“Pay our parents adequately so that children do not have to drop out of school.”
This statement by 13-year old boy from India frames the issue of decent work and it’s impact on children. According to the Children’s Rights and Business Principle #3, “All business should provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers.“ The corporate responsibility to protect includes providing decent work for young workers, being responsive to the vulnerability of young workers above the minimum age for work, and providing decent working conditions that support workers, both women and men, in their roles as parents or caregivers. Read more about the CRBP #3.
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Of all the heartbreaking effects of COVID-19, its impact on young people could prove to be one of its most damaging legacies. In fact, the coronavirus crisis risks turning back the clock on years of progress made on children’s well-being and has put children’s rights under serious pressure across the globe. Linda Lodding, Head of Communications at Global Child Forum, takes a closer look at these pressure points.
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!
In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in South America, 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 2017, Global Child Forum, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, published a benchmark study of the 300 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.
This is Tran Thanh Nam, a former bartender and current employee at Cuong Phat Pottery Company in Binh Duong, Vietnam. At the tender age of 15, Nam decided to drop out of school and the world of education behind. "I wasn’t very mature back then" he says. When Nam left school, finding a decent age-appropriate job was difficult, leaving him with no option but to take high-risk jobs like bartending until late at night. But since early 2018, Nam, now 17, has been working at Cuong Phat Pottery Company. The factory is taking part in a youth development programme which creates opportunities for out-of-school youth such as Nam. This has been a new chance for Nam, changing his life. This is one of four stories profiled in, "Four countries. Four stories” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
15-year-old Warwar Nwe was just ten years old when she had to drop out of school. “My father had to go to Yangon to get medical treatment and so, our whole family came along with him to Yangon,” she says with a sense of sadness. In Yangon, Warwar Nwe missed her old life: “I felt very sad and cried. I couldn’t see my friends and teachers anymore.” But when Warwar Nwe was 14 she heard about a garment factory recruiting young workers. This is the story about how a business initiative positively can change the life for children. It is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
Rongxuan has no memory of the day his mother left him behind with his grandparents so that she could return to work in Dongguan. At the time, Rongxuan was only two months old. But today, thanks to a business initiative, Rongxuan and his mother have something to celebrate. Theirs is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
This film is about Nadiya, 2, and her mother Nasima Begum, 29, who is a garment worker in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Although factories in Bangladesh are legally obligated to provide daycare for young children, most do not comply with the law, thereby excluding mothers like Nasima from the labour force. However, this film showcases the positive affects business can have when supporting children's rights in the operations. This is one out of four stories presented in "Children's Voices" - a film collaboration proudly produced by Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
In a world where big ideas about children’s rights are presented at high-level events, seminars and workshops, the voice of the children themselves is often conspicuously absent. Global Child Forum and CCR CSR have proudly produced a short-film that gives a voice to children, while at the same time inspiring businesses to invest in child rights. This full version film includes four short stories shot in four different countries: China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Each story can also be found as a short film. Global Child Forum and CCR CSR appreciate if being referred to if/when the films are being showcased in channels or at events where we are not present. #ChildrensVoices
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.
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.
The Workplace Index measures child labour and decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers. 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 together with UNICEF, is the first comprehensive resource to guide companies in assessing risks to children within industry sectors and regions of operation.
“My husband and I came out to work for our children but we couldn’t take them with us. We don’t have the time to take care of them or to cook for them…so we left them with their grandparents,” said Liu Jing*, a factory worker whose three children live with their grandparents in a village in Hunan, China. She is part of the “247 million” – the number of people who have migrated for work in China. She has been a factory worker for the past ten years, and like many in her situation, only returns home a handful of times throughout the year to see her children. If her situation can be represented by a number, so can her children’s. They belong to the “61 million”, the estimated number of children in China who grow up without one or both parents present. Behind these numbers however, are stories far more intricate, stories that have implications not only for society but for businesses as well.
This year’s Global Child Forum welcomed heads of state and heads of companies, leaders from civil society and learners from across South America and beyond. All came together with the goal of providing the region’s children with the best possible path to productive adulthood. All came together with the belief that the business sector is key to achieving that goal. Nearly 400 delegates gathered in the FIESP building on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, its soaring modernist architecture a fitting backdrop for tackling a far-reaching children’s rights agenda. Read the Forum report — full of inspiration, ideas for action and case stories.
