Knowledge Centre

The Knowledge Centre has been designed to enhance your organisations’ existing work around children’s rights and business. Updated on a regular basis, this Knowledge Centre includes research reports, case studies, tools and guides that demonstrate best practices and lessons learned around how business can best support children’s rights in their operations. Curated by the Global Child Forum, the Knowledge Centre content is sourced from respected leaders from within the private and public sectors. The Knowledge Centre aims to provide a space where some of the best findings and observations can be shared.

We are constantly striving to improve our own approaches to analysis around children’s rights and business and we hope that by learning together we will be better able to do our work more efficiently and effectively.

Explore our resources


Corporate Responses to Protecting Children’s Rights in Southeast Asia

In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in the Southeast Asia region, this report makes use of two essential Global Child Forum research products: The Children Rights and Business Atlas and The corporate sector and children’s rights benchmark. More specifically, insights are provided across three areas where the corporate sector impacts children’s rights: The Workplace, The Marketplace, The Community and the Environment. Throughout this report, data from the Atlas highlights contextual factors that shape how companies can and should respond to children’s rights. This information is contrasted with the results of the Benchmark scoring for the 20 largest companies in Southeast Asia. A gap analysis provides recommendations for company actions that address risks and create positive impact on children’s rights in the region.

Benchmark Study

Global Child Forum Report
2018

On Wednesday, April 11, the 10th Global Child Forum 2018 was held at the Stockholm Royal Palace. Over 300 participants from around the world gathered to discuss child rights issues. Participants represented global companies, financial institutions, civil society, the UN, academia and government.

Investing in every child starts when business and investors recognize their influence on children. At the 10th Global Child Forum at the Stockholm Royal Palace, we discussed these matters. But we also listened. Read the Forum report to be inspired, take part of case stories and to learn more about how your business can take action to support children’s rights.

Forum report

Norsk Hydro Brazil’s journey towards social responsibility

Norsk Hydro entered Brazil in 2011 with a long history of fostering healthy communities that grew up around its operations in Norway. The company therefore had no small sense of the responsibilities of being an actor with an enormous impact on the lives of its workers and neighbours. The difficult history and operating environment of the Amazon region, however, challenge Hydro’s commitment to go “beyond compliance” to make a positive difference – particularly with regard to vulnerable populations, including children. This case study is no. 3 in a series of company reflections for Global Child Forum on how companies address children’s rights and child-related issues. All our reports and case studies can be found in our Knowledge Center.

Case study

AstraZeneca: Investing in the health of adolescents

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca focuses its global community investment on the pressing challenge of preventing non-communicable diseases. They do this by targeting adolescents health and major risk behaviours such as tobacco and alcohol use and unhealthy eating through the AstraZeneca Youth Health Programme. A unique feature of the programme is that combines measures for behavioural change with research and advocacy. *** “The youth of today are going to be the main drivers of economic development for evolving nations. One way to help them grow up healthy is to empower them with knowledge about making healthy choices.” Helen-Marie Seibel, Director
Global Community Investment, AstraZeneca *** In this Deep Dive, we delve deeper into the Youth Health Programme in order to understand its background story and key features. The insights are based on interviews with company representatives and publicly available resources. As part of our research on corporate children’s rights programs, we have also developed a guide for companies: “Corporate Children’s Rights Programs – Guidance and Best Practice”.  

Deep dive

Global Report: The Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights

Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group initiated the Corporate Sector and Children’ Rights Benchmark study series in 2013 to fill a gap in research. The purpose of the series has been to develop a children’s rights benchmark for the corporate sector and to enable tracking of progress over time on how children’s rights are addressed by business The data referred to in this reporting has been compiled from one global and five regional studies conducted between 2013-2016; the Nordic region, the Middle East and Northern Africa; Southern Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. In total, the reporting covers 2500 companies across nine different industries.

Benchmark Study

Investor Insights on Children’s Rights

Global Child Forum and GES International have surveyed asset owner signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2014, 2015, and 2017, in order to understand perspectives of the investor community on integrating children’s rights issues into decision-making processes. We are now taking stock of the knowledge generated from these surveys and from recent in-depth interviews with nine investors. The main findings of our work are presented in this report. The purpose of this report is twofold: to provide information and inspiration to investors by highlighting the relevance of children’s rights, and to supply concrete tools and frameworks for applying related perspectives. We also present two company examples which serve to demonstrate how investors can work with children’s rights on a practical level.

Benchmark Study

Standard Chartered: Empowering girls to be agents of change

Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group. Many of the locations in which they operate are low income countries with high levels of gender inequality. The bank is therefore taking action to make positive social and economic contributions. Since 2006, they’ve supported girls, to take on leadership roles in their communities through the Goal program. *** “We are asking ourselves:
‘How can we use the bank’s resources
to help these girls reach their aspirations?’”
Natasha Kwakwa, Program Director, Goal
Standard Chartered
*** In this Deep Dive, we delve deeper into the Goal program in order to understand its background story and key features. The insights are based on interviews with company representatives and publicly available resources. As part of our research on corporate children’s rights programs, we have also developed a guide for companies: “Corporate Children’s Rights Programs – Guidance and Best Practice”.

Deep dive

Corporate Programs for Children’s Rights – Guidance and Best Practice

Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group initiated the Corporate Sector and Children´s Rights Benchmark study series in 2013, to fill a gap in the existing research on how the corporate sector addresses children´s rights, both within their operations and in communities. We have produced one global and five regional studies: the Nordic region, the Middle East and Northern Africa; Southern Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Based on this extensive knowledge, we are now delving deeper into our data in order to provide guidance for companies on how to further their efforts to implement the Children´s Rights and Business Principles. It is evident when analysing our data that almost half (46%) of all businesses establish their own programs and/or donate to charity. We have studied the programs of 13 companies, to identify pertinent common features that can be used as building blocks for other companies. The building blocks needed for a corporate children´s rights program to achieve maximum positive impact are: Relevance, Governance, Collaboration, and Measurement. In this guide, we describe each building block in detail, followed by concrete company examples.

