The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) call on business everywhere to respect and support children’s rights throughout their activities and business relationships, including in the workplace, the marketplace, the community and the environment. The Principles identify a comprehensive range of actions that all business should take to prevent and address any adverse impact on children’s human rights, as well as measures all business is encouraged to take to help advance children’s rights. The Principles aspire to be a key reference point for existing and future voluntary and other initiatives on business and children, and to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration. They are for all business, transnational and other, regardless of their size, sector, location, ownership and structure. The Principles also seek to inform other societal actors, including governments and civil society, in their engagement with business.
The Principles are derived from the internationally recognized human rights of children, and do not create new international legal obligations. In particular, they are founded on the rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. The Principles are also based on the International Labour Organization’s Conventions No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and No. 138 on the Minimum Age. The Principles also elaborate on existing standards for business, such as the United Nations Global Compact’s ‘Ten Principles’ and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Principles were developed in consultation with children, business, investors, trade unions, national human rights institutions, civil society, governments, academics, United Nations entities, child rights experts and business experts.