Children’s rights and the business world

Business activity guided by children’s rights principles

Business activity affects children’s lives in many respects. It can directly further the fulfilment of children’s rights, for instance by ensuring that products are safe for children and by acting against harmful child labour, and by attending to the working conditions of young people under the age of 18. Businesses may also indirectly promote children’s welfare, for instance by ensuring that employees receive sufficient pay to look after their families.

Companies that take care of children’s rights are also better placed to do business. By supporting the rights of the child, a company can

Promote responsible business

Support the well-being of employees and families

Ensure a sustainable way to operate and develop

Draw attention to customers and investors

Build a good reputation and brand

Attract employees and stakeholders

Children’s Rights and Business Principles

Business operations are guided by the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), a joint international initiative pioneered by Save the Children, Unicef and the UN Global Compact. The CRBP’s 10 principles enable businesses to identify the impact of their activities on children. They encourage businesses to incorporate children’s rights into their main strategies and take greater responsibility for their realisation. The CRBPs provide a basis for companies’ social responsibility, in which greater attention is given to human rights and children’s rights.

Businesses are asked to embrace, support and implement the following principles in its own sphere of influence.

According to the principles, companies should

➊ Meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children
➋ Contribute to the elimination of child labour, including in all business activities and business relationships
➌ Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers
➍ Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities
➎ Ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support children’s rights through them
➏ Use marketing and advertising that respect and support children’s rights
➐ Respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use
➑ Respect and support children’s rights in security arrangements
➒ Help protect children affected by emergencies
➓ Reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill children’s rights

For further information, please contact:

Camilla Ekholm
Global Corporate Partnerships
tel.+358 40 721 8345

Children’s Rights and Business Principles`10 years: Charting the Course -report