The demands of a growing global economy require an increasingly skilled workforce – one that is computer literate, can handle data, can apply critical analysis and is creative. At the same time, progress in education has stalled and the quality of education varies widely, resulting in many children leaving primary school without basic reading, writing and math skills, let alone ICT and critical thinking skills. Providing all our children, and especially girls, with the high-quality education they will need to succeed is one of the greatest challenges we face.
A growing number of businesses are investing in long-term educational partnerships with civil society and governments, realising the mutual benefit for business and society of life-long learning, starting with the youngest.
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In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in South Africa, this report draws on one of Global Child Forum’s essential research products ‘The corporate sector and children’s rights benchmark’. More specifically, insights are provided across three areas where the corporate sector impacts children’s rights: The Workplace, The Marketplace, The Community and the Environment. In 2015, Global Child Forum, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, published a benchmark study of the 271 largest companies in the region. This report is a follow-up to that study. An updated benchmark analysis has been conducted on 20 of the region’s largest companies.
This is Tran Thanh Nam, a former bartender and current employee at Cuong Phat Pottery Company in Binh Duong, Vietnam. At the tender age of 15, Nam decided to drop out of school and the world of education behind. "I wasn’t very mature back then" he says. When Nam left school, finding a decent age-appropriate job was difficult, leaving him with no option but to take high-risk jobs like bartending until late at night. But since early 2018, Nam, now 17, has been working at Cuong Phat Pottery Company. The factory is taking part in a youth development programme which creates opportunities for out-of-school youth such as Nam. This has been a new chance for Nam, changing his life. This is one of four stories profiled in, "Four countries. Four stories” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
15-year-old Warwar Nwe was just ten years old when she had to drop out of school. “My father had to go to Yangon to get medical treatment and so, our whole family came along with him to Yangon,” she says with a sense of sadness. In Yangon, Warwar Nwe missed her old life: “I felt very sad and cried. I couldn’t see my friends and teachers anymore.” But when Warwar Nwe was 14 she heard about a garment factory recruiting young workers. This is the story about how a business initiative positively can change the life for children. It is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
Rongxuan has no memory of the day his mother left him behind with his grandparents so that she could return to work in Dongguan. At the time, Rongxuan was only two months old. But today, thanks to a business initiative, Rongxuan and his mother have something to celebrate. Theirs is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
During 2017, Global Child Forum initiated a project aiming at demonstrating how investments in education leads to positive pay-offs not only for the community but also for business. Rightshouse was engaged to carry out the mapping exercise and deliver a database/spreadsheet categorizing collected data – and a report presenting the main findings of the assignment. The report points out that businesses recognize the central importance of education both for development in society as a whole and for the business sector specifically. But while it is well documented that the education sector globally suffers from a significant lack of resources, contributions from the private sector are limited. All findings of the mapping exercise, together with business cases, are presented in the report.
Businesses, investors and organisations alike need to understand how their actions impact children’s rights across the globe. The Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, developed with UNICEF, is the first comprehensive resource to guide companies in assessing risks to children within industry sectors and regions of operation.
The Community and Environment Index measures children’s rights in relation to environmental protection, land rights, security arrangements, education, health and child protection. Businesses, investors and organisations alike need to understand how their actions impact children’s rights across the globe. The Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, developed with UNICEF, is the first comprehensive resource to guide companies in assessing risks to children within industry sectors and regions of operation. Through indices, global interactive maps and country scorecards, the Atlas provides a quantitative assessment on the degree to which children’s rights are protected within 195 countries and across 5 industry sectors.
The Global Child Forum on South America, held on 4 April 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil, brought together leaders from business, civil society and government to address the issue of “Investing in Every Child”. The South America Forum, the 9th for the organisation, brought together over 300 delegates to discuss the current state of children’s rights in the region and call upon business to take concrete actions in their business to create an inclusive economy – one that is equitable and creates opportunities for all.
This year’s Global Child Forum welcomed heads of state and heads of companies, leaders from civil society and learners from across South America and beyond. All came together with the goal of providing the region’s children with the best possible path to productive adulthood. All came together with the belief that the business sector is key to achieving that goal. Nearly 400 delegates gathered in the FIESP building on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, its soaring modernist architecture a fitting backdrop for tackling a far-reaching children’s rights agenda. Read the Forum report — full of inspiration, ideas for action and case stories.
Sansiri is a leading private real estate company in Thailand with a revenue of $864 million for 2014. The deep dive explores some of the company’s initiatives, such as its educational programs, its corporate structure in regards to sustainability and its work alongside the government and the World Health Organisation to improve health benefits for migrant workers.
This deep dive explores Sime Darby’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile in relation to children’s rights. Operating in 26 countries and with 130, 000 employees, Sime Darby is one of the largest Malaysian based conglomerates. Sime Darby’s child protection policy, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations, understanding of key material risks and governance structure are all explored.
This deep dive explores Thai Union’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile. As a leading seafood company in Thailand, Thai Union works within an industry which is still defined by a multitude of family owned businesses. The study looks at how the company attempts to limit child labour and increase access to education, as well as looking at its code of conduct, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations and future projects.
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in the Eurozone and prominent international banking institution. In this deep dive we explore the company’s presence in Africa in relations to its children’s rights commitments. We look at how BNP’s CSR policies, based on 4 pillars (economic responsibility, social responsibility, civic responsibility, and environmental responsibility) impacts the lives of children. Atop of the bank’s priorities, in regard to children, are their initiatives in education and arts and culture.
Pick N Pay (PnP) was founded in the 60s and have had a strong focus on sustainability and community contribution ever since. This deep dive looks at PnP’s five focus areas (Promoting Healthy Living: Support Local and Ethical Suppliers; Being Environmentally Responsible; Employee Opportunity and Diversity; Doing Good in the Local Community) and their relationship to the companies work in children’s rights.
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