Global Compact Network Belgium and UNICEF Belgium launched the local forum on Children’s Rights and Business Principles at Egmont Palace. These two organizations will take a leadership role in promoting the global principles to businesses in Belgium.On 3 December, the
Developed by UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact, Children’s Rights and Business Principles are the first comprehensive framework and tools to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Children account for 30% of the world’s population, and often more in some countries. “We saw a lot of potential particularly because business can have extensive impacts, positive and negative, on children. We wanted to engage with business and civil society and other actors in a constructive way” said Ursula Wynhoven, the General Counsel for the UN Global Compact Office.
UN Global Compact has launched this multi-stakeholder initiative to local Global Compact networks in 40 countries since March 2012.
The event in Brussels, with H.R.H. Princess Mathilde of Belgium attending, brought together the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgian companies, and children’s experts to discuss and showcase ways in which business can respect and support children’s rights in their core operations.
Global Compact Network Belgium represented the Belgian network of the Global Compact, the UN’s voluntary corporate citizenship initiative in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.
“It is essential that the principles are promoted in Belgium, not only for Belgian companies but also for Belgian companies doing business abroad” said Iris Van der Veken, Chair of Global Compact Network Belgium and Manager of Corporate Affairs Global Rosy Blue.
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles are built on existing standards, initiatives and best practices related to business and children, and seek to fill gaps to present a coherent vision for business to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts on children, who are frequently overlooked as stakeholders of business. This way, the Principles help to clarify both expectations of and opportunities for business in relation to children.
The launch in Belgium is part of an extended process and ongoing commitment in the private sector, civil society and government to protect and promote children’s rights. Future events include the Global Compact Leaders Summit next September timed with the General Assembly high-level segment in New York, in which Belgium’s work on the initiative will be shared.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video Message
Introductory Video of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles
Children’s Rights and Business Principles (PDF)
Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Belgium
Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Belgium, Summary Report (PDF)
Global Compact Network Belgium
Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013