For a decade, Global Child Forum has been working to promote children’s rights – focusing primarily on engaging the business sector to drive positive change for the world’s children.
Global Child Forum started with an idea to create a forum, bringing together stakeholders for the betterment of children and young people in the world, with the purpose of inspiring and supporting work around the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children’s rights are essential for a sustainable future and safeguarding these rights helps to build a strong, well-educated community that is vital to creating a stable, inclusive and beneficial business environment. In 2012, the release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles launched a shift in the way that business’ role, vis-à-vis children, was perceived. It encourages companies to understand the way they impact children in all of their activities.
- “It has been rewarding to see the transition that has taken place during the past 10 years around children’s rights and business, ”said Cajsa Wiking, Global Child Forum’s Secretary General. “We’re now starting to see a widening of the discourse around children’s rights, moving beyond solely addressing child labor or supporting children through traditional philanthropy, to encouraging a real intention to integrate a child rights perspective into a company’s DNA.”
But challenges are still substantial, and the journey has just been started. Children all over the world are facing increasingly complex and dangerous challenges ranging from the impacts of climate change, rise of conflict, and the risks and opportunities of digitisation to name but a few. Business has great potential for creating positive impact in all these fields, and the understanding of that responsibility is growing all the time.
The last couple of years Global Child Forum has focused on building its knowledge offering around children’s rights and business. 11 benchmark reports have been produced showing how the corporate sector is scoring on a variety of children’s rights indicators. Most recently, marking the organisation’s 10-year anniversary, a global benchmark of nearly 700 companies, using 20 indicators, was launched - The State of Children’s Rights and Business 2019: From Promise to Practice. Guides, tools and best practices have also been designed to support business on their journey to fully integrate a child-rights approach.
Another major accomplishment has been the 2018 launch of the Children’s’ Rights and Business Atlas, developed with UNICEF. The Atlas is the first comprehensive resource, based on data, to guide companies in assessing risks to children within their industry sectors and regions of operations.
Lindéngruppen is a proud partner to Global Child Forum and a member of its advisory board. During the past year, joint work has been carried out to deliver on the pledge Lindéngruppen made at the Forum in 2018: "We will strive to create a framework for how to incorporate children’s voices into our businesses.”. The Global Child Forum Pledge for Children’s Rights and Business was launched in 2018, to create initiatives and partnerships which advance children’s rights in a business’s operations, supply chains and in the communities in which they operate.
“Our goal was to create movement – to deliver actionable initiatives that contribute to advancing children’s rights. I am delighted that Lindéngruppen not only signed the pledge but also wrote its own and that you are now well advanced on delivering on this pledge,” commented Cajsa Wiking.