Businesses, investors and organisations alike need to understand how their actions impact children’s rights across the globe. The Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, developed with UNICEF, is the first comprehensive resource to guide companies in assessing risks to children within industry sectors and regions of operation. Through indices, global interactive maps and country scorecards, the Atlas provides a quantitative assessment on the degree to which children’s rights are protected within 198 countries and across 10 industry sectors.
When it comes to advancing children’s rights, business is an important catalyst for change. Everyday businesses, large and small, in every corner of the globe, interact with children – whether it be through their products and services, the impact of their operations on communities or through their employment practices. Yet many companies have insufficient knowledge on the subject of children’s rights. Indeed, when the rights of children are raised within a business context, the issue identified is usually child labour.
But the business sector’s understanding is evolving. Powerful cross-sector initiatives are bringing to the fore the role that business can play in strengthening, and safeguarding, children’s rights. Such efforts serve dual purpose. They not only advance children’s rights; they but make sound business sense – mitigating potential exposure while boosting reputation, competitiveness and brand value.
Businesses have the responsibility to respect and support children’s rights, as outlined in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Therefore they need to understand how their operations impact children’s rights across the globe. The Atlas enables companies to understand the complex and multiple ways in which they affect children’s rights, both directly and indirectly.
Through comprehensive global data sets, the Atlas helps companies mitigate the risk of being associated with children’s rights violations and legal non-compliance. The Atlas will also help companies realise the significant potential they have to generate positive change and maximum benefit for children.
Jenny Fredby, Senior Analyst, Global Child Forum and Andrés Franco, Deputy Director for Private Sector Engagement in the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division, UNICEF present the Atlas at the Global Child Forum Partner Advisory Board Meeting 2016.
"For the first time, we have a tool that provides detailed information that will allow businesses everywhere to work within their sphere of influence to respect and support children’s rights and wellbeing"