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Article

UNICEF publishes new tool for investors on how to integrate children’s rights into ESG analysis

12 April 2021

A new tool for investors on how to integrate children’s rights into Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis – allowing for more comprehensive assessment of child rights as part of the due diligence process in investee companies – has been published today by UNICEF.

Children account for nearly one third of the world’s population, yet investors’ human rights policies seldom reflect the special considerations that businesses need to make to respect children’s rights. While children’s rights are part of, and often key to addressing other sustainability issues such as human rights, decent work, gender and diversity, the children’s rights dimensions are often missed without taking a specific child rights lens to sustainability.

The Tool for Investors on Integrating Children’s Rights into ESG Analysis offers guidance and a methodology for assessing children’s rights in portfolio companies but can also be used as a basis for engaging investee companies around their policies, practices and child rights disclosure.   It builds on and complements the Investor Guidance on Integrating Children’s Right into Investment Decision Making released by UNICEF and Sustinalytics in 2019...

The tool has been launched in the run up to the 10th anniversary of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in 2022 and to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, outlining the responsibilities of businesses, and investors, to respect human and children’s rights...

The Tool for Investors on Integrating Children’s Rights into ESG Analysis contains guidance on assessing the materiality of children’s rights, an assessment framework consisting of scoring methodology and child rights due diligence indicators, and a chapter on data sources. It is designed to be flexible and practical to allow investors to integrate children’s rights into their own ESG assessment frameworks, but can also be used to conduct a stand-alone assessment on children’s rights.