Stockholm, 28 September 2015: This year’s study from the Global Child Forum and GES (Global Engagement Services) indicates that while there is some transparency around how investors address environmental, social and governance issues (ESG), the importance of children’s rights, in relation to responsible corporate behaviour, still needs to be addressed. The study – Investor Perspectives on Children’s Rights – presents results from a survey on how institutional investors integrate children’s rights in their responsible investment policies and practices.
Fiona Rotberg, PhD, Research Director, Global Child Forum: “The financial sector is a key stakeholder in children’s rights but it’s clear from the outcome of the study that in order to safeguard children’s rights in companies our fundamental expectations of companies need to be clear. Progress on this issue will rely on a multi-stakeholder approach – one which engages with local, national and international government bodies, as well as with NGOs, civil society, investors and financial actors.”
Hanna Roberts, CEO, GES: “The effort to safeguard children’s rights is not only a moral imperative but also important from a financial perspective. From an investor’s view, the conversation about ESG needs to widen to incorporate children’s issues not just regarding child labour but to also include questions related to marketing to children, children’s rights online and children’s rights to family and education in the context of migrant workers.”
The research was conducted via a questionnaire. Of the 280 asset owners invited to participate in the survey, 31 responded.
The main findings of the study were:
Investors typically focus more on child labour and less on other children’s rights issues.
27 of the 31 respondents answered that human rights considerations are included in their responsible investment policies, but only eight of these specifically reference children’s rights.
Of the investors who answered the questionnaire, 29 consider children’s rights to have a potentially material impact to their investments.
This is the second joint Global Child Forum and GES study to examine investor perceptions on children’s rights. The first focused on European and North American asset owner signatories to the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment). This study is part of a suite of research reports and initiatives issued by Global Child Forum and partners to continue to assess and monitor the private sector’s engagement in children’s rights issues.
Results from the study will be shared at the upcoming Global Child Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, 26 November, in order to discuss the findings, encourage a broader approach and initiate new thinking on how investors can address the issue of children’s rights.
To download the report please go to: http://globalchildforum.org/resources/
Follow the Global Child Forum at the Stockholm Royal Palace 26 November on Twitter #GCF2015
GES is Europe’s leading provider of engagement services focusing on supporting asset owners and asset managers develop and implement integrated investment strategies with environmental, social and governance considerations. GES acts as an owner advocate and adds proven value to 1 trillion of investments worldwide by assessing and engaging with client’s portfolio companies. GES is a privately held company founded in 1992 with over 60 employees globally. www. ges-invest.com
Global Child Forum is an international independent platform for research, dialogue, information and action into children’s rights, initiated by Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Global Child Forum discusses the most pressing issues facing children and showcases what pioneering companies are doing to ensure that children’s rights are protected in all their business dealings.
As a global multi-stakeholder platform, the Global Child Forum works for informed dialogue and thought leadership on how to advance children’s rights in support of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Global Child Forum aims to gather leaders from business, governments, academia and civil society in a joint effort to implement children’s rights.