The demands of a growing global economy require an increasingly skilled workforce – one that is computer literate, can handle data, can apply critical analysis and is creative. At the same time, progress in education has stalled and the quality of education varies widely, resulting in many children leaving primary school without basic reading, writing and math skills, let alone ICT and critical thinking skills. Providing all our children, and especially girls, with the high-quality education they will need to succeed is one of the greatest challenges we face.
A growing number of businesses are investing in long-term educational partnerships with civil society and governments, realising the mutual benefit for business and society of life-long learning, starting with the youngest.
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As a global technology company, Microsoft is in a unique position to support children’s access to education and information while helping to ensure their safety online. The company has done this in three main ways, elaborated on in this case study:
No. 4 in a series of company reflections for the Global Child Forum on the ways in which companies address children’s rights and child-related issues. The study showcases Wilmar’s path towards establishing more sustainable business practices and developing a better understanding of the need to integrate a children’s rights perspective across its operations and suppliers. Click here to read the State of Children’s Rights in Southeast Asia Benchmark 2020.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Community and Environment Index measures children’s rights in relation to environmental protection, land rights, security arrangements, education, health and child protection. 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.
The Global Child Forum on South America, held on 4 April 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil, brought together leaders from business, civil society and government to address the issue of “Investing in Every Child”. The South America Forum, the 9th for the organisation, brought together over 300 delegates to discuss the current state of children’s rights in the region and call upon business to take concrete actions in their business to create an inclusive economy – one that is equitable and creates opportunities for all.
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.
International furniture giant IKEA has been at the forefront of corporate work on human rights and sustainability for decades. Since the early 1990s, IKEA has been working with Save the Children on a range of projects addressing education for children, children in emergencies, and protection of children from child labour. Steve Howard is the Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group. Children’s rights and business videos
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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.
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Sansiri is a leading private real estate company in Thailand with a revenue of $864 million for 2014. The deep dive explores some of the company’s initiatives, such as its educational programs, its corporate structure in regards to sustainability and its work alongside the government and the World Health Organisation to improve health benefits for migrant workers.
This deep dive explores Sime Darby’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile in relation to children’s rights. Operating in 26 countries and with 130, 000 employees, Sime Darby is one of the largest Malaysian based conglomerates. Sime Darby’s child protection policy, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations, understanding of key material risks and governance structure are all explored.
This deep dive explores Thai Union’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile. As a leading seafood company in Thailand, Thai Union works within an industry which is still defined by a multitude of family owned businesses. The study looks at how the company attempts to limit child labour and increase access to education, as well as looking at its code of conduct, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations and future projects.
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.
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 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.
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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.
What are your rights? What is Business? What should business be doing to respect your rights? The answers to these questions and much more can be found in the pages you are about to read. This booklet, developed by Save the Children, is a practical guide to help children and young people everywhere understand that they have rights. Not only at school, at home, in the community, in the workplace, but – everywhere! We also want to share important information about ‘Children’s Rights and Business Principles', a set of ‘rules’ that every business should follow to ensure children’s rights are respected and supported. These 10 Children's Rights and Business Principles are explained in the book in a simple and easy-to-read way. We invite children and young people everywhere to read more about their rights and business and to share this book with family and friends.
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This document summarizes inputs received from over 400 young people aged 7-17 in nine countries: Brazil, Argentina, Philippines, Zambia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Senegal, Paraguay and Peru. These young people participated in consultations to discuss the Children’s Rights and Business Principles Initiative. They explored: what is business; how does business affect our lives and rights; what role does business have to protect our rights; and more. They also reviewed a draft of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and gave their detailed recommendations.
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