeholders; they are considered in terms of the impact experienced by children, rather than the company itself.

Use this tool to:

•  Integrate children’s rights elements into existing corporate commitments and policies
• Get started on developing a stand-alone child rights or child protection policy or code of conduct
• Establish expectations for personnel, suppliers, customers and other business partners.
• Find suggestions for policy recommendations based on a company’s child rights risks or opportunities
 

 
policy tool

Children's Rights in Policies and Codes of Conduct

Authors: UNICEF, Save the Children
Date: December, 2013
Download: English

This tool recommends ways for all businesses to incorporate children’s rights into their policies and codes of conduct, based on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. It reaches beyond the traditional focus areas of child labour and philanthropy  and  outlines the child rights elements that are relevant to all companies. At the same time, it is intended to be flexible and adaptable, and includes elements that companies can adopt and integrate as appropriate, based on their biggest areas of risk and opportunity.