Principle 4

ALL BUSINESS SHOULD: Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities

“In our view, violence committed against a single child is one instance of violence too many.”

Children in West and Central Africa, 2005 (United Nations Study on Violence against Children)

The corporate responsibility to respect includes:

  1. Addressing safety and protection risks to children’s rights posed by business facilities and staff in the course of business activities
    1. Ensure that company facilities are not used to abuse, exploit or harm children.
    2. Ensure that potentially dangerous areas of company facilities do not pose a safety threat to children, during or outside business hours.
    3. Make clear to staff that the business’s zero tolerance policy for violence, exploitation and abuse applies in all business activities, even when conducted away from business facilities.
    4. Take appropriate action when concerns of possible violence, exploitation or abuse arise.
    5. Ensure that young workers above the minimum age for work are protected from hazardous work.

    The corporate commitment to support includes:

  2. Developing and implementing a child protection code of conduct
    Develop a child protection code of conduct for business operations. Ensure awareness of and ongoing training on the code of conduct. Recommend that a child protection code of conduct be developed by others linked to the business’s operations, products or services through a business relationship.
GOOD PRACTICE: Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation
A global hospitality and travel company has implemented a comprehensive strategy to combat and raise awareness about sexual exploitation and child trafficking. The company is a member of The Code (Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism). As part of their commitment, it requires all suppliers to agree to a legally binding clause in their contracts affirming their denouncement of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Specialized child protection training has been integrated into employee training programmes. Since late 2011, the company began to issue special advisory notices on electronic travel itineraries issued in the U.S. to specific destinations with a high prevalence of child trafficking and sexual exploitation. Travellers are also provided with a dedicated hotline number to report any instances of sexual exploitation or suspicious behaviour. The company also works to address root causes of the problem through partnerships with community organizations working for the elimination of child trafficking.