UNICEF and UNGC: Businesses to place children’s rights on top of CSR list
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11: UNICEF and the Malaysian network of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) have joined together to call on the country’s business community to place children’s rights at the top of their corporate responsibility agenda.
UNICEF and the UNGC held a press conference to introduce the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) in Kuala Lumpur today. The launch of the landmark Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) sees Malaysia as the first country in South Asia to introduce the Principles to the country’s business leaders.
“Malaysia was chosen for its dynamism and it is only natural to start the effort in this country,” said Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia.
Wivina also highlighted that businesses can strengthen their existing corporate responsibility initiatives while ensuring benefits for their business when they integrate respect and support for children’s rights into their strategies and operations.
“The business case for a more child focused approach to CSR is clear. By focusing on children and supporting their rights, businesses are creating a more stable and sustainable future, new and expanding markets for products and services, educating their next workforce, influencing tomorrow’s consumers and enhancing their brand and reputation,” said Wivina.
The CRBP is the first comprehensive set of principles developed by the UN Clobal Compact, UNICEF and Safe the Children. It is made to guide companies and businesses on the full range of actions they may take in the workplace, marketplace and community in respect and support of children’s rights.
CRBP has so far been launched in 16 countries and Malaysia is in a prime position to push for a better life for the children across the nation and the globe.
The CRBP provides businesses with a framework to uphold children’s rights through their policy commitments, due diligence and measures for change according to a set of guidelines.
The 10 Principles are:
1 ) Meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children.
2 ) Contribute to the elimination of child labour, including in all business activities and business relationships.
3 ) Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers.
4 ) Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities.
5 ) Ensure that products and services are safe and seek to support children’s rights through them.
6 ) Use marketing and advertising that respect and support children’s rights.
7 ) Respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use.
8 ) Respect and support children’s rights in security arrangements.
9 ) Help protect children affected by emergencies.
10 ) Reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill children’s rights.
“Business can play an important role to protect children’s wellbeing and advance child rights in a fulfilling and enriching way through CSR that goes beyond philanthropy,” said Dr. Tan Lin Lah, President of Global Compact Network Malaysia.
She added that the launch of the CRBP in Malaysia underscores the importance of the Principles and its applicability to businesses of all genres and sizes.
The event was also attended by Nadiah Hanim Abdul Latif Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Sime Darby, Joachim Rajaram Head of Communications for Digi Telecommunications and Julia Chong Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Truly Loving Company-TMT–