Some medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean are putting in place paternity packages that give their working fathers time to invest in their children. Marcelo Ber, Regional Child Rights and Business Focal Point for UNICEF Latin America, talks to new father, Rodrigo, on why spending time with his baby daughter is a valued employee benefit - for the short-term and long-term.
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)
Dongguan Concord Pottery makes ceramic cups and other items for a leading coffee shop brand. They employ around 3,000 people at their factory in Southern China. The company has worked with Save the Children’s centre for child rights since 2013 in order to improve the situation for their workers who are also parents. The partnership has meant quick and tangible improvements, not only for employees and their children, but increased staff retention and lower costs for the factory itself. Lake Law is the head of corporate social responsibility for Dongguan Concord Pottery. Children’s rights and business videos
Save the Children Sweden ...
Together with the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in West Java, Save the Children has been integrating a child-centred corporate social responsibility project in the hospitality sector of Indonesia. The project worked to encourage members to integrate children’s rights into their member’s business operations and strategies. One result of the project was the creation of this toolkit, which included the assistance of academics, several NGOs, and input from child and youth participants. It consists of four tools for children’s rights integration and eight tools that inspire hotels and restaurants in responding to issues and problems that most frequently arise and impact children’s rights.
Save the Children ...
Children’s rights are an essential investment in a sustainable future. Safeguarding these rights helps build the strong, well-educated communities that are vital to creating stable, inclusive and productive societies. The private sector impacts children’s lives both directly and indirectly, and all companies in all industries – global, regional or local – can make a difference. Business activity influences the daily life of children in a number of ways, from impoverished communities where children are held back from getting an education because they need to support the family with their income, to the marketplace where children react to marketing messages and learn about the world via the many products surrounding them. Companies that want to take part in the movement pushing sustainable development forward, creating the world that we together have formulated in the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, need to safeguard, empower and consider the opinions of those we should be creating that world together with. Considering children’s rights holds the possibility of enriching your business and easing your way into the challenges of the future. Read these statements from companies and businesses that have incorporated a child rights approach into their work.
Save the Children
Principle 3 of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs) indicates that all businesses should provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers. This webinar will explore how companies can commit to supporting children’s rights by paying particular attention to the rights of young workers – who are above the minimum age of employment – as well as parents and caregivers. The discussion will look at what kind of support companies can provide to implement Principle 3, including provisions of safe working conditions for young workers, paid leave, breastfeeding and child care facilities, agile working hours, and the benefits of providing such support. The webinar will also include specific examples from business.
UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund ...
This Guide is written for civil society organizations that use or wish to use the Children’s Rights and Business Principles to engage with businesses in monitoring, enforcing and advancing children’s rights. To give a broad perspective on the ways that civil society might seek to work with companies, organizations’ diverse missions, goals and methods of working are taken into account. As a result, this Guide can be used by a wide range of civil society actors in considering, developing and reviewing their approaches to and relationships with business entities. Advocacy is a central focus, with the primary goal being to hold businesses accountable for their impacts on children’s rights. The Guide is divided into Five Parts Part I introduces the Guide and establishes the international relevance of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Part II explains the corporate duty to respect and commitment to support children’s rights in theory and in practice. Part III explores each of the nine substantive Children’s Rights & Business Principles in detail. Part IV addresses ways that additional stakeholders including government, the media, consumers and children can enhance cooperation between business and civil society in matters of children’s rights. Part V offers conclusions and a selection of resources for further research.
Save the Children Sweden ...
This publication presents UNICEF’s stance and approach to child labour. While upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF and its partners work to strengthen legal and policy frameworks, enhance government and community-based structures and services, and engage with communities to promote positive social change. To achieve positive results, promoting understanding through research of the underlying causes of child labour and addressing their interconnectedness is key to UNICEF’s approach to response and prevention.
This publication is designed to guide companies in assessing their policies and processes to both prevent harm and actively safeguard children’s best interests. As a tool, this should be used as part of ongoing assessments of human rights impacts as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This publication has 58 primary criteria for addressing company policies and practices relevant to children’s rights. A company is taking an important step towards recognizing children as rights holders and stake holders by integrating children’s rights considerations into their ongoing impact assessments.
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