How can business, regardless of sector and position, seize the opportunities to contribute to a better world for our children and young people by “investing in every child”? What does it mean to be a responsible company in today’s competitive environment? How can companies find solutions that balance their long-term profitability while balancing their ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities? These questions provided a fruitful discussion at the Global Child Forum’s annual Partner Advisory Board (PAB), held on 15 November 2017. “This is where real change takes place” This half-day meeting was opened with remarks from Global Child Forum’s Honorary Chairman, H.M. King Carl Gustaf: “Basing our decisions on solid facts has always been important. But today, in a time of information overload, I believe it is more critical than ever. It is really quite simple: The better we know, the better we can do. Therefore, I am especially proud of Global Child Forum’s efforts to collect and share knowledge and best practices concerning children’s rights.” Read the King’s full remarks here. The morning’s meeting gathered the organization’s business and knowledge partners and focused on what different sectors can learn from each other. Crown Princess Victoria, a UN Sustainable Development Globals Advocate, was the first speaker of the meeting. In her speech, the Crown Princess emphasised how all of the 17 global goals committed by the world leaders concern children’s rights: “The most important thing to understand about the Global Goals is that they are not really a list of targets. But rather a network or a system. The only way to successfully achieve one goal is by working on the others as well. They cannot be ticked off one by one. Instead, they are all interlinked …They are all – directly or indirectly – children’s rights. And none of them can be achieved without the active participation of the private sector […] Companies operate globally and locally. They are employers, investors and suppliers. They have a significant presence in their local communities and in people’s everyday lives. And as we all know, that is where real change takes place.” Read Crown Princess Victoria’s full remarks here. *** Cross-sector learnings Following the opening remarks, Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA brought forward examples of the mobile industry’s support for children’s rights through on-the-ground initiatives that are making a real difference in the lives of children around the world such as in child online protection, birth registration, financial inclusion, refugee assistance and education. Anders Bouvin, Group CEO of Handelsbanken, shared his thoughts on how the financial sector can address challenges to children’s rights. He discussed Handelsbanken’s approach to sustainability and illustrated how the bank’s commitment to children’s rights has translated into a growing range of collaborations at the local, regional and national level. UN Global Compact’s Senior Manager, Anita Househam, emphasised that influencing supply chain practices is the biggest challenge to improving sustainability performance – 80% of global trade passes through supply chains. She commented that companies that respect human rights in their supply chain can generate large-scale impact. Peder Michael Pruzan-Jorgensen, Senior Vice-President for Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), focussed on the often over-looked intersection of child, family and workplace saying that no long-term solution is possible without connecting the three. Gary Stahl, Director of the UNICEF Division of Private Fundraising and Partnerships (PFP), highlighted UNICEF’s recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, reinforcing the two organizations’ continued collaboration working to promote the rights and well-being of every child saying: “We are happy to have a continued close cooperation with the Global Child Forum to keep inspiring and challenge businesses to support children’s rights. Together, we can reach and influence more businesses, governments and civil society actors in the best interest of children.” The conversations also touched the importance of raising questions about the children’s rights and the global goals from being a matter of philanthropy to becoming part of the core values of the companies. The meeting concluded with a presentation of upcoming forums and projects, as well as a presentation of the further development of Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, a web-based tool developed by the Global Child Forum together with UNICEF, which helps companies to become aware of, among other things, the risk factors that exist regarding children’s rights in different industries. *** H.M. Queen Silvia concluded the meeting by referencing the organization’s beginnings and praising Ulf Karlberg, the out-going Chairman of the Partner Advisory Board: “We opened the palace for the first seminar in Stockholm. Together with Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine, we received five hundred guests: politicians, media, industry, humanitarian organizations, the children’s ombudsman et cetera. They could not stop discussing the most important issue: children’s rights. It was wonderful to see.” She also commended the Global Child Forum partners and supporters in her final remarks saying: “Dear friends of Global Child Forum, You have all been wonderful. You understood how important you and your enterprises are, to help change children’s situation in the world! You have been generous sharing your knowledge with us and generous by supporting Global Child Forum financially the way you did!” Read the Queen’s full remarks here.
In her opening remarks at the Global Child Forum's Partner Advisory Board meeting, Crown Princess Victoria, a UN Advocate for the Sustainability Development Goals, urged business to address the SDGs and, by doing so, positively impact children. "Companies operate globally and locally. They are employers, investors and suppliers. They have a significant presence in their local communities and in people’s everyday lives. And as we all know, that is where real change takes place.”
Knowledge ignites action. That’s why we base our work in research. We conduct studies, develop tools and write and present best practices that illustrates what business can do when challenged with safeguarding children’s rights.
ISS is one of the world’s leading facility services providers, employing approximately 500,000 people across 5 continents. This Deep Dive explores the policies the corporate group has put in place to safeguard children’s rights. From the supply chain to their direct business operation in for example schools and kindergartens, the company is taking measures to address risks posed to children. * * *
“It’s not about the adults setting restrictions on their interactions with children: it’s the children who set their own boundaries and the adults have to understand how to act in respect of that.” Lo Hjorth, Director People & Culture
ISS Facility Services AB, Sweden
Under the theme “Mobility & Connectivity: Children’s Rights and Sustainable Business”, Forum attendees were inspired through plenary panels and solution-driven ActionLabs sessions. The Forum highlighted opportunities to advance children’s rights presented by fast technological progress, a young, growing workforce and the expanding travel and tourism in the region and explored how stakeholders could ensure that children’s rights are respected and fulfilled. Read the report!
