Principle 9

ALL BUSINESS SHOULD: Help protect children affected by emergencies

“Companies should think about emergencies all the time and not only when it happens. This means that companies should have a program to reduce and mitigate damage.”

Young people in Brazil, Children’s Consultations for the Children’s Rights and Business Principles Initiative

The corporate responsibility to respect includes:

  1. Respecting children’s rights in the context of emergencies
    Avoid causing or contributing to the infringement of children’s rights in the context of emergencies. Recognize the heightened human rights risk in the context of armed conflict and other emergencies, and undertake human rights due diligence accordingly. Take into account that emergencies can significantly increase the risk of any adverse impact on children’s rights, and that certain groups of children may be more vulnerable, including children with disabilities, displaced, migrant, separated and unaccompanied children and indigenous children, and that girls and boys may be affected in different ways.
  2. The corporate commitment to support includes:

  3. Supporting the rights of children affected by emergencies
    1. Help protect children whose rights are affected by emergencies by raising awareness among workers and community members of the increased risks of violence, abuse and exploitation of children in such contexts.
    2. Where needed and requested, and in accordance with best practices, support authorities and humanitarian agencies in emergency response. Support should be based on assessed need and within a framework of accountability to affected populations.
    3. Make a positive contribution to sustainable peace and development.[1]
GOOD PRACTICE: Skills-based education for refugee children
An international consulting company with project management expertise teamed up with an international organization to bring educational resources to refugee children. A major initiative in this collaboration has been the provision of skills-based education for approximately 30,000 refugee children in eastern Chad. By bringing its management expertise, the business supported the international organisation in defining tangible actions, deliverables and metrics to highlight progress. A key challenge is that ongoing conflict and instability on the ground have made it difficult to establish sustained education programmes and provide children with an appropriate curriculum for a consistent period of time. Programme entry questionnaires seek to identify key child protection concerns to facilitate addressing them as part of the initiative. The company is also helping to raise public awareness on the situation of refugees.



 


[1]See for example, the joint United Nations Global Compact-Principles for Responsible Investment publication, ‘Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: A Resource for Companies and Investors’, 2010. http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/conflict_prevention/guidance_material.html