Children’s rights and business

Côte d'Ivoire 2018

Every company has an impact on children, be it through working conditions for parents, marketing practices, product safety or the company’s impact on the environment. UNICEF therefore supports companies in identifying the risks and impact of their activities on children’s rights and in taking measures to protect and promote these rights.

Children and young people under the age of 18 make up just under one-third of the world’s population. As a result, every business inevitably comes into contact with children and young people: Children can be consumers, daughters and sons of employees, young workers, or future experts and company managers. And the impact a company has on children’s rights can be just as significant.

Niger 2007
© UNICEF/UNI3155/Pirozzi

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), developed by UNICEF together with Save the Children and the UN Global Compact was published in 2012. It makes this corporate responsibility clear with regard to children’s rights. The principles build on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and require all companies to respect the rights of children in all activities and business relationships. They also highlight specific areas that are of particular relevance for companies in relation to children’s rights.

“Respecting and supporting children’s rights requires business to both prevent harm and actively safeguard children’s interests.”

Children’s Rights and Business Principles

While the focus with regard to children’s rights and buisiness has in the past been predominantly on the elimination of child labor from companies’ supply chains, the principles highlight the wide range of impacts that corporate actions have on children, and that businesses and their activities can play a role along the entire value chain.

UNICEF works with companies, industry associations, governments and government agencies, civil society and multi-stakeholder initiatives around the world to implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

UNICEF supports companies in identifying their impact on children’s rights and in structuring their processes and business activities in line with these rights. UNICEF also offers assistance in developing measures that companies can apply to protect and promote children’s rights. At the global level, UNICEF is committed to building up knowledge and evidence on the impact of different business sectors and industries on children’s rights.

Grafik über Kinderarbeit.

The “Children's Rights and Business Atlas” supports companies to understand their risks and impacts on children's rights at country and sector level. The interactive platform is currently under revision. Therefore, below you will find the "Children's Rights in the Workplace Index" (as of June 2023) to be taken into account for the implementation of Swiss legislation (Art. 7 VSoTr) for download.

Monika Althaus
Senior Manager for Children’s Rights and Business

Telephone: +41 44 317 22 33
Email: [email protected]

Linda Deflorin Karrer
Senior Manager for Children’s Rights and Business

Telephone: +41 44 317 22 17
Email: [email protected]

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