“Better Business for Children is better business. By working to respect and support the rights of children, the private sector makes an important contribution towards building more resilient communities now and in the future, on which their success also depends.”
UNICEF’s vision is a world fit for every child. Better Business for Children is about recognising that children are impacted by businesses in many different ways. They are children of employees as well as workers themselves. They are consumers of products and services, and are also dependent on essential resources often shared with business.
Much of the impact business has on children’s lives is positive, by creating jobs and increasing access to essential products and services. However, business is also responsible for significant harms to children and their rights which undermine our collective ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Failing to take children into account also increases corporate risk.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights sets out the responsibility of business to respect children’s rights. All children have rights and entitlements equal to and in addition to those held by adults. These rights reflect their unique vulnerabilities and developmental needs. Failure to uphold the rights of children can have life-long impacts on their health, wealth and well-being. This is why the UNGPs require that businesses carry out enhanced due diligence to identify and address potential and actual impacts on the rights of vulnerable rights holders, including children, women and migrant workers, among others.
There is no single way to meet this challenge, however in collaboration with business, government and civil society, UNICEF works to deepen understanding of how to identify and tackle risks to children. UNICEF UK is working to address impacts of business felt by children who live in the UK, as well as children impacted by UK business supply chains and products around the world. Our aim is for UK business to lead the way in respecting children’s rights.