Child safeguarding and business
UNICEF’s ongoing global efforts to safeguard children and ensure their safety and wellbeing everywhere, including in the workplace and in all business interactions, is a foundational pillar of promoting better business for children.
Global studies suggest child abuse remains rampant - more than 1 billion children aged 2–17 have suffered physical, sexual or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. Freedom from abuse is every child’s right, and safeguarding children against abuse is part of a company’s responsibility to respect and support child rights, as stated in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Most companies encounter children at some point during their business activities, be it face-to-face through for example direct sales, business travel or events, or indirectly through online contact with children and their data.
Child Safeguarding Toolkit for Business
This toolkit is a practical tool that allows companies to identify, assess and address risks to children they interact with; aiming at preventing any physical, sexual and emotional abuse and maltreatment by employees and other persons whom the company is responsible for. The Toolkit guides companies through six steps in the process of assessing their safeguarding risks and developing a child safeguarding program. It outlines procedures for setting up a child safeguarding policy, rolling out the implementation plan and addressing and reporting potential allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards children.
It also provides guidance for employees on how to take relevant action when faced with potential or actual safeguarding risks.
The guidance outlined in the toolkit is informed by the practical experiences of companies that have established child safeguarding policies and programs, as well as the ongoing work of UNICEF in developing human rights and business guidance. The materials have been developed and tested as part of a three-year partnership between UNICEF and The LEGO Group. The guidance is relevant for all companies across industries, at different sizes and levels of maturity.
Through this toolkit UNICEF can reach, inspire and guide companies from across industries as they embark on their child safeguarding journey, and we encourage colleagues across UNICEF to utilize this toolkit and the accompanying resources in collaboration with business partners.