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PRESS RELEASE

 

UNICEF: All business operations affect children

 

 

Conference discusses Children's Rights and Business Principles to strengthen children's

protection in the workplace, marketplace and the community

 

JAKARTA, Indonesia, 3 February 2016 - UNICEF Indonesia is joining hands with government, civil

society and business representatives to discuss the impact of business practices on the realization of children's rights in the country.

 

"All companies, whether small family businesses or large multinational corporations make important

contributions to the well-being of children by creating jobs and livelihoods for their families or through philanthropic initiatives. But the impact of business on children can also be less positive," said Gunilla Olsson, the Representative of UNICEF Indonesia, at the opening of a conference on how to strengthen the protection of children's rights in today's business practices.

 

"UNICEF calls upon all companies to ensure that their operations and other business activities do not

harm children. Government policies should support companies in this regard including by making sure that children are protected from possible rights violations by the private sector", Gunilla said.

 

"The 10 Children's Rights and Business Principles which have been developed by UNICEF and its

partners from Save the Children and Global Compact provide comprehensive guidance for companies

on how to respect and support children's rights in the workplace, the marketplace and in the

plans that deal with business and human rights."

 

The half day conference at the Erasmus Huis in Jakarta, organized by UNICEF and the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD) featured speakers from the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, and the National Commission on Human Rights.

 

"One third of the world's population are children; they are the future leaders, employees and customers of companies. In striving towards a sustainable business environment this issue should take care the center stage of business sustainability. Children's Rights and Business Principles serve as a tool for companies who are willing to take the extra mile to ensure a viable business future. We at IBCSD proudly support this initiative and push businesses to align it in their day-to-day operation," Shinta W Kamdani, President of IBCSD said.

 

Representatives of private sector companies including from the Association of Child-Friendly Companies (APSAI) demonstrated how they adapted their workplaces practices and market outreach to better accommodate children's needs and rights, for instance through the installation of breastfeeding spaces for young mothers.

 

Participants from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and from the National Commission on Human Rights discussed how children's rights could be reflected more strongly in the Government's National Action Plan on Human Rights (RANHAM) as well as in the Business and Human Rights Action Plan (RANHAM Bisnis) currently under development.

"One of the key pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights highlights the State's

obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. However, other actors, in this case, the business community also has the responsibility to respect human rights in all its operations and practices. This is why it is so important to increase awareness and commitment among stakeholders, especially among business players, to support and protect human rights including children's rights," said Mualimin Abdi, Director General of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

 

The National Commission on Human Rights highlighted that National Action Plans for Business and Human Rights (RANHAM Bisnis) can be a key instrument to minimize any possible negative impact of business operations on human rights and the environment, and to strengthen companies' responsibility for the development process in Indonesia.

 

"Komnas HAM pays special attention to business and human rights issues based on public reports on human rights violations conducted by corporations. As an institution responsible for mediation and supervision as well as in line with the UN Guiding Principles, we are responding to public complaints by developing National Action Plans for Business and Human Rights, working together with CSOs and other stakeholders including corporations, state-owned enterprises and consultants in several regions. We believe RANHAM Bisnis is very instrumental to protect those who will be impacted by business operations, including children" said Nur Kholis, Chairman of the Commission.

 

The Children's Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) were released globally in March 2012 by Save the Children, the UN Global Compact and UNICEF. In Indonesia, the three partners launched the CRBP in 2013, with support from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection. A number of corporations, organized in an Association of Child-Friendly Companies (APSAI), have since assessed their business practices with regards to their impact on children's rights.

 

"UNICEF hopes many more companies will join the initiative and review their operations against the Children's Rights and Business Principles. Corporate social responsibility with a focus on child rights that goes beyond philanthropic investment will strengthen companies' sustainability, reputation and risk management and will ultimately foster a stable, inclusive and sustainable business environment. In the end, it's in the companies' own economic interest," Gunilla said.

 

List of speakers:

? Bapak Mualimin Abdi, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights

? Bapak Nur Kholis, National Commission of Human Rights

? Bapak Dicky Komar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

? Bapak Luhur Budijarso, Asosiasi Perusahaan Sahabat Anak Indonesia (APSAI)

? Ibu Tiur Rumondang, Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

? Ibu Shinta Kaniawati, Unilever Foundation

? Ibu Inge Setiawati, BCA

 

 

###

About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our

partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

 

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Kinanti Pinta Karana, UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mobile: +62 815 880 5842, kpkarana@unicef.org

Sagita Adesywi, UNICEF Indonesia Partnership (CSR/CRBP) Officer, Mobile: + 62 812 813 0870, sadesywi@unicef.org

Michael Klaus, UNICEF Indonesia Chief Communication, Public Advocacy, Mobile: + 62 811 1669 033, mklaus@unicef.org

 

 

Download CRBPConferencePressRelease(Eng).pdf

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