At Global Child Forum we know that action inspires action. That’s why we make it our mission to lift best practices from around the world that showcase how business can not only do good, but also do well, by respecting and supporting children’s rights.
Most often, business’s responsibility towards children has been limited to the abolition of child labour. While much work remains to be done in this area, it is also now commonly recognised that business affects children’s rights and well-being in a myriad of other ways as well.
Children are impacted by business as consumers, as members of employees’ families, as future employees and, yes, as eventual business leaders. They also live in the communities and share the environments in which businesses operate, and are sometimes affected more severely than adults by the hazards of industry, such as pollutants.
Business has an obligation to understand how their business impacts children and ensure that their operations advance children’s wellbeing. After all, investing in children is the ultimate sustainable investment.
Does your company have a story to tell? Share it with us and join a growing repository of companies who know that by investing in children, they are also investing in the future. Not sure where to start on incorporating children’s rights into your business’s operations? Learn from others who are already on this journey.
During the May, we will showcase one company example every day, via our website and social media channels, that demonstrates how business can positively impact children in their operations.
Send you story, initiative, policy, partnership arrangement or program to firstname.lastname@example.org and get ready to be inspired.
#30ways30days: How does your business impact children and what are you doing to ensure that their wellbeing is considered? During the May, we will showcase one company example every day that demonstrates how business can positively impact children in their operations.
Companies can impact children positively in a myriad of ways. Does your company have a story to tell? Share it with us and join a growing repository of companies who know that by investing in children, they are also investing in the future.
Sansiri, a real estate developer in Thailand, puts children’s rights on top of their agenda. From the core of their operations with child-friendly spaces in construction sites to the improvement of national health legislations, they have a long-term aim to improve the lives of children in Thailand.
Read our Deep Dive into their initiatives.
How is Johnson & Johnson working to improve the lives of children? In partnership with public and private entities, they implement a program that helps train public healthcare professionals, nurses and physicians to care for women who are pregnant and at risk of delivering babies with microcephaly as a result of becoming infected with Zika. They also support the government’s work to prevent Zika and research the best long-term solution to eliminate the virus.
When the Children’s Rights and Business Principles were launched, Clas Ohlson, a leading Swedish hardware retailer, decided to use the principles to identify how they affected children in their business operations. Combined with strategic efforts in the supply chain in China, this has led to Clas Ohlson to now being a strong public advocate for the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and the value of what cooperation
with Save the Children can achieve.
When businesses support their employees, they also support their children. At Nisolo shoes, with manufacturing in Peru, the average salary of their producers is 27% higher than fair trade wage requirements. The average annual income increase for all producers is 140%. Women, in particular, have felt significant impact, reporting an annual income increase of 173% since joining Nisolo compared to previous employment.
At a minimum, all producers must be 18 years or older, receive beyond fair trade wages, healthy working conditions, and healthcare. Nisolo staff personally conduct routine factory visits multiple times a year to establish strong working relationships and ensure standards are met. When you support parents, you also support their families.
Read their impact report.
For young people growing up in the favelas of Sao Paolo the statistics are not encouraging. Two-thirds quit school before they graduate. The lack of a high school diploma can lead to a vicious cycle of unemployment, and criminality is high. It’s an environment where young people fight for survival, but they also fight for jobs. However, the partnership between Deutsche Post DHL Group and SOS Children’s Villages is an example of a dynamic, hands-on programme that is sowing real change for youth in a growing number of communities worldwide – thanks to the strong commitment from DHL and its employees.
Read more here.
Telecom Argentina designs programs where technology is a tool for the development of children and young people and they have identified child protection online and responsible internet use as one of their top ten material issues. How are South American companies doing vis-à-vis children’s rights?
Read our South American Benchmark Report.
Through their products Amer Sports aim to help people to stay healthy throughout their lives with a special on sports, especially with children and young people. An example is their cooperation with the Finnish NGO LiiKe ry to develop primary education, gender equality, health, school attendance and increased opportunities for secondary education in Tanzania through sports.
