Child Rights and Business Forum: Responsible Businesses for Viet Nam’s Thriving Next Generation
HA NOI, VIET NAM, 30 May 2023 – A Child Rights and Business Forum has been organized today in Ha Noi by UNICEF Viet Nam and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), emphasizing the need for responsible business practices that respect child rights and prevent adverse human rights impacts.
“Children are both the present and the future, and business practices cannot be sustainable if they do not account for their impact on children”, said Ms. Rana Flowers, Representative of UNICEF in Viet Nam. “It requires children to be a key consideration in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) assessments – where impacts and risks are assessed objectively, and key practices identified that can minimize those risks and create a positive impact for children. It will improve competitiveness and sustainability, it will win the support of stakeholders, especially investors, who are socially conscious and looking at ESG risks and how businesses are managing them”.
Viet Nam is increasingly involved in the global supply chain and more rigorously integrated into the global economy. The country has signed over 15 trade agreements and has reaffirmed its commitment to respecting international fundamental principles and rights in the workplace.
Viet Nam is in the process of developing a National Action Plan (NAP) to improve laws and policies to advance responsible business practices for the period of 2023-2027. The draft NAP adopts the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), ensuring that all business practices, that ESG requirements are underpinned by clear human rights commitments. At the forum, participants discussed and agreed that greater attention and distinctive measures should be included in the NAP to ensure the prevention and mitigation of adverse impacts and accelerating outcomes for children in health, nutrition, education, WASH, protection, and participation.
"The Child Rights and Business Forum is a critical event that aims to promote responsible business practices and supports the rights and well-being of children in Viet Nam," said Mr Nguyễn Quang Vinh, VCCI Vice Chairman and emphasized: "Prioritizing the practice of ESG not only helps domestic businesses meet international standards, but also equips them with the ability to enter the global market. This, in turn, promotes responsible business operations and creates a more sustainable future for everyone”
Bringing together representatives from over 100 businesses, government, social organizations, and academia, the forum provided a platform to: i) exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices on integrating child rights into business’s operations, and supply chains, ii) adopt policies, assessments and practices that uphold child rights; and iii) to identify challenges and opportunities for businesses to implement child rights practices. Participants also had opportunities to dialogue with children and youth to listen and to understand their needs.
Entitled “Responsible Businesses for Viet Nam’s thriving next generation”, the forum is organized under the framework of the collaboration program between UNICEF Viet Nam and VCCI on promoting Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) among Enterprises in Viet Nam, with an aim to create an enabling environment for businesses and strengthen business knowledge, capacity, and commitment to respect and support the rights of children in Viet Nam.
This forum is held toward the occasion of World Day Against Child Labor (12 June), with a highlight of the business’ major roles in ending child labor, which is integral to the CRBP. The forum is also organized one week prior to the 5th UN Responsible Business and Human Rights (RBHR) Asia Pacific Forum, that convenes various stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific for constructive dialogue and peer-learning on how to strengthen responsible business and corporate accountability in the region. The forum is expected to provide substantive points and momentum from Viet Nam to the regional RBHR.
The forum is accessible to the public via this link
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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 COVID-19, visit https://www.unicef.org/vietnam/covid-19
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/vietnam