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UNICEF Australia releases report assessing Australian policy & law shaping activities that impact on children

"Building Better Business for Children: An Interim National Baseline Assessment of Australian policy and law shaping business activities that impact on children" April 2019

Focused on the ‘State Duty to Protect’ and ‘Access to Remedy’ as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights1, Building Better Business for Children provides an initial ‘national baseline assessment’ from a child rights perspective....

...Building Better Business for Children also highlights several significant gaps in Australian policy....These include weaknesses in the regulation of marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages, inadequate protections against child labour, Australia’s relatively limited paid parental leave scheme, and limited financial security for employees and their children experiencing domestic and family violence.

...Building Better Business for Children recommends that the Australian Government:

1 Adopt a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) to fully implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

2 Commit to specific, measurable and time-bound measures...:

2 (i) Continue to improve systems and business practices to keep children safe – in person and online;

2 (ii) ...[I]ntroduc[e] 10 days' paid domestic and family violence leave for employees;

2 (iii) Consider introducing mandatory human rights due diligence laws;

2 (iv) Fully leverage the Government's own business activities...through incorporating human rights considerations into public procurement rules, policies and processes;

2 (v) Commit to addressing child labour through signing and ratifying the International Labour Organisation Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;

2 (vi) ...[B]etter data and a parliamentary inquiry;

2 (vii) Support the healthy development of children in their first thousand days...including a strategy to progressively increase the parental leave pay entitlement to at least 26 weeks;

2 (viii) Ensure access to affordable, quality and culturally appropriate childcare...especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander...;

2 (ix) Curb rising childhood obesity...; and

2 (x) Ensure access to remedy for children harmed by business activities and operations – both domestically and extraterritorially.