Children’s Rights are at the heart of ‘Business’
New York/ London / Kyiv, 5 May 2011 - UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children are inviting businesses to take an active role in developing a global standard of business principles pertaining to children’s rights.
Through an online consultation process, which is launched today, representatives of the private sector can help shape the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which aim to set the standard for child-friendly businesses everywhere. At the same time, leading business and civil society representatives are meeting in London for the first of a series of global consultations.
“Sustainability at its heart is about inter-generational accountability, how we prepare the world for our children and theirs in turn. Business has a key role to play in operationalizing this in how they value and manage their impact on children’s lives, today,” said Simon Zadek, Senior Fellow, JF Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), to be launched this November, will be the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they may take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.
The private sector can make an important contribution towards the realization of child rights not only through its own practices and policies, but also by using its influence to change attitudes, policies and institutions.
“While the culture of corporate sustainability has broadened considerably in recent years, a child rights perspective is often absent during discussions regarding the human rights responsibilities of business,” said Christopher L. Avery Director of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which is hosting the consultation.
Supporting the Children’s Rights and Business Principles can help companies minimize material risks and discover new business opportunities. Research suggests that child-friendly policies and practices may be indicative of good corporate governance and better risk management - enhancing brand value, increasing employee satisfaction, driving consumer loyalty, and contributing to more sustainable value creation in the long term.
Intended to be a unifying point of reference for the impact of business activities on children, the Principles aim to cover a broad range of categories, including:
“The CRBP provides business with a principles-based framework and a practical pathway to become a beneficial force for children, maximizing their positive impacts and minimizing any negative impacts of their operations, products and marketing practices,” added Zadek.
About the Children’s Rights & Business Principles
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About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 150 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF activities in Ukraine at www.unicef.org.ua
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