CHILDREN'S RIGHTS AND BUSINESS: Initiative consultations raise key issues

Summary: The responses to the extensive consultation process on the draft Principles of the Children's Rights and Business Principles Initiative have been released.

Background to the Initiative

On 24 June 2010, UNICEF, the United Nations Global Compact and Save the Children launched a process to develop a set of principles that would seek to outline the full range of actions that business can take to respect and support children's rights.

The need for a set of Principles

With children's rights largely excluded in the Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework', prepared by Professor John Ruggie, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises (read CRIN's response to the Principles), the need exists for a set of Principles exclusively for children.

Consultation Process

During the period 6 May 2011 to 15 July 2011, the draft Principles were open for consultation  to various stakeholder groups, including business professionals and civil society. Children were also consulted as part of the process.

Feedback from the process

The report attached summarizes the key comments and insights derived from the feedback received during this consultation process.

Key responses included:

  • Broaden their scope to extend more strongly to individual groups (indigenous children, children with disabilities, and so on), and to provide special protection to the most vulnerable groups.
  • Change the language of the text to make it stronger and more mandatory in nature.
  • Make it clear this is not a stand alone initiative and clarify their scope and ensure consistency with other existing Conventions, initiatives, frameworks and Principles.
  • Address the Principles to a wider audience than just businesses ( the draft text currently refers to business only) - 69% of respondents called for this change.
  • Create a "Sign-On" Mechanism or Statement of Support that businesses are encouraged to sign (73% of respondents argued for this).

The issue of ensuring sufficient remedies to violations of children's rights did feature in the responses, however further down the list of importance. As did the issue of enforcement, based on providing incentives to comply with the Principles, and sanctions for those who fail to comply

Initiative Launch

The responses will now be considered further to the extensive concultations, with the Principles due to be launched around 20 November this year.

Further Information



    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.