Children’s rights are not merely a matter for governments and NGOs. Companies also play an important role in protecting them. A number of entrepreneurs in our network are convinced that respect for children and their rights is part of their social responsibility. As members of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles Commission, they help to convince other entrepreneurs that children’s rights are an essential investment for a sustainable future and society.
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) provide guidance for companies that want to play an active part in the global improvement of children’s rights. They were developed at an international level by UNICEF, UN Global Compact (UNGC) and Save the Children.
In Belgium too, a number of companies draw inspiration from these principles as a specific component of their CSR policy. They take account of the rights of the child in their human resources, in their products and services and through community-building work.
Sensitisation through best practices
On 29 November, the CRBP Commission invited CEOs from interested large and small enterprises to meet its members. Co-chairman Chris Van Doorslaer: “The exchange of best practices is the best approach for stimulating and encouraging fellow business leaders to take action themselves. Children’s rights are not a remote notion and all businesses are confronted with them sooner or later. Moreover, many companies are already taking action intuitively. Every company, whether large or small, can do something.”
Attendees at a workshop were also able to learn about the most interesting practical examples from at home and abroad. Thus, the Swedish-Indian human rights lawyer Parul Sharma provided an overview of the role companies can play and initiatives being taken worldwide. In addition, 5 CRBP members shared stories about the concrete steps they have already taken to improve children’s rights in Belgium. You can learn more about them in this video: