Children's Rights and Business Principles: A Guide for Civil Society Organisations

Author: Save the Children
Category: General measures of implementation

7th January 2014

A guide has been written for civil society organisations that use or wish to use Children's Rights and Business Principles to engage with businesses in monitoring, enforcing and advancing children's rights.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were the first international standard to demand corporate accountability for all human rights impacts. The Children's Rights and Business Principles were developed using the UN Guiding Principles, and give more focused guidance on business's responsibility to respect and commitment to support children's rights across a wide range of contexts.

Expanding on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the UN CommitŽtee on the Rights of the Child released a GenŽeral Comment on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children's rights in February 2013, to more explicitly relate children's rights to the private sector. This General Comment builds in part on the UN Guiding Principles and requires that governments regulate, influence and engage with businesses in ways that ensure companies respect children's rights.

To give a broad perspective on the ways that civil society might seek to work with companies, organisations' diverse missions, goals and methods of working are taken into account. As a result, this Guide can be used by a wide range of civil society actors in considering, developing and reviewing their approaches to and relationships with business entities. Advocacy is a central focus, with the primary goal being to hold businesses accountable for their impacts on children's rights.

The Guide is divided into Five Parts:

  • Part I introduces the Guide and establishes the international relevance of the Children's Rights and Business Principles.
  • Part II explains the corporate duty to respect and commitment to support children's rights in theory and in practice.
  • Part III explores each of the nine substantive Children's Rights & Business Principles in detail.
  • Part IV addresses ways that additional stakeholders including government, the media, consumers and children can enhance cooperation between business and civil society in matters of children's rights.
  • Part V offers conclusions and a selection of resources for further research.

Download 'How to use the Children's Rights and Business Principles: A Guide for Civil Society Organizations' here.