Watching the situation in the Ukraine unfold, we are alarmed for the citizens of Ukraine and especially the nation’s children who are fleeing – sometimes alone – to safe havens. The well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children is at stake.
To mark the UN World Day Against Child Labour, and this year’s focus on the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour 2021, Global Child Forum’s Nina Vollmer looks more closely at what companies can do to help erase child labour from the map. Child labour is a complex issue, but findings from our benchmark report reveal that closing the disclosure gap, can be one step in the right direction.
In the final days before lockdown was introduced in the United Kingdom, CRIN hosted a panel discussion on surveillance and facial recognition at the Tate Modern where we addressed some of the risks they pose for children’s rights. Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many people to move their lives almost exclusively online, as adults began working from home and schools resorted to online learning. Such big changes, however, raise basic questions.
As social distancing, quarantines and lockdowns have spread across the globe to slow the spread of coronavirus, they have imposed some of the greatest worldwide restrictions on public gatherings in living memory.
Of all the heartbreaking effects of COVID-19, its impact on young people could prove to be one of its most damaging legacies. In fact, the coronavirus crisis risks turning back the clock on years of progress made on children’s well-being and has put children’s rights under serious pressure across the globe. Linda Lodding, Head of Communications at Global Child Forum, takes a closer look at these pressure points.
As is the case in most crises, the most vulnerable in society will feel the worst impacts of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to school closures in nearly every country in the world, putting approximately 1.5 billion children and youth out of school.
To mark Global Child Forum’s ten-year anniversary, Désirée Abrahams asked both adults and children, what they considered the top 10 most important child right’s issues for business to consider in the next decade. In this blog post, she shares her reflections on the process and the survey’s findings
Johan Öberg, a core member of The Boston Consulting Group’s Principal Investors & Private Equity practice and a board member of Global Child Forum, comments on the results of the global benchmark study The State of Children’s Rights and Business: From Promise to Practice.
For a decade, Global Child Forum has been working to promote children’s rights – focusing primarily on the business sector to drive this change. To mark this anniversary, the organization is looking back at how the situation for children’s rights in business has transformed, and flagging new emerging issues that require urgent attention.
How the Swedish retail giant views children’s rights and business. As one of the largest fashion retailers in the world, the H&M Group has the capacity to drive economic and social change. Global Child Forum’s Head of Communication, Linda Lodding, spoke with Anna Gedda, H&M’s Head of Global Sustainability about how the Swedish retail giant addresses child rights issues in their vast supply chain – and what keeps Anna awake at night.
HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Founder of Missing Chapter Foundation, makes the case that, when businesses engage in intergenerational dialogue and children’s ideas are given serious attention, the result is better, more innovative solutions to sustainability issues.
The world has taken on a tremendous task: to eliminate child labour. Global Goal for Sustainable Development no 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth states that by 2025 child labour in all its forms shall be eliminated. This is ambitious as the target is supposed to be reached five years earlier than 2030, the end date for the Global Goals as a whole. At the same time, the latest report on child labour from the International Labour Organization (ILO), shows that even though child labour is on the decline, it’s not declining fast enough, and in recent years, the pace has slowed considerably. At the current rate, the ILO estimates that by 2025, 121 million children will still be in child labour. So, what are we doing wrong? And more importantly, how can we improve, so that child labour can finally be a thing of the past?
The private sector has a key role to play in the empowerment of girls in society. Josefin Smeds identifies just some of the ways in which leading businesses are taking bold action to invest in girls.
CCR CSR, The Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility, supports two girls from Myanmar getting back to school.
Deutsche Post DHL Group and SOS Children’s Villages have been partnering since 2011 in an initiative called GoTeach to help disadvantaged young people bridge the gap to the world of employment.
“Business impacts children. And therefore, we must let children impact business.” These words from H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf, during his speech at the recent Global Child Forum in April 2018, underline the importance of understanding children’s rights - especially recognizing the unique position investors and companies have to protect and advance these rights.
At the 10th Global Child Forum, Fauza and Kesia, two youth workers and members of the Indonesian Children's Advisory Committee shared their message to business on behalf of the world's working children.
The ICT sector has an enormous role to play in protecting children online and connecting them to a better future. Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, the global body representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, shares how his industry is contributing to children’s rights.
Clothing brands can learn from their peers who dare to be honest about detecting child labour in their supply chains by knowing the risks, limiting them, and taking action where necessary. As fashion designers take to the runway during New York Fashion Week, Sophie Koers, Associate Director of Fair Wear Foundation, reminds us that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.
“My husband and I came out to work for our children but we couldn’t take them with us. We don’t have the time to take care of them or to cook for them…so we left them with their grandparents,” said Liu Jing*, a factory worker whose three children live with their grandparents in a village in Hunan, China. She is part of the “247 million” – the number of people who have migrated for work in China. She has been a factory worker for the past ten years, and like many in her situation, only returns home a handful of times throughout the year to see her children. If her situation can be represented by a number, so can her children’s. They belong to the “61 million”, the estimated number of children in China who grow up without one or both parents present. Behind these numbers however, are stories far more intricate, stories that have implications not only for society but for businesses as well.
In the 1980s ballad, The Greatest Love of All, US pop diva Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way...” While she sang convincingly, this is not a new sentiment – children have always been the future. But how and whom is responsible for ‘teaching them well and letting them lead the way’, well, that’s changing.
Some medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean are putting in place paternity packages that give their working fathers time to invest in their children. Marcelo Ber, Regional Child Rights and Business Focal Point for UNICEF Latin America, talks to new father, Rodrigo, on why spending time with his baby daughter is a valued employee benefit - for the short-term and long-term.
Selected as a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, Colombia’s Carolina Medina is, no doubt, goal-oriented. She wants to ensure that urban households have access to healthy and affordable food. A well-fed child, after all, has the opportunity to become well-educated child. Through her start-up, Agruppa, Medina is making this goal a reality – one “Mom and Pop” shop at a time.
Paul Sistare is a man on a mission. As the Founder and CEO of Atlantica Hotels International (Brasil), he not only ensures that his guests get a good night’s rest, but he makes sure that he does too. How does he do this? By knowing that he, and the whole Atlantica Hotel chain, promotes sustainable tourism with a special emphasis on protecting children’s rights.
Björn Sellström, Coordinator for Crimes Against Children team from Interpol, talks about Interpol’s fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children and what the corporate sector can do.
Companies must strengthen control over their supply chain, writes Théo Jaekel and Jasmin Draszka-Ali
Jenny Fredy, Senior Analyst at Global Child Forum, argues that for business to take on the global goals will require that businesses act responsibly, by incorporating the UN Global Compact Principles, as well as by identifying the opportunities that the new agenda provides. However, perhaps more than anything, what's needed is a new mind-set to drive new sustainable solutions and business models.