Understanding business impact on children

Global release of the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas

Human rights is a hot topic for business leaders around the world, but it is rare that children’s rights are acknowledged as a distinct issue that requires extra attention in business planning, CSR activities or day to day business operations.

Minimum working age and child labour are the most common areas we see companies focusing on their human rights policies. However, extra impetus should also be placed on the wider impacts businesses may have on children, such as the effects of pollution on child health, or the influence of product marketing that targets young people.

Children are vulnerable, so protecting their rights is incredibly important.

They are consumers, community members, workers, and the dependents of workers. This means business can directly, and indirectly, affect the lives of children in a multitude of ways and they deserve attention in their own right.

How can companies consider children’s rights in their business planning and operations?

Together with UNICEF and GCF, we are launching the latest, enhanced iteration of the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas.

The Atlas is a unique online tool that allows businesses to quantitatively assess their risk and impact on children’s rights around the world. The Atlas harnesses the power of data, collected from multiple global and national sources, and manipulates the data into user friendly scores and due diligence response suggestions for businesses. The Atlas aims to help business identify their key risks to children’s rights, as well as areas where they can have a positive impact. The user-friendly interface of the Atlas makes is approachable, and helps business in their initial stages of approaching children’s rights issues, helping to answer poignant questions such as:

  1. What are children’s rights?
  2. What are some of the key areas of children’s rights my business – or industry – impact on?
  3. What is the risk to my business of breaching and damaging children’s rights, and what can I do about it?
  4. What are the sources of information, and legal requirements, for children’s rights in my countries of operation?

Our colleague, Donna Westerman, VP of ESG Risk, discussed these issues at the launch event:

Understanding Business Impact on Children: Global Release of the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas

Explore the Atlas: www.childrensrightsatlas.org

Rebecca Hall

Managing Consultant