• Tools on Children's Rights and Business

    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 no. 16 on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children's rights. UNICEF has released a plain-language, accessible version of this text, and has also published practical guidance for governments on how to implement their children's rights and business obligations.

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.
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Business, children and sustainable development

Children make up almost a third of the world’s population and interplay with business as consumers, employees’ family members and workers. They are a unique stakeholder group in local communities as well as in the society at large: children have specific vulnerabilities and needs, and in some cases, business activities that have no negative impact on adults may be very harmful to children’s rights and well-being.

Addressing these impacts offers enormous potential to improve the rights of children and to protect them from harm through the way in which business treats its employees, operates its facilities, develops and markets its products, provides its services, and exerts its influence on economic and social development.

Despite the growth and stronger focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies especially in the wake of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, children are rarely considered as distinct stakeholders and rights holders by business. However, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, business must become fit for children.

How UNICEF supports better business for children

UNICEF’s Better Business for Children framework builds on existing work with business, industry platforms and governments to achieve respect for children's rights across business operations and supply chains.

UNICEF engages business on its impact on children across four major sub-themes. They capture key aspects of business operations – global supply chains and workplaces, marketing and advertising, the power of finance and the impact of digital. Cutting across all of them is the powerful role that businesses can play as advocates for children's rights. ​Across these workstreams and different industries (extractive sector, ICT, travel & tourism, sports, etc.), and with a focus on the links to programmatic result areas, UNICEF generates expertise and evidence of impacts on children by business activities and provides a wealth of resources, guidance and tools for companies, governments and other business stakeholders on how to develop and implement policies and practices that consider children's rights.

 
  • Research and evidence generation to build a knowledge base on the impacts on children across themes and industries, the unique risks and opportunities faced in a particular country, and the role of key influencers in addressing these impacts.
  • Policy guidance to identify gaps and offer potential solutions to companies. UNICEF has developed a number of tools, including generic child rights and sustainability tools, ICT tools and the Children's Rights and Business Atlas, that companies can use to improve their policies and processes vis-à-vis child rights.
  • Advocacy and thought leadership by engaging com​panies, governments, industry and multi-stakeholder platforms in processes to generate evidence, draft policy guidance, develop standards for responsible business conduct in relation to child rights impacts, and amplify advocacy messages across the themes. This also involves engaging business champions to become advocates for children's rights and to support any of the themes.

 
As businesses shift towards an approach that also focus on societal value as part of their core business models, UNICEF seeks new opportunities to partner with the private sector and to identify areas of common interest and innovative win-win situations for children and businesses.