Sub-Saharan Africa has made significant strides on the social, political and economic fronts. The private sector is flourishing especially within the telecommunications, finance, retail, trade, housing and construction sectors and the continent’s middle class is thriving.
However, despite these advances, in many countries, economic growth hasn’t benefited the poorest. Furthermore, climate change, and natural and man-made disasters risk undoing development gains, and limited access to affordable and sustainable energy impedes productivity. And, according to the ILO, Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s worst record of child labour. Business has a huge role to play in addressing these obstacles to ensure an equitable future for all – especially for children.
To evaluate country-level data based on children’s rights indicators, visit the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas.
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In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in South Africa, this report draws on one of Global Child Forum’s essential research products ‘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. In 2015, Global Child Forum, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, published a benchmark study of the 271 largest companies in the region. This report is a follow-up to that study. An updated benchmark analysis has been conducted on 20 of the region’s largest companies.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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 195 countries and across 5 industry sectors.
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)
This reference documents gives concrete guidance on how to report on children’s rights. This document can serve as both a tool for companies to assess themselves, or to get a greater understanding of the Global Child Forum’s methodology in carrying out its benchmark studies.
The infographic is a quick snapshot of a few of our reports, including: Children’s Rights and the Corporate Sector (Global Study, 2014), Children’s Rights and the Corporate Sector (MENA Study, 2014), Children Rights and the Corporate Sector (Southern Africa Study, 2015). The infographic includes short summaries of the studies carried out by the Global Child Forum and Boston Consulting Group highlighting key conclusions of the studies.
This working paper was prepared for the Global Child Forum (2015) at the Royal Palace in Stockholm by Johanna von Bahr (PhD Candidate). The paper addresses issues related to general advertising and market legislation, broadcast regulation, and legislation on advertising and marketing of food products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS products). It aims to provide an overview of children’s rights protection legislation on advertising covering thirty-nine middle and high-income countries.
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in the Eurozone and prominent international banking institution. In this deep dive we explore the company’s presence in Africa in relations to its children’s rights commitments. We look at how BNP’s CSR policies, based on 4 pillars (economic responsibility, social responsibility, civic responsibility, and environmental responsibility) impacts the lives of children. Atop of the bank’s priorities, in regard to children, are their initiatives in education and arts and culture.
Millicom, a telecommunications and media company operating in 8 countries in Latin America and 6 countries in Africa, has been leading the way in mitigating risks to children from their operations. This deep dive looks at how the company works to ensure children rights throughout their operations.
Pick N Pay (PnP) was founded in the 60s and have had a strong focus on sustainability and community contribution ever since. This deep dive looks at PnP’s five focus areas (Promoting Healthy Living: Support Local and Ethical Suppliers; Being Environmentally Responsible; Employee Opportunity and Diversity; Doing Good in the Local Community) and their relationship to the companies work in children’s rights.
This report presents the results from a survey on how 280 institutional investors integrate children’s rights in their responsible investment policies and practices. The survey is based on a questionnaire developed by GES and Global Child Forum regarding investor expectations and achievements related to children’s rights. We invited 280 asset owner signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) worldwide to participate in the survey. Thirty-one investors responded. The Investor Perspectives on Children’s Rights 2015 is a follow-up of the inaugural survey presented and discussed at the Global Child Forum in Stockholm in April 2014.
This benchmark study investigates the two hundred-seventy-one largest publicly traded companies in Southern Africa. Without measuring actual performance or compliance, the study aims to highlight if and how these companies address and report on children’s rights by reviewing and assessing publicly available information against nine indicators. The 271 companies selected represent nine different industry sectors that are exposed to, or whose operations impact with, children’s rights issues. The industry sectors are Food & Beverage, Consumer Goods, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Travel & Leisure, Basic Materials, Industrial Good, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, and Financials. The purpose of the benchmark studies is to to analyse trends on a global and regional scale and to enable tracking of progress on how the corporate sector addresses children’s rights over time.
This study assesses more than 1,000 publicly listed companies in eight sectors with high exposure to children’s rights issues: Food & Beverage, Consumer Goods, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Travel & Tourism, Basic Materials, Industrial Goods, Oil & Gas and Healthcare. This report shows the extent to which these companies address and report on children’s rights. Being a global study the report shows how reporting varies with geography and industry sector.
This study is based on a questionnaire and publicly available information. The questionnaire was developed by Global Child Forum and GES was used as a framework when assessing investor’s public information. The targeted organisations were 195 investors in Europe and USA, 22 investors responded.
This study was commissioned by the Global Child Forum and written by Boston Consulting Group. The study was based on interviews and surveys with around 400 CEOs globally, representing over 60 countries and 20 industries of various sizes.
Select a region, industry or theme below to learn more about our work there.