Respect and Support Children’s Rights

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles set out business actions to respect and support children’s rights.  Children’s rights are outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Labour Organization’s Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age and Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour. Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the principle that,  “In all actions concerning children…the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

For the purposes of these Principles, actions for all business include:

  • THE CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY TO RESPECT — avoiding any infringement of the human rights of others, including children, and addressing any adverse human rights impact with which the business is involved. The corporate responsibility to respect applies to the business’s own activities and to its business relationships, linked to its operations, products or services.
  • THE CORPORATE COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT — in addition to respecting human rights, voluntary actions that seek to advance human rights, including children’s rights, through core business activities, strategic social investments and philanthropy, advocacy and public policy engagement, and working in partnership and other collective action.
  • Respect for children’s rights is the minimum required of business. Actions to support children’s rights are strongly encouraged even if not required.  Each Principle in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles lays out actions to respect children’s rights and actions to support children’s rights.

In this document, the phrase ‘children’s rights’ is synonymous with the ‘human rights of children’.