The goal of UNICEF’s children’s rights and business agenda is to promote the corporate responsibility to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace and community in conjunction with the government duty to protect and safeguard children’s rights.
Building on the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework, set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), UNICEF engages governments, companies and civil society to place children’s rights at the heart of the corporate social responsibility agenda.
- State duty to PROTECT: UNICEF advocates for governments to fulfil their duty to protect children’s rights in line with the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment no. 16.
- Corporate responsibility to RESPECT: UNICEF promotes the corporate responsibility to respect and commitment to support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace and community, as described in the ‘Children’s Rights and Business Principles’.
- Rights of survivors to access an effective REMEDY: UNICEF has started to look at how it can support remedies for children whose rights may have been negatively affected by business.
UNICEF engages with business on children’s rights through global, regional as well as national frameworks, networks and initiatives. UNICEF makes available standards, tools and knowledge gained on CSR over time, on the basis of which individual companies can design their own internal policies and procedures that comply with child rights. UNICEF’s National Committees and country offices are building on thorough analysis and thematic priorities, including promoting legislation and regulatory frameworks for CSR at the country level.
UNICEF is taking an industry approach in its engagement with companies, as well working on cross-cutting issues such as global supply chains. Pilot projects within priority industries – with businesses, industry associations, UNICEF National Committees, UNICEF country offices and governments – are a key strategy to develop good practice, set precedents, promote the uptake of the children’s rights and business principles, and facilitate scale up.
The industry approach is not just about changing ‘bad behaviour’; it is also about having a strategic focus for a holistic engagement with targeted business to derive the maximum benefit for children. As businesses shift to a ‘shared-value’ approach in their core business models, they seek new opportunities to engage. There is potential to identify areas of common interest, and opportunities for business to contribute to results for children’s rights through core business activities, innovation, social investment, advocacy engagement, partnerships and collective action.
UNICEF is engaged in CSR work across the globe - here are some examples from different countries:
"Cross-sector collaboration brings huge benefits for Thai children" [Eng] by Mark Thomas - UNICEF Thailand
"How to Walk the Talk of Respecting Children's Rights?" [Eng] by Ida Hyllested - UNICEF Switzerland
"Les enfants sont l'affaire de tous" [FR]
"Why are children everyone's business?" [Eng] by Maya Faisal - UNICEF Malaysia
"The business case for a more child focused approach to CSR is clear" [Eng] by David Bull - UNICEF United-Kingdom
"Le milieu des affaires commence à reconnaître sa responsabilité et son rôle vis-à-vis des enfants et des jeunes" [FR]
"Assessing CSR in Madagascar" [Eng] by Daniel Timme - UNICEF Madagascar