HCM CITY — UNICEF will engage with businesses in Việt Nam to build a culture of respect and support for children’s rights among them, an official has said.
Marianne Oehlers of UNICEF Việt Nam’s chief programme partnerships office told a workshop in HCM City yesterday that as entry points UNICEF has identified a set of key industries with a high impact on children and significant value-chain influence.
The event, held under the overall framework of the "Meet to Meet the SDG" Platform, aimed to explore how the business community can take action on children’s rights in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It sought to explore, in partnership with experts and colleagues from UNICEF, what the business community can do to realise the goals with a child rights perspective.
The priority sectors include travel and tourism and footwear and apparel, Oehlers said.
A study on the impact of the apparel and footwear sectors on children’s rights in Việt Nam will be done between 2016 and 2017.
A toolkit on children’s rights will also be customised for the apparel and footwear supply chains.
Preliminary findings from child rights impact assessments carried out in Việt Nam’s travel and tourism sector last year will be presented.
“By focusing on children and supporting their rights, businesses can benefit from improved access to skilled labour and improved employee satisfaction, improve the communities in which you work, raise the value of your brand and thereby also your bottom line,” Jesper Moller, UNICEF’s deputy representative, said.
“Virtually all companies interact with children in some way. Businesses impact children in the workplace, in the market place and in the community as they are the children of your workers, children that consume your products, and children in the community where you operate.
“The first step in the journey for a responsible business is to make children visible, understand that they are there and that the company has various levels of impact on children’s lives.”
To help private sector partners do that, UNICEF has joined Save the Children and the UN Global Compact to develop the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP).
CRBP was developed and released in 2012 and launched in Việt Nam in 2014.
It is the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on a full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.
Ten principles identify actions all businesses should take to respect and support children’s rights.
They are child rights integration, child labour, young workers and family-friendly workplace, protection and safety of children, products and services, responsible marketing and advertising, environment and land acquisition, security arrangements, emergencies, and support for community and government efforts for children. — VNS