The role of business post-2015

Date: 26th March 2013
Author: UNICEF

UNICEF UK's new policy briefing A post-2015 world fit for children: the role of business identifies the steps that businesses should take to maximise their impact on development and the role that the UK Government must play to support responsible business behaviour.

As we approach the target date of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, discussions on what will replace them are gaining momentum. At the end of March 2013, the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on the Post-2015 agenda held its fourth meeting, focusing on global partnerships. The role of the private sector is high on the agenda.

Businesses have played an important role in contributing to the Millennium Development Goals but in order to help create a world fit for children, they must go further. They can commit, or contribute to, a wide range of abuses of human rights: new and emerging issues such as a changing climate, increasing inequality and youth unemployment are forcing businesses and governments to rethink how they operate. Business as usual is not an option.

UNICEF's new policy briefing calls on businesses to recognise children as key stakeholders: as family members of employees, as young workers, consumers and future employees.

A focus on children brings a unique lens to the role of business in sustainable development, as it requires companies to recognise their responsibilities to both current and future generations - the world of the future must be one that is fit for children.

It also makes business sense: safeguarding children's rights helps build the strong, well-educated communities that are vital to creating a stable, inclusive and productive business environment.