Sexual exploitation and violence against children is a considerable risk factor associated with large infrastructure projects. Klabin, the largest paper producer in Brazil, wants to mitigate this risk so they partner with Childhood Brasil to map out preventative measures to protect children and adolescents while building their new processing plant.
Read more about Klabin’s work here.
SCA, one of the world’s largest companies in personal care products, recognises that children are key stakeholders to their company and work to ensure that children’s rights are integrated into their daily operations. How do they do this? Read our Deep Dive which describes how SCA has entered into several strategic collaborations and partnerships to further children’s rights in different ways.
Read our Deep Dive here.
Banco Santander is investing in the future – quite literally! They offer higher education grants in Mexico designed to contribute to the development of the the´Ibero-American Centre of Knowledge´ through university student exchanges.
Read more here.
Even though bullying is no laughing matter, the Cartoon Network in Latin America decided to tackle this issues that many of their stakeholders, their young viewers, face. In fact, with 70% of Latin American Middle and High School students exposed to bullying, the Cartoon Network has started a Cartoon Movement to address this serious issue by providing kids, parents and teachers with tools to deal with bullying. They leveraged their expertise in media and partnered with Plan and World Vision to systematically define the problem and propose solutions. Their research resulted in a series of campaigns that generated awareness of the problem and encouraged kids to get help from trusted adults.
Read more here.
Trelleborg is a world leader in engineered polymer solutions that protect critical applications in demanding environments. How do they support children’s rights? Their work focusses on supporting children in the communities where the company operates in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Sweden. Recently, they set up a mentorship program in Sweden for unaccompanied refugee children.
Read more here.
Ericsson’s “Connect To Learn” initiative, launched in 2010 by the Earth Institute of Columbia University, Millennium Promise and Ericsson, aims to scale up access to quality secondary education, in particular for girls, by providing scholarships and bringing ICT to schools in remote, resource-poor parts of the world, over mobile broadband.
When a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family, and improve the quality of life for herself, her family, and her community.
Watch here how Connect to Learn works with bright and motivated girls in Ghana!
The Brazilian energy giant, EDP, has made the eradication of child labor a priority. The company’s Code of Ethics is required reading for all employees and key human rights components are part of their suppliers’ contracts whom are monitored with their Suppliers Performance Index. Managing through transparency and ethics is one way to protect children’s rights.
Safaricom Ltd is one of the leading mobile operators in Kenya with over 23 million customers and almost 4500 employees. They partnered with Save the Children to implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles throughout their organisation. Today the child rights work is well understood across the business and every division has a child rights champion among the staff that are integrating and keeping track of progress on the CRBPs and find new ideas from staff to improve the work further.
How is your company implementing the CRBP?
Read more here.
Atlas Copco is a global industrial company with operations in more than 20 countries. They take their community involvement seriously and believe that social investment by private companies is essential for a more humane and healthy society. One example comes from Atlas Copco Brazil who has, since 2009, been supporting the Revitalizing and Growing Project with the IEPPC – Parque dos Camargos Social Institute in Barueri. This initiative carries out social work for children in the community.
Read more here.
For more than three decades, Always has empowered girls worldwide by educating millions about puberty and their cycle, so they can feel confident.They have undertaken an “epic battle” to stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty by encourage all girls to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. Always knows that they can have a positive impact on the lives of their stakeholders. They also know that unstoppable girls become fearless leaders.
The Malaysian multinational conglomerate Sime Darby addresses children’s rights in many ways across sectors and geographies. They’re working actively to improve the safety of the communities where they operate, by providing child protection, access to water, education and healthcare.
How’s your company supporting child rights? Learn more.
Paul Sistare, Founder and former CEO of Atlantica Hotels in Brazil, demonstrates what businesses can do to keep children safe and reduce the risks of child abuse and trafficking. They work with Childhood Brasil to institute a code of conduct for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Additionally, they established specific campaigns.
Oliberté is a sustainable footwear brand, with a factory in Addis Ababa, supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa.They believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all which means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In 2012 they launched their own factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
They understand that children who are educated have a much higher chance of success and, for this reason, believe in paying living wages that allow students to focus on studies while their parents work. A focus on education is an opportunity to make the world a better place for those who will one day grow to fill our shoes.
