Children's Rights & Business Principles need to be matched by sustained civil society & media scrutiny of corporate practice & political, legal reforms, says Human Rights Watch

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
15 March 2012

Can Business Uphold Children's Rights?

Author: David Mepham, UK Director Human Rights Watch in Huffington Post

Human Rights Watch has been documenting violations of the rights of children for many years...[T]he Children's Rights and Business Principles...has the potential to improve the protection and promotion of children's rights...[I]t is less clear how the principles will be translated into substantive changes in corporate behaviour...there is no requirement on those participating companies to submit to independent monitoring, and there are no penalties proposed for any company that endorses the principles but then acts in ways that contradict them...if advancing children's rights is so self-evidently and naturally consistent with businesses' interests in growth and profit, there would presumably be fewer instances of corporate involvement in human rights abuses...experience suggests that [Children's Rights and Business Principles] will need to be matched by sustained public, civil society and media scrutiny of corporate practice, alongside appropriate political and legal reforms, if they are to deliver real and lasting change to children around the world.

Read the full post here

Article
15 March 2012

Children's rights: why businesses should care more for children

Author: Annabel Short, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in Guardian [UK]

[E]xamples demonstrate that almost every company has an impact on children...[M]any companies keep their initiatives to support children separate from their core business activities…[A] mining firm might highlight its investment in schools around its mines in its corporate responsibility report, but fail to address the local community's concerns about children made ill by contaminated water supplies...This week UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact launched their "children's rights and business principles"…[T]he UN committee on the rights of the child will be developing a "general comment on the rights of the child and the business sector"…While a CSR or philanthropic approach tends to be top-down, with the company deciding which issues it wishes to address, human rights start from the perspective of the individuals who are affected by a company's operations…Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched an information hub on the subject…[refers to Pfizer, Stanford Equity bank]

Read the full post here