(Kuala Lumpur, 6 October 2015) –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.

“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.”

About the Children’s Rights and Business Principles

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles identify actions that all business should take to respect children’s rights – that is, to prevent and address any adverse impacts on children’s human rights – as well as measures business is encouraged to take to help support and advance children’s rights. The Principles were developed in consultation with business experts, child rights experts, civil society, Governments and children. Save the Children, UNICEF and the UN Global Compact hope they will serve as an inspiration and guidepost for all businesses, everywhere in their interactions with children. www.childrenandbusiness.org

(Nairobi, 12 May 2014) –The Children’s Rights and Business Principles marked two years of calling on businesses everywhere to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment. Since their 2012 release, the Principles have dramatically raised awareness of children and youth as critical stakeholders of business.

Held in Nairobi, the initiative’s Second Global Event took stock of achievements and showcased how companies, globally and regionally, have used the Principles to advance efforts to respect and support children’s rights, and identified areas for improvement.  Attended by 150 representatives from business, Government, academia and civil society, and moderated by Eric Latiff, Senior Editor at Capital FM and Anchor at the Kenya Television Network, the event placed a special focus on child rights and business in Africa – highlighting key challenges for achieving children’s rights in Africa, and the role of business and sustainability in the region.

In her opening remarks, Betty Maina, Representative of the Global Compact Network Kenya and Chief Executive of Kenya Association of Manufacturers, recognized the important role business plays in the lives of children: “Businesses affect children and their rights globally and not least in Africa.” She noted that while Sub-Saharan Africa has made some improvements towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as a region it is lagging behind, with high rates of hunger, moderate enrollment in primary schools and high mortality rates among children under five years of age. She added, “As economic development continues, often driven by the private sector, it is necessary for companies to see the long-term need and business case for respecting and supporting children’s rights.”

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. More than 30 countries around the world, including seven in Africa, have organized national releases of the Principles. Country-level efforts have helped to address the root causes of child labour, and contextualize other critical issues for companies, such as decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers; development of safe products and services; responsible marketing and advertising; environment and land acquisition; and supporting children’s rights in security arrangements.

“Respecting and supporting the rights of children is sound business practice,” said Ursula Wynhoven, General Counsel and Chief of Governance and Social Sustainability at the UN Global Compact. “By incorporating children’s rights into strategy, operations and corporate culture, businesses not only strengthen their reputation and brand recognition; they also create healthy, strong communities as well as more sustainable and inclusive markets.”

Recognizing the positive power of businesses large and small, and seeking to support responsible business practices, the organizing partners developed a questionnaire to learn more about progress made by the business community in implementing the Principles and to gather illustrative examples of good practices.

(Stockholm, 22 March 2013) – Today marks one year since the release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles – a global call on business to step up efforts to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment. Read the complete press release.

Regional Release of Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Ecuador