Companies in Asia Embrace Children’s Rights and Business Principles

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The FINANCIAL — The Children’s Rights and Business Principles have been an important instrument for guiding business implementation of children’s rights into corporate citizenship strategies. Following on the success of last year’s global event in Nairobi, the UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children held a regional event in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing children’s rights in businesses in Asia.

Building on a number of national releases of the Principles in the region, the Asia Regional Event took stock of achievements and showcased how companies have used the Children’s Rights and Business Principles to advance efforts to respect and support children’s rights, and identified areas for improvement.  Attended by representatives from business and civil society, the event highlighted key challenges for achieving children’s rights in Asia, and the role of business and sustainability in the region, according to Global Compact.

“The Children’s Rights and Business Principles were officially released in Malaysia on 11 September 2012. Through the Global Compact Local Networks and the local offices of UNICEF and Save the Children throughout the region, we have found a great willingness to embrace the ideas of the Principles through our work in Asia,” said Mohd Shah bin Hashim, President of the Global Compact Network Malaysia.

Developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children – the Children’s Rights and Business Principles identify a comprehensive range of actions that all businesses should take to prevent and address adverse impacts connected with their activities and relationships, and maximize positive business impacts on children’s lives. Nearly 40 countries around the world have organized national releases of the Principles. During this event, representatives  from companies and civil society explored how urbanization and the treatment of migrant workers in Asia has affected children’s rights and  ways that businesses can respect and support the rights of parents, caregivers and young workers.

“The Children’s Rights and Business Principles guide companies to maximize their positive impacts and minimize their negative impacts on children – 30% of the world’s population – across their workplace, marketplace and community,” said Ursula Wynhoven, Chief of Legal, Governance and Social Sustainability at the UN Global Compact.  “The long term view entailed in a child rights’ perspective helps business to build sustainability into their strategies and operations.”


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