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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Children's Rights in Southern Africa 2019

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.

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Case study: Business investments in children's education

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.

guidance toolkit

How to use the Children's Rights and Business Principles: A Guide for Civil Society Organizations, 2nd Edition

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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