Businesses rallied to advance children’s rights in Rwanda
KIGALI, RWANDA – 25 March 2022 | In recognition of the increasingly prominent role the private sector can play in advancing children’s rights, UNICEF Rwanda, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), and the National Child Development Agency (NCDA) launched the “CEO Forum for Children” earlier today.
The forum is expected to bring together top CEOs from leading private companies across Rwanda who will advocate for, participate in dialogue, and implement child-friendly policies at their respective areas of business while sharing a common voice for children’s rights.
“Children have a stake in business as consumers, dependents of employees, future employees, and business leaders but most importantly as citizens in the communities and environments where businesses operate,” said Julianna Lindsey, the UNICEF Representative in Rwanda.
“Therefore, every form of business – whether large or small - inevitably interacts with and affects the lives of children,” she added.
This high-level forum will provide a platform for sharing experiences and examples from real-life practices undertaken by companies from around the world to respect and support children’s rights. The CEOs are expected to commit to advancing the rights of children in Rwanda.
“Children are the future of this country and tomorrow’s investors; therefore it is extremely important that businesses pay the due level of attention to ensuring that the business practices which they adhere to on a day-to-day basis are child friendly,” said the Chairperson of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation, Mr. Robert Bafakulera.
UNICEF is working in close collaboration with the National Child Development Agency to advance child rights and wellbeing in the country and is envisaged to play a leading role in the creation and operationalization of the CEO Forum for Children.
“The creation of this forum will go a long way in harnessing the considerable influence and resources that the Private Sector in Rwanda has, and to pool these resources for the greatest cause of all, in the interest of ensuring a better future for all Rwandan children,” said the Director-General of the National Child Development Agency, Ms. Umutoni Gatsinzi Nadine.
The Government of Rwanda has consistently shown commitment in placing the family at the center of development, and as a prerequisite to achieving equitable and sustainable development for the country at large.
It is in this regard that along with NCD Agency and other partners, UNICEF is actively engaged in promoting Child Rights and Business Practices in the workplace, which has paid dividends in the form of 30 child-friendly spaces established by companies in the tea, rice, and extractive industries.
In collaboration with key partners including the National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB), UNICEF also recently released a business case to encourage the private sector in Rwanda – particularly companies with many employees of reproductive age – to invest in employer-supported childcare. The report demonstrates that by investing in childcare services at workplaces, substantial business and social returns can be generated.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Rwanda, visit www.unicef.org/rwanda.
About the Private Sector Federation
The Private Sector Federation – Rwanda (PSF) is a professional organization, dedicated to promoting and representing the interests of the Rwandan business community. It is an umbrella organization that groups five sectoral clusters. It was established in December 1999, replacing the former Rwanda Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
About the National Child Development Agency
The National Child Development Agency (NCDA) is a Government institution which merged the former National Commission for Children (NCC) and the National Early Childhood Development Program (NECDP). The Agency’s main mission is to foster the development of a child, the promotion, and the protection of his or her rights.