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A call to business to respect and support children’s rights

Children’s Rights and Business Principles
Ethical practices and policies to strengthen corporate sustainability initiatives to benefit children, communities and businesses alike

12 March 2012 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on business leaders everywhere to embrace the spirit of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 April 2012 – A landmark set of ten principles were recently introduced by the UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children to help business to step up their corporate social responsibility efforts to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace and community.

“I call on business leaders everywhere to embrace the spirit of the Principles,” said the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon in a statement in support of the Principles and the efforts made by partners in their development.

Covering a wide range of key issues – from child labour to marketing and advertising practices to the role of business in aiding children affected by emergencies – the Children's Rights and Business Principles, released on12 March in London, call on businesses everywhere to uphold children’s rights through their policy commitments, due diligence and remediation measures, and to take action to advance children’s rights.

Positive business impacts

“Businesses increasingly recognise their responsibility to respect the rights of the youngest members of our society. In addition, many businesses are committed to supporting children and working with governments and civil society to advance children’s rights. But when it comes to children, we all need to do more,” added Secretary-General Ban.

Aspiring to be a key reference point for existing and future voluntary and other initiatives on business and children, the Principles identifies a comprehensive range of actions that all business should take to prevent and address adverse impacts connected with their activities and relationships, and maximise positive business impacts on children’s lives.

In addition, the Principles seeks to inform other societal actors, particularly governments and civil society, in their engagement with business. While governments at all levels have the duty to protect, respect and fulfil children’s rights, all societal actors, including business and civil society must comply with applicable national law and respect international standards on children’s rights.

Getting serious about child rights

“The Children’s Rights and Business Principles are a much-needed call to action for business to get serious about children’s rights,” said UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. “At the same time, they underscore the tremendous potential for positive action that can create value for children, communities and business alike.”

The Principles are based on the results of a global multi-stakeholder consultation process, in which more than 600 business leaders, civil society representatives and children participated. Additionally, several thousand people were reached throughout the consultation process.

The UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children offer these Principles as a guide for all business in their interactions with children.


For more information, please contact:

Jeremy Hartley
UNICEF Media, Geneva
Tel +41 22 909 5406,

Indra Kumari Nadchatram
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6012 292 6872,





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