Toolkits and Guides

Business investments in children’s education

During 2017, Global Child Forum initiated a project aiming at demonstrating how investments in education leads to positive pay-offs not only for the community but also for business. Rightshouse was engaged to carry out the mapping exercise and deliver a database/spreadsheet categorizing collected data – and a report presenting the main findings of the assignment. The report points out that businesses recognize the central importance of education both for development in society as a whole and for the business sector specifically. But while it is well documented that the education sector globally suffers from a significant lack of resources, contributions from the private sector are limited. All findings of the mapping exercise, together with business cases, are presented in the report.

Paper

Additional insight: Private & State-owned companies

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. GCF - BCG Nordic addendum - grafik1 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 (%) GCF - BCG Nordic addendum - grafik2 When looking at the results for each of the indicators, it is notable that:

  • None of the privately owned companies have received points on Board Accountability and only two companies (13%) have identified their potential impact on children’s rights in risk assessments and materiality analyses.
  • The private and state-owned companies are lagging behind the listed companies when it comes to reporting on the results of their policies, for example against child labour, and establishing strategic collaborations with child rights organisations.
  • The privately owned companies have an opportunity to improve in addressing children’s rights issues other than child labour, such as product responsibility, responsible marketing or sexual exploitation. ___________________________ Based on revenue.  For more information about the methodology and the indicators used in the screening, please see The Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights in the Nordic Region. Companies that score between 6–9 points are considered high-scorers. Here, only state-owned and privately held companies are shown. For the high-scoring publicly listed companies, please see The Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights in the Nordic Region. The IKEA Group is regstered in the Netherlands. As a consequence, they are not part of the sample of companies included in the total average score of private Nordic companies. However, because of their Nordic origins, their child rights practices have been analysed for the sake of knowledge sharing.   Photo credit: Peter Tandlun

  • Benchmark Study

    Children’s Rights and the Corporate Sector in the Nordic Region

    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 are people saying? Read selected media coverage:

    Bloomberg: Nordics Lose Halo in Study Ranking Them With Emerging Markets Reuters: Nordic companies fall short on transparency over child rights Dagens Industri: Lågt engagemang för barnens rätt Sisua Radio/Sveriges Radio: Pohjoismaiset suuryritykset eivät loista lasten oikeuksien saralla Aktuell Hållbart: DEBATT Företag måste stärka kontrollen över sina leverantörsled, skriver Théo Jaekel och Jasmin Draszka-Ali, från advokatfirman Vinge.”Barnrättsfrågor – en blind fläck för nordiska storbolag”

    Benchmark Study

    Share your know-how!

    You can help us build our Knowledge Centre by contributing your resources. Together we can build a repository of research, reports and case studies to inform our work to make this world a better place for children. If you have resources that you would like to suggest be included, please let us know. Also, we invite you to join the Children’s Rights and Business LinkedIn page to ask questions of your peers and to share insights into your practices.

    62%

    of business have a child labor policy

    2.1 out of 9

    Southeast Asia’s Benchmark Score

    152 million

    number of children in child labour

    Useful links

    Conventions and Norms

    These conventions and norms go to the heart of the way children should be viewed and treated.

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.

    Children’s Rights and Business Principles (2012)

    Developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children – the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights and sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected. 

    Committee on the Rights of the Child

    The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 Independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties.

    ILO Conventions

    Provides information on ILO's conventions and recommendations in connection with child labour

    Children's Rights and Business Tools

    Below are a set of tools on children’s rights due diligence for companies including guidance on policy commitments and codes of practice, child rights impact assessments, corporate reporting and stakeholder engagement.

    UNICEF: Children Are Everyone’s Business Workbook 2.0

    ‘Children Are Everyone’s Business: Workbook 2.0’ is a comprehensive tool designed to guide companies through the ongoing process of learning about and integrating children’s rights into business policies and management processes.

    UNICEF: Children's Rights in Policies and Codes of Conduct

    This tool recommends ways for all businesses to incorporate children’s rights into their policies and codes of conduct, based on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

    UNICEF: Children's Rights in Impact Assessments

    This tool is intended for use by companies to assess their performance in meeting their responsibility to respect children’s rights and identify opportunities to support children’s rights as outlined in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

    UNICEF: Children’s Rights in Sustainability Reporting Second edition

    This tool is intended to help companies report and communicate on how they are respecting and supporting children’s rights.

    UNICEF: Engaging Stakeholders on Children's Rights

    This tool offers guidance to companies on engaging stakeholders on children’s rights as part of enhancing their standards and practices at both the corporate and site levels.

    UNICEF: CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN POLICIES AND CODES OF CONDUCT A tool for companies

    This tool recommends ways for all businesses to incorporate children’s rights into their policies and codes of conduct, based on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and reaching beyond the traditional focus areas of child labour and philanthropy.

    Combating child labour: A handbook for labour inspectors

    This handbook provides an overview of an inspector's role vis-a-vis child labour

    Organisations

    UN Global Compact

    We are a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals.

    UNICEF: Children's Rights and Business

    Tools on children's rights and business from the

    Save the Children

    Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

    International Labour Organisation

    the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

    CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND BUSINESS ATLAS

    Map your way forward