This year’s Global Child Forum welcomed heads of state and heads of companies, leaders from civil society and learners from across South America and beyond. All came together with the goal of providing the region’s children with the best possible path to productive adulthood. All came together with the belief that the business sector is key to achieving that goal. Nearly 400 delegates gathered in the FIESP building on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, its soaring modernist architecture a fitting backdrop for tackling a far-reaching children’s rights agenda. Read the Forum report — full of inspiration, ideas for action and case stories.
How are South American companies doing on children’s rights?
The Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights in South America is the latest in a series of regional and global benchmarks, done in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which scans companies from all compass points and identifies if they report on children’s rights indicators.
Do South American companies integrate children’s rights into core operations? Address and report on children’s rights issues? Engage with programs that benefit children?
The South American benchmark study scored 282 top companies headquartered in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Uruguay on these, and other, indicators. The benchmark then assigns both an aggregate regional score as well as individual company scores. All companies included in the study also receive a scorecard with their result and are given an opportunity to respond or give feedback.
Regional Industry Results (Average score per industry)
The benchmark report was launched at the Global Child Forum on South America on April 4th 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information on the report contact:
Nina Vollmer, Researcher
firstname.lastname@example.org For all media inquiries, contact: Linda Lodding, Communications Manager
email@example.com Stay updated in social media by following @GCForum on twitter.
Millicom is an international telecommunications and media company and offers a wide range of digital services primarily under the “Tigo” brand. Through their due-diligence and community initiatives, the company is committed to mitigating potential risks to children posed by their operations. Millicom also engages with the communities in which they operate in an effort to promote the opportunities technology can offer children and build awareness of children’s rights. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change.
Centrais Elétricas de Santa Catarina – CELESC, provides large areas of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina with electricity. As a partially state-owned service provider, the company has strong ties to the local communities that they serve, and has identified a number of ways to make a direct contribution to children’s rights. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change. (Image/photo credit: CELESC)
“As a big company with operations in a large geographical area, we have the opportunity to reach many people and make a difference in society.” Regina Schlickmann Luciano* * *
Socio-Environmental Responsibility Advisor, CELESC
As one of the leading providers of telecommunications services in Argentina, Grupo Telecom is conscious of their impact on the everyday lives of their customers. Understanding that children and adolescents are important users of their services, the company has identified protection online as a management priority. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change. (Image/photo credit: Grupo Telecom) * * *
“In the era of mobile connectivity, where children have access to multiple devices, it’s vital to equip them with a critical judgement that provides them with the necessary resources for their protection. It is also important that parents and adults can guide children in the responsible use of technology, so that they can learn in a safe and constructive environment.” Pedro Lopez Matheu
Director of Government Relations, Communication and Media
In the recent report The Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights in the Nordic Region, Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group published the results from a benchmarking of how the 299 largest1 listed Nordic companies address children’s rights in their public reporting. To compare the findings from the screening of publicly listed companies, we assessed 30 non-listed Nordic companies; the 15 largest privately owned and the 15 largest state-owned. A summary of those results are presented below2. Of a total possible score of 9, the privately owned companies scored on average 2.1 points, while state-owned companies scored 3.7 on average. In contrast, the 15 largest listed companies scored 5.1 on average. One explanation for the difference could be due to the region’s stringent regulations on sustainability, reporting, and board accountability that affect primarily listed and state-owned companies. Due to the small sample size, not all industries are fully represented; approximately half of the private companies are in the Consumer Goods industry, with the remainder spread across Oil, Gas and Utilities, Food and Beverage and Industrials. The state-owned companies assessed are in all of the industries except ICT. RESULTS PER INDICATOR (%) When looking at the results for each of the indicators, it is notable that:
SCA is one of the world’s largest companies in personal care products, with presence in approximately 100 countries. This Deep Dive looks at their journey on the way to recognising children as key stakeholders to their company and ensuring that children’s rights are integrated into their daily operations. It also describes how SCA has entered several strategic collaborations and partnerships with different organizations to further children’s rights in different ways, but always integrated with their core business. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change. (Photo credit: SCA – Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi)
How are Nordic companies doing on children’s rights? Nordic companies have a reputation for innovation and socially responsible forward-thinking. But how do the Nordics stack up when reporting on children’s rights? Global Child Forum just launched the report focusing on the Nordic region – Children’s Rights and the Corporate Sector in the Nordic Region. This study is the latest in a series of regional and global benchmarks which scans companies from all compass points and identifies if they report on children’s rights indicators. Do Nordic companies integrate children’s rights into core operations? Address and report on children’s rights issues? Engage with programs that benefit children? The Nordic benchmark study scores 300 top companies headquartered in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland on these, and other, indicators. The benchmark then assigns both an aggregate regional score as well as individual company scores. All companies included in the study also receive a scorecard with their result and are given an opportunity to respond or give feedback.
What needs to be done to advance children’s rights? Listen to some of the voices from Global Child Forums. Scroll right for more videos.
South America: Investing in Every Child
H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden - Global Child Forum on South America 2017
Global Child Forum on Southeast Asia
Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank
H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden - Global Child Forum Partner Advisory Board Meeting 2016
Mike A. Parra, Chief Executive Officer, DHL Express Americas
Georg Kell, Vice Chairman, Arabesque Partners, Founder and former Director of the UN Global Compact at the Global Child Forum Partner Advisory Board Meeting 2016
This is the Global Child Forum
Albern Murty, Chief Executive Officer, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd
Pedro Lopez Matheu, Director of Government Relations, Communication and Media, Grupo Telecom
H.M. Queen Silvia - Global Child Forum 2015
Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation - Interview at the Child Forum SEA 2016
Michael Meehan, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initative (GRI) - Global Child Forum 2015
Rick Ramli, Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group - Global Child Forum SEA 2016
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