New Global Child Forum guide on children’s participation gives companies a roadmap for beneficial engagement
STOCKHOLM, 1 February, 2021
Global Child Forum has just released “Children’s Participation: How to Involve Children in Business Decision-Making”, offering a comprehensive roadmap for companies who want to incorporate children and youth contributions in their business decision-making.
“We see that businesses that do involve youth, gain fresh perspectives and insights on everything from product development and marketing to family friendly policies and community impact,” says Cajsa Wiking, Global Child Forum’s Secretary General. “But this also benefits the youth who report gaining confidence in their own ideas and developing soft skills.”
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child underscores the importance of engaging with children. Under the Convention, children have the right to express their own opinions and have those opinions heard. The Convention guides the philosophy that children are independent human beings with unique abilities to contribute to their communities.
Business has an obligation to involve children and youth in the decisions that impact their lives. Business, and youth, can greatly benefit from this engagement in numerous ways.
One such company who has benefitted from involving youth is IKEA, the global home furnishings retailer. IKEA involves children through their ‘IKEA Children’s Rights Roadmap 1.0’ which outlines IKEA’s priorities for moving forward with children’s rights.
“At IKEA, we have commitment to integrate children’s rights into all our operations. As part of thate have a responsibility to engage with children and promote their right to be heard. ” says Alinde Melin, Global Human Rights and Children’s Rights Leader at Inter IKEA Group “Children are important stakeholders of our business and we can have a big impact on them,- so we want to engage and be creative with them to learn from their thoughts and ideas.”
Telia Company, a leading Nordic telecom provider, also involves children in their work through their Children’s Advisory Panel, which has so far consulted around 10,000 children on topics ranging from responsible gaming to online learning. “We have a responsibility to ensure that children’s rights are integrated into our business, that the services we offer are enriching and empowering, but also that we protect children from online risks. Listening to them, and understanding their realities, is a prerequisite for making the right decisions. Our Children’s Advisory Panel enables us, and child rights organizations that we work closely with, to guide children and their parents in the online world” says Allison Kirkby, CEO of Telia Company.
Children’s Participation: How to Involve Children in Business Decision-Making was made possible due to the expertise of Tara M. Collins, School of Child & Youth Care, Ryerson University and E. Kay M. Tisdall, Childhood & Youth Studies Research Group University of Edinburgh. Substantial contribution also came from the Global Child Forum Corporate Advisory Group and the Global Child Forum Child & Youth Advisory Group.
As one young member of Global Child Forum’s Child & Youth Advisory Board said,
“Businesses want to keep up, to have fresh and original ideas. Children are key to doing that.”
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. For more information, visit: www.globalchildforum.org.
For more information, please contact:
Linda Ravin Lodding
Head of Communications
Global Child Forum
+46 72 387 0248