Sometimes doing good means just doing what you do well. For start-up Good Spread, they knew that peanut butter is part of a simple solution for severe malnutrition.
They took the Toms Shoes model and, for every jar of peanut butter sold, donated one therapeutic food packet to a malnourished child in South Sudan. Therapeutic food packets are given to young children who are still nursing, but can’t get enough protein through their mother’s milk, and as a result, aren’t developing normally.
“What you get is a cycle of underdeveloped people, because if you don’t get protein when you’re a baby your brain doesn’t develop,” says Alex Cox one of the founders of Good Spread. “If you missed that window, there’s not much you can do for a person after that.”
Just one way to spread good work!
Minesa, a Colombian mining company, is digging deep and strengthening their CSR agenda around children.
How does Minesa protect children? They start by recognizing children as important stakeholders and understand they are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of mining. Partnering with UNICEF they put in place a “childhood and due diligence risk management plan.” In 2016 they reached more than 300 children and, this year, they aim to benefit more than 1000 children in educational programs and infrastructure.
Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP) learned that the majority of young people in Peru lack basic understanding of financial concepts. As a result, they launched a financial literacy program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. After three years, 300 teachers and 50,000 children have been reached. This year it’s anticipated that the program will be launched on a country-side scale. Investing in children also means investing in their ability to be productive and successful global citizens.
Read what other companies in South America are doing here!
Santa Maria, the Nordic market’s leading seasoning and partnered with Save the Children and Accenture to develop a pilot program to see how they could best implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. They identified which principles were most relevant and decided to focus on Principle 2,3, 5 and 6.
Which principle is most relevant for your business?
Read more here.
Holcim Ecuador, a leader in the building materials industry, joined the Corporate Network for an Ecuador free of Child Labour), a collaboration between the Ecuador Ministry of Labour and UNICEF. This unique public-private sector network enables companies to share best practices and new ways of collaborating to eliminate child labour. Strategic collaboration is one way to advance child rights in the workplace.
Taking responsibility at the highest levels of governance is one of the key factors of a successful child rights approach. Tele2, one of Sweden’s largest mobile operators, understand this and has appointed their Board Chair responsible for child protection issues within 5 main areas. This demonstrates the importance the company places on child rights and also ensures that, through regular reporting, everyone is informed of progress.
This is just one of #30ways30days showing how companies put children’s rights at the forefront of their work.
Read what other Nordic companies are doing here!
CELESC – Centrais Eletricas de Santa Catarina 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 have identified a number of ways to make a direct contribution for children’s rights.
They work to eliminate child labour in their supply chain, partner with Childhood Brasil to combat sexual exploitation of children on Brazilian highways, they support local schools and orphanages in low-income areas and and invest in the next generation through their Young Apprenticeship program.
Read more here.
Millicom, an international telecommunication company, is committed to mitigating potential risks to children posed by their operations. Through their due diligence and community initiatives, they engage in the communities in which they operate in an effort to promote the opportunities technology can offer children and build awareness of their rights. They’ve partnered with UNICEF to develop universal tools for child rights ipact assessment.
Read more here.
Duratex, manufacturer of wood products, developed a Supplier Management Program to mitigate any possible risk of exposure to child labor as well as child exploitation in their logistics chain. To address issues of child exploitation, the company also takes part in the Na Mão Certa sensitization program for truck drivers. “For us it’s normal business conduct to strictly follow universally acknowledged principles and value on human rights and be guided by the highest ethical standards.”
Read what other South America companies are doing here!
At IKEA, they are fond of saying “children are the most important people in the world.” And this ethos permeates all that the company does – from designing their furniture and children’s line, to ensuring that suppliers are in line with their code of ethics.
IKEA focusses on seeing their product range – and their company – through children’s eyes. And they have partnered with UNICEF and Save the Children to ensure that all aspects of their business safeguard children’s rights.
Read more about the IKEA story here.