Children's Rights and Business: Innovation & Action Workshop
On the 18th and 19th of September 2013, a group of 150 sustainability leaders, CEOs, civil society actors, UNICEF representatives and experts met at UNICEF house in New York to take the conversation on business and children’s rights to new levels.
Over two days, the group delved into a number of topics ranging from UNICEF's tools for companies on integrating child rights into company policies and practices, concrete steps that companies can take to respect and support children’s rights, child labour, young workers and the post-2015 agenda. Speakers included Bob Collymore (CEO Safaricom), Bob Corcoran (Vice President General Electric), Charlotte Ersbol (Corporate Vice President Novo Nordisk), Her Majesty the Queen of Belgium, President Mary Robinson, Srettha Thavisin (CEO Sansiri), Anna Zanghi (Vice President Mastercard), Yoka Brandt (UNICEF DED) and many others.
Renowned social innovation firm Frog Design lead participants through 14 challenge sessions to develop new approaches and solutions to child rights and business dilemmas that will inform the development of business-led action plans as part of UNICEF’s Corporate Lab. The event closed with a Davos-style discussion facilitated by leading CSR and sustainability expert Jo Confino (Chairman, Guardian Sustainable Business).
The corporate event in NY was the culmination of the UNICEF tools pilot 2013 in which the PFP CSR team sought feedback and input from relevant stakeholders on draft tools providing guidance for companies on how to implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. The pilot participants included 45 companies from 25 countries and 15 consultancy companies. Based on the outcomes of the pilot, the tools have been revised and will be publicly released in October 2013 allowing business to operationalize their respect and support for children’s rights in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Response to the event
UNICEF released a Press Release covering the Innovation Workshop and the new tools for companies.
- An article by the Mary Robinson Foundation titled "Businesses have role to play in livelihoods of future generations".
- Audiences on Twitter used the hashtag #csrchildren to reference insights to the event and the topic of children's rights in business.
- Video coverage of the Children's rights are everyone's busniess side event was included in Belgian News.