Private Sector Engagement
Advocating for greater investments for children
Children have a stake in business as consumers, dependents of employees, young workers, future employees, business leaders and as citizens in the communities and environments in which business operates. Business – whether large or small – therefore inevitably interacts with and affects the lives of children.
There are around 20 million children in Uganda today – nearly 60 per cent of Uganda’s population. Of these, around 8 million children are living in poverty, deprived of many of the basic services and rights they need to grow up and become fully effective citizens in the future. In addition, more than 2 million Ugandan children are currently undernourished.
Their stunted physical and cognitive growth, which is permanent and irreparable, means that their future productive potential is greatly diminished. It is estimated that all this is already costing Uganda over 5 per cent of its annual gross domestic product – 1.8 trillion shillings every year. Furthermore, 2.4 million Ugandan children are working in exploitative conditions in Uganda, with 93 per cent of rural children believed to be engaged in commercial or subsistence agriculture.
This loss can be reduced by strategically partnering with the private sector to invest in children. Whether by sponsoring scholarships to promote girls’ education, or financing a child support grant for young children living in poverty, or implementing codes of conduct that ban child labour in the supply chain, business plays a key role in advancing children’s rights.
CHILD RIGHTS BUSINESS PRINCIPLES
THE BUSINESS PRINCIPLES SET OUT BUSINESS ACTION TO RESPECT AND SUPPORT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS.
1. COMMIT TO SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS.
2. CONTRIBUTE TO THE ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOUR.
3. PROVIDE DECENT WORK FOR YOUNG WORKERS, PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS.
4. PROTECT AND ENSURE THAT CHILDREN ARE SAFE IN ALL BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES.
5. ENSURE THAT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ARE SAFE AND SEEK TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS THROUGH THEM.
6. USE MARKETING AND ADVERTISING THAT RESPECTS AND SUPPORTS CHILDREN’S RIGHTS.
7. RESPECT AND SUPPORT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN RELATION TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND TO LAND ACQUISITION AND USE.
8. RESPECT AND SUPPORT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS.
9. HELP PROTECT CHILDREN AFFECTED BY EMERGENCIES.
10. REINFORCE COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO PROTECT AND FULFILL CHILDREN’S RIGHTS.
We now call on all businesses in Uganda to adopt the Principles and to join us in calling for and making greater investments in Ugandan children.
To engage the private sector, UNICEF is supporting:
- The development of a public-private partnership for child rights policy, which could include channelling a percentage of company budgets towards basic services for children, as well as establish minimum standards for companies to protect child rights.
- Companies to implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs) – a comprehensive framework that supports businesses to address the impact of their business on the rights and well-being of children. This will mean advocating with industry networks and companies to robustly operationalize the Business Principles.
- The development innovative financing mechanisms to scale up high-impact interventions for both early childhood development (ECD) and adolescent girls.
- The Implementation of partnerships with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the apex body of the private sector in Uganda, and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, to execute all of the above-mentioned interventions.
- Strengthening of partnerships with global CRBP partners, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children to support companies and industries to fully operationalize the CRBPs.
- The development of public-private partnership action plans for the information and communications technology, banking and extractive industries.
- By 2020, a Public-Private Partnership for Child Rights Policy and legislation will have been developed.
- By 2020, at least 100 companies will be operationalizing the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
- By 2020, two innovative financing mechanisms, one for ECD and another for adolescent girls’ programmes, will have been established.
#InvestInUGchildren: Realize Uganda's Vision 2040