Companies still pay too little attention to children’s rights

Companies still pay too little attention to children’s rights

Companies still pay too little attention to children’s rights

2022 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. These are jointly developed with Save the ChildrenUNICEF en UN Global Compact. In a new report, we take a look back. 

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs) are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on actions they can take in the workplace, the marketplace and society to respect and support children’s rights. 

The new joint report “Charting the Course: Embedding children’s rights in responsible business conduct” describes what has already been done and what needs to be done further to realize these principles.

How are we doing globally now?

A decade after the development of the CRBPs, the report analyzes how children’s rights can be better addressed in the context of corporate responsibility. CRBPs report on the past ten years says: “Shows promise, but could do better”

The report concludes that international corporate responsibility will not work for children unless their rights are taken into account from the outset (in the risk analysis and action planning) so that solutions and risk management match the situation of children. Unfortunately, companies still have a lot of negative impact on children’s rights. Think of child labour, but also environmental pollution and exposure to toxic substances that are bad for their health and development. In addition, children as ‘consumers’ can also experience bad influence through marketing and bad privacy rules.

What should Dutch companies do?

In our Dutch report we zoom in on the situation in the Netherlands. Three themes are discussed that play a role in Dutch business and have an impact on children: children’s rights in the international chain (focus on the cocoa sector), the digital online world with children as users and customers and the platform economy.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it provides an overview of important children’s rights issues on which companies (can) influence and shows that Dutch companies can also be confronted with issues surrounding children’s rights in their business operations. The purpose of these examples is a plea to the government and the business community to put children at the center of policy and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) processes.

READ THE DUTCH REPORT HERE

Transforming conventional business models through stakeholder inclusion

Transforming conventional business models through stakeholder inclusion

Transforming conventional business models through stakeholder inclusion

Workshop on inclusion of the stakeholders

On 11 October 2022, Global Compact Network Netherlands  hosted a workshop on stakeholder inclusion for young professionals from a number of leading Dutch companies at a visit to DOW Chemical in Terneuzen, organized by our partner AmCham.

Constantly changing business environments and emerging uncertainties worldwide are causing organizations to rethink who they work with and how. Both academia and policy makers emphasize the need to shift from a shareholder corporate governance model to an inclusive stakeholder model.

Take home messages

During this workshop, Global Compact Network Netherlands introduced an innovative and globally applicable stakeholder inclusion model that covers complex variables and indicates how to increase companies’ contribution to the SDGs. Through a simulation game, led by our Participant Engagement Manager Mónica Pascual, young professionals experienced what it is like for different stakeholders to balance their own interests with the overarching goal of being more sustainable., moving from an opportunistic attitude to stewardship.

 

The young professionals shared several key takeaways from the workshop:

  • To move forward and create a more sustainable future, we need to be transparent and practice honest communication with our stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder inclusion around sustainability is more likely to be successful if we first identify a common goal.
  • All relevant industry stakeholders must be willing to share knowledge and dedicate resources to sustainability, otherwise we won’t be able to scale our impact.
  • By changing their demands and behavior, clients and consumers can help transform conventional business models to become more sustainable.

How companies can acknowledge a lack of sustainability

After the workshop, we invited Iris van Wanrooij, who is a 2022 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer and works as the Program Manager Corporate Social Responsibility at EMMA Safety Footwear, to explain how her company has navigated stakeholder inclusion in practice. She highlighted that companies must first acknowledge that a lack of sustainability is problematic, and choose to address it. In the case of EMMA Safety Footwear, the company decided that the amount of waste they produced and their CO2 emissions were unacceptable. They soon realized that they couldn’t tackle this alone and partnered with their competitor to co-found the Circular Footwear Alliance to make their businesses more circular. Her main advice to businesses and the young professionals who work for them is to look at your area of work and assess where things can improve. Most importantly, she encouraged young professionals to involve their colleagues and partners so they can start taking steps in the right direction together, even if the steps are small.

