Generally speaking, children’s rights in North America are adequately protected, but considerable problems still exist regarding health care, poverty, child abuse and child labor. For example, the poverty rate among children under the age of 18 has risen although this number varies based on ethnic and social background.
Also on the rise in this region is cybercrime with the organization “Love Our Children USA” reporting that one in four children has been harassed online. And then there is the paradox of malnutrition in the US. Reports show that millions of American families struggle to afford enough food. Malnourished children are statistically less likely to perform well in school. At the same time, many young Americans suffer from obesity. Paradoxically, about 45 % of obese children come from difficult social circumstances. Overconsumption of sugary beverages and a lack of activity are the main causes for children becoming overweight.
Business can ensure that these barriers to child well-being are addressed so that all children have an opportunity to thrive.
To evaluate country-level data based on children’s rights indicators, visit the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas.
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Respecting children’s rights is an inherent part of good business practice and risk management and should, therefore, have implications for a company’s financial results. Few investors would contest the sound logic of this statement. However, there is still little empirical evidence to directly connect a company’s profitability to how well it manages children’s rights. To help fill this knowledge gap, Global Child Forum, in cooperation with Boston Consulting Group, has conducted an analysis of the relationship between a company’s profitability and its score in the 2021 Children’s Rights Global Benchmark. The research looked at both EBITDA margin and Total Shareholder Return (TSR) for all 853 companies surveyed. Download the study to learn more about the results.
Vodafone’s purpose is to “connect for a better future” enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society. Its know-how and scale – with over 315 million mobile customers in Europe and across Africa – gives it a unique opportunity to drive positive change for society. Vodafone’s networks connect family, friends, businesses and governments and play a vital role in keeping economies running, including critical sectors like education and healthcare. With such scale, Vodafone recognises not only the positive impacts on people’s rights from digital technology, but also the potential that its operations could impact human rights – including children’s rights, even though Vodafone’s services are not marketed to them. Based on this insight, the company has been working actively to strengthen children’s rights across their business in the several ways, elaborated in this case study:
As a global electronics company with more than 260 000 employees in 74 countries, one of the core values of Samsung is “People First”. Based on the firm belief that a company is only as good as its employees, and with an ambition to continue to be an attractive employer, the company has prioritised implementing a range of family-friendly policies promoting employee wellbeing and work-life balance. The case study was published together with the global benchmark; The State of Children’s Rights and Business 2021. Click here to get to the full report. Download the case study to learn more.
In the final days before lockdown was introduced in the United Kingdom, CRIN hosted a panel discussion on surveillance and facial recognition at the Tate Modern where we addressed some of the risks they pose for children’s rights. Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many people to move their lives almost exclusively online, as adults began working from home and schools resorted to online learning. Such big changes, however, raise basic questions.
To mark our 10-year anniversary, and to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we asked young people and adult stakeholders what they see as the most critical issues for business to consider in the coming decade. To answer this question, we commissioned a global survey – scanning opinions from Stockholm to Sao Paolo – to listen and learn so that we can better guide companies along their journey to create a better world for children. So what are the top 10 children’s rights and business issues? Read on to find out!
The State of Children’s Rights and Business 2019, is a bold undertaking and showcases the results of nearly year-long review and analysis of just under 700 of the world’s leading companies, in nine sectors and along 20 children’s rights indicators. While the resulting data can be statistically complex, the underlying ambition was relatively straightforward. We wanted to learn more about how the corporate sector is doing with regard to integrating children’s rights into both their operations and their relationships with the communities in which they operate.
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.
ISS is one of the world’s leading facility services providers, employing approximately 500,000 people across 5 continents. This Deep Dive explores the policies the corporate group has put in place to safeguard children’s rights. From the supply chain to their direct business operation in for example schools and kindergartens, the company is taking measures to address risks posed to children.
“It’s not about the adults setting restrictions on their interactions with children: it’s the children who set their own boundaries and the adults have to understand how to act in respect of that.” Lo Hjorth, Director People & Culture, ISS Facility Services AB, Sweden
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.
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.
The seventh Global Child Forum at the Stockholm Royal Palace identified some ways that business can contribute to the realisation of children’s rights. Nearly 400 leaders and decision-makers from the private sector, civil society, academia and government came together at the Stockholm Palace for a day full of dialogue, thought- leadership and action to explore new opportunities that would accelerate children’s rights globally. With a lineup of distinguished speakers and panelists, Global Child Forum set the stage for a day of inspiration and innovation on some of the most pressing challenges facing children today.
Global Child Forum is an independent, global multi-stakeholder platform 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. This report is part of Global Child Forum’s objective to initiate and share research, raise crucial global awareness, new thinking and cross-sector dialogue regarding children’s rights. 195 investors in Europe and USA were invited to participate in the survey; only 22 responded. Some of the main findings included: Investors typically focus primarily on child labour and less on other children’s rights issues. 32 of the 195 investors have a publicly available responsible investor policy that includes a reference to children’s rights Of the 22 investors who responded, 21 replied that children’s rights have a potentially material impact to their investments.
Global Child Forum
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.
Every third person on the planet today is a child. In some regions, almost 50% of the population is under 15 years of age. Therefore any serious company or government sustain ability agenda must include a strong child rights perspective. Our fourth international Global Child Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm focused on partnerships for children’s rights – today and for the future – as a way of advancing the children’s rights and sustainability agenda. This Forum Report provides highlights from the presentations, panels and ActionLab discussions.
The views from children in this booklet developed by Save the Children Sweden, are taken from several consultations with children about corporate social responsibility, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and from child rights reporting, especially regarding the impact of the business sector. Children know a lot. Let's listen to them and take their views into account!
Save the Children Sweden ...
A guide developed by Save the Children containing information and ideas for consulting with children and young people and collecting their views on the Draft Children’s Rights and Business Principles. It takes the reader through a series of simple steps and activities needed to get started and gives tips to ensure young people's recommendations are accuratley documented. The guidelines can be adapted to suit the particular needs and preferences of the participants with respect to children's rights in the context of business activities. Within this Guide you will find information about how to prepare for the consultation; important details/suggestions for ensuring young people's recommendations are accurately documented; various group activities to support discussion, learning and team building; and finally, some ideas relating to next steps and follow up. This Guide also contains a list of required and recommended resources about children and young people’s participation.
Save the Children Sweden ...
The World Child &Y outh Forum (later re-named Global Child Forum) was established as an independent multi-stake- holder platform for informed dialogue on how to realise the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The third annual Forum took place on March 22, 2013 at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden with the theme”Children’s Rights – any of your business?”
This paper has been prepared to support you, children and adolescents, to better understand how business affects your lives, families, communities and also your rights. Within these pages you will also learn about the ‘Children’s Rights and Business Principles Initiative’ (CRBI), the first comprehensive set of global standards for child-friendly business practices, developed by Save the Children Sweden together with the UN Global Compact and Unicef. Here you will find out more about what children's rights are, what is meant by the term 'children's participation', and the impact of business on the rights of children. You will also find answers to simple and basic questions about the Principles and at the end there is a list of key words to help you understand the terms used throughout this resource.
Save the Children Sweden ...
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