Global Child Forum

Majority of Food, Beverage & Personal Care Companies Fail to Address Children’s Rights



Global Child Forum, which produces the world’s largest benchmark on companies’ impact on children, today released its global report on the state of children’s rights in the food, beverage and personal care sector, which arguably has the largest impact on children’s health and well-being, from infancy and onwards.  

The research was done in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which screened 310 of the sector’s largest brands across a set of 25 indicators covering governance, workplace, marketplace, and community & environment.

“Our biggest concern, after reviewing the results, is that this 18 trillion dollar sector – which is one of the world’s largest, is not addressing the most pressing children’s issues in a systematic way,” said Katarina Mellström, Secretary General of Global Child Forum. “While 77% of the companies do, for instance, disclose that they have a policy on child labour, only 25% report on the outcomes or effect of the policy and merely 23% engage in any preventive or remediation programmes to address its issues.”

The report also reveals that less than 10% of the companies in the sector can be categorized as leaders, which is defined as companies that have developed and implemented several policies and practices that address the organizations’ impact on children’s rights in key areas.

The Global Child Forum report The State of Children’s Rights and Business 2021, which scored 832 of the most influential companies across nine major sectors, also showed that only 9% of the companies can be classified as leaders and that proportion is, again, low. “Our takeaway is that there is much room for improvement across the board,” said Nina Vollmer, Senior Children’s Rights and Business Specialist at Global Child Forum. “Based on this deep dive, we can also conclude that the food, beverage and personal care sector is not showing any signs of advancement compared to last year and that there is an urgent need for accelerating progress in order to protect children’s rights.”

Click here for the full Benchmark report.

For Swedish press release, please see here.

About Global Child Forum

Founded in 2009 by the Swedish Royal Family, Global Child Forum is a leading forum for children’s rights and business dedicated to innovative thinking, knowledge-sharing and networking. Global Child Forum believes in the power and responsibility of business, working in partnership with all parts of society, to create a prosperous, sustainable and just society for the world’s children.

In addition to forums, Global Child Forum delivers research perspectives, best practices and risk assessment tools designed to unlock opportunities for business to integrate children’s rights into their operations and communities.  For more information, please visit:


For further information, please contact:

Jenny Harler
+46 73 904 8585

Linda Ravin Lodding
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About the Corporate Sector and Children's Rights Benchmark Series

Global Child Forum, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, initiated the Corporate Sector and Children’s Rights Benchmark series in 2013 to fill a gap in research. The purpose of the series is to develop a children’s rights benchmark for the corporate sector enabling progress to be tracked over time on how children’s rights are addressed by business. To date, we have benchmarked more than 3,000 companies globally and more is yet to come.

With knowledge from our benchmark, the corporate sector is better equipped to meet the demands of financial investors, governments, civil society and the society in which they operate. Companies can also assess their performance in relation to peers in different markets and regions. Our data is also relevant for investors and other stakeholders that assess or rank companies. You can read more about our methodology here.