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Children's Rights and Business Principles launched in Serbia

Children are the most important people in the world

On 7 June 2012, UNICEF, UN Global Compact Serbia and Save the Children released the document “Children's Rights and Business Principles“ defining the framework of corporate responsibility towards children, based on the existing standards, initiatives and good business practice related to children.

The said Principles promote positive action and provide businesses with guidelines on how to respect and support children's rights in the workplace and the market, as well as in the community and the environment.

At the conference – attended by more than 50 representatives of businesses and the civil sector – 10 business principles and examples of good practice in Serbia were presented, and further steps to ensure that children’s rights truly become an integral part of the corporate social responsibility of each company were agreed on.

© UNICEF Serbia/Zoran Jovanovic Maccak
Paul Hohen, an international expert in corporate responsibility.

Paul Hohen, an international expert in corporate responsibility, spoke at the conference about the link between children’s human rights and sustainability issues. “Children represent one third of the global population, but also 100 percent of future consumers and investors“, said Paul Hohen, and pointed out that the Principles call on the entire business community to make an appropriate evaluation of its work and to assume the responsibility for its influence on children’s wellbeing.

“We discussed the contents of this document exactly one year ago. Thanks to your comments and suggestions, the Principles are worded in the way they are now presented, and we are aware that they are just the first step of a long journey to their full implementation“, said Lesley Miller, UNICEF Deputy Area Representative in Serbia, in her welcoming speech. She also mentioned the situation of children in Serbia which, although much improved in the past five years in certain segments, still requires a substantial involvement of all the stakeholders in the society, especially where marginalised and excluded children are concerned.

During a very active discussion, rich in examples of good practice given by the representatives of Telenor, Represent Communications, Metalac, Ikea Srbija, Coca Cola Company, Komercijalna banka, Delhaize Group, and Telekom Srbija, the attendees agreed that businesses have a significant influence on the exercise and promotion of children's rights, as well as that business operations which take into account the responsibility towards children will result in the creation of healthy and strong communities, and in more sustainable and more inclusive markets. The document “Children's Rights and Business Principles” provides a comprehensive framework for action and for eliminating the existing negative business impact on the exercise of children's rights.

Click here to download PDF "Children’s Rights and Business Principles" (English version)

Click here to download PDF "Children’s Rights and Business Principles" (Serbian version)

 

 
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