SOURCE: United Nations Global Compact
Stockholm, March 22, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Today marks one year since the release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles – a global call on business to step up efforts to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment.
Twenty-seven national events worldwide have helped to raise awareness of this landmark set of Principles, share best practices for implementation, and create opportunities for partnerships and collective action at the local level among business and other societal actors.
As part of the annual World Child and Youth Forum taking place today in Stockholm, the three sponsoring organizations – Save the Children, UNICEF and the UN Global Compact – came together to mark the first anniversary of the Principles’ global release. Representatives from the private sector, government, civil society and the UN showcased how these guidelines have been operationalized to advance company efforts to respect and support children’s rights, and to identify areas for improvement.
Business from a variety of sectors such as travel and tourism, consumer goods, telecommunications and media are among those taking concrete steps to integrate the Principles into core business strategy and operations. Businesses have utilized the Principles to create policies and report on human rights; undertake impact assessments of their operations in specific countries; enhance engagement with stakeholders at the local level throughout the supply chain; and develop good corporate practices and tools which are relevant for both multinational and small- and medium-sized enterprises
“In the past year, a significant achievement has been the development of resources and tools to help business understand and implement the Principles,” said Leila Pakkala, Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships at UNICEF. “The adoption of the General Comment on Children and Business is another key milestone, providing guidance for governments on their role.”
“I am very encouraged that so many businesses have announced that they are integrating child rights into their core business practices. The challenge now is to make the principles a reality. I am confident that where civil society works together with business and governments, we can make real progress towards realising the rights of children worldwide,” said Jasmine Whitbread, International CEO of Save the Children.
Developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children – the Children’s Rights and Business Principles identify a comprehensive range of actions that all businesses should take to prevent and address adverse impacts connected with their activities and relationships, and maximize positive business impacts on children’s lives. While the business and human rights agenda has evolved significantly in recent years, the Principles were developed to explicitly address a child rights perspective. They seek to provide a key reference point for existing and future initiatives on business and children, and to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration.
“In the short time since their launch, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles have helped to elaborate both expectations of, and opportunities for business as they relate to children, who are often overlooked as stakeholders,” said Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Executive Director. “Companies are turning these principles into practice, and in doing so are joining together to build a world that is fit for children.”
A web-based platform was also launched today to advance business efforts to integrate a child rights perspective into the corporate sustainability agenda. The website (www.childrenandbusiness.org) will provide a central hub for business, civil society and Governments to access information related to the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
The new platform features key resources and guidance materials, engagement opportunities for business and other stakeholders, and information about events taking place around the world related to children and business. Further, the portal will increase visibility of business efforts to implement the Principles, including policies, practices and initiatives developed by the companies who have led the way in translating the Principles into practical action.
The sponsoring organizations will organize annual events to reflect on progress and share lessons of implementation of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
About the Children’s Rights and Business Principles
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles identify actions that all business should take to respect children’s rights – that is, to prevent and address any adverse impacts on children’s human rights – as well as measures business is encouraged to take to help support and advance children’s rights. The Principles were developed in consultation with business experts, child rights experts, civil society, governments and children. Save the Children, UNICEF and the UN Global Compact hope they will serve as an inspiration and guidepost for all businesses, everywhere in their interactions with children.
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KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Environment, Health and Wellness, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Reporting, Ratings & Rankings, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, UN Global Compact, UNICEF, Save the Children, Children's Rights and Business Principles, Corporate Sustainability, World Child & Youth Forum