Public Relations Office Press Release
North South University and UNICEF are commemorating a decade of Child Rights and Business Principles by organizing a national symposium in collaboration with UN Global Compact and Save the Children
The symposium aims to initiate dialogue on the integration of children's rights in business practices for the next decade.
Dhaka, February 1, 2023:A decade ago, the UN Global Compact, UNICEF, and Save the Children developed the Child Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), a voluntary framework for businesses. This framework was the first tool to clearly outline corporate responsibility to respect children's rights in the workplace, marketplace, community, and environment.
The CRBPs provide guidelines for companies to minimize negative impacts on children and maximize the positive effects that their activities and business relationships may have on children and young people. Central to addressing global challenges is putting children's rights at the forefront of sustainability and responsible business conduct. Despite progress in the business world over the last decade in integrating children's rights, there is still a long way to go.
The symposium, held at the Syndicate Hall of North South University (NSU), brought together key stakeholders and duty bearers from the business ecosystem in Bangladesh to share and deliberate on how the framework of Child Rights and Business Principles can improve key child rights indicators in the country and mitigate the impact of businesses on children and their communities.
In her pre-recorded speech during the inaugural session, Begum MonnujanSufian, MP, Honorable State Minister of Labor and Employment, noted that the framework of Child Rights and Business Principles could mitigate the adverse impact of businesses on children and their communities.
UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh, Mr. Sheldon Yett, stated, “Businesses, investors, and governments have the power to turn promising developments into routine practice. A commitment to children can support employees who are parents and caregivers, promote youth employment, and ensure the next generation has the skills needed for business prosperity.”
The Vice-Chancellor of North South University, Prof. Atiqul Islamsaid, “Children are the most vulnerable members of our society and we must work together to protect them.”
Ambassador and Head of Delegation, EU Delegation in Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Charles Whiteley, noted, “Business plays a crucial role in addressing poverty, exploitation, and discrimination faced by children.”
The symposium was also attended by H.E. Mr. Robert Chatterton Dickson, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom in Bangladesh, H.E. Ms. Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador of Sweden in Bangladesh, Prof. Dr. M. Ismail Hossain, Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Treasurer (in-charge), NSU and high-level representatives from the Ministries of Labor and Employment, Women and Children Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, as well as from private sector companies Unilever, Grameenphone, PRAN-RFL Group, DBL Group, and Bangladesh Tea Association.
The symposium also celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NSU and UNICEF Bangladesh, establishing a national 'knowledge hub' for child rights and business in the country. The MoU aims to undertake joint activities in informing policy debate, incubation and networking, knowledge management, and capacity development. North South University's course curricula will embed child rights and business aspects and case studies, and will be used to provide on-job e-learning courses. The knowledge hub will disseminate policy briefs and other research-based knowledge products and facilitate exchanges on 'good' practices and learnings.