Summary & Call to action

Young professional leaders need to gain the skill and knowledge today in order to be the leaders that the world will need tomorrow. So take action today, start being involved in your company at any level.

Is your company ready to end violence against women? Join the Orange the World campaign

Is your company ready to end violence against women? Join the Orange the World campaign

Is your company ready to end violence against women? Join the Orange the World campaign.

Key facts about violence against the women

Violence against women is a global issue. Worldwide, 137 women die every day at the hands of violence by a family member, partner, or ex, and 1 in 3 women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Unfortunately, the situation is not much better in the Netherlands, where almost 1 in 4 women experiences some type of sexual abuse or violence.

How it affects businesses

here is no question that violence against women affects businesses. For one, it occurs during business hours. 61% of employed women in the Netherlands have experienced sexual intimidation and 30% have experienced sexually transgressive behavior at work. Furthermore, violence that happens outside of office hours affects who we conduct business with. Since 1 in 5 women experience intimate partner violence, many of our employees, colleagues, clients and consumers are survivors or currently surviving a violent situation. Such violence inflicts enormous social and economic costs: women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities, and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.

Orange the World campaign

Ending violence against women is therefore not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do for businesses. Thankfully, UN Women’s Orange the World campaign is just around the corner. This global yearly campaign offers tools to companies, local governments, and other civil society organizations to help end violence against women. It will run from November 25 until December 10, starting on the International Day of Violence Against Women and ending on International Human Rights Day. Participating in the campaign is a great way to show your company’s solidarity and condemn violence against women. Orange the World’s Business Toolkitoutlines 14 actions that companies in the Netherlands can take to create awareness, offer support to employees and customers, and commit to existing initiatives to promote gender equality, for instance by becoming a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The campaign also welcomes donations. The campaign also welcomes donations.

How your company can participate

Are you excited for your company to participate in Orange the World, but still unsure where to start? Join UN Women Netherlands’ special information session for companies on Thursday, October 20 from 9.30-10.30 am. You can register for the webinar via this link. Global Compact Netherlands is grateful to participate in this webinar to further emphasize the need for businesses to participate in the campaign.

Program Management Trainee

Position Title: Program Management Trainee

Location: The Hague, the Netherlands

 

The United Nations Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, and has an unparalleled global reach and the exclusive opportunity to activate a diverse network of businesses to advance sustainable development in collaboration with investors, Government, UN and civil society stakeholders.

In the 2022-2024 strategy of Global Compact Network Netherlands, the organization has identified peer-to-peer learning spaces as an essential programmatic delivery method to achieve impact, and effectively support the Dutch business community.

As a trainee, you will fulfil the role of Project Manager, Peer Learning for Business, in which you will be responsible for supporting the organization and facilitation of the first peer-to-peer learning spaces in the areas of Gender Equality and Climate Action. Furthermore, you’ll support the program managers to make our impact indicators more concrete and measurable.

Candidates should have exceptional communication and collaboration skills, be passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and preferentially have experience in or a strong connection to facilitating workshops/sessions, and project management

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate and support the organization and facilitation of the first peer-to-peer learning spaces in the areas of Gender Equality and Climate Action.
  • Support and represent the organization during in-person and virtual meetings with stakeholders, including, the design and delivery of presentations, reports and other materials.
  • Involvement with preparations for the strategic planning of more peer-to-peer learning spaces in 2023-2024, as well as setting targets and measuring our impact indicators.
  • Other duties and projects, as applicable

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor or higher in a relevant fieldFollows a relevant study
  • Excellent communicator in Dutch and English, both verbally and writing
  • Practical experience with facilitating sessions/workshop, and project management
  • Flexible and service-oriented team player with can-do and eager-to-learn attitude

DURATION

November 2022 -April 2023 (3 days per week). Option to write MSc thesis on topic internship.

COMPENSATION

€500 per month

SUPPORT

During your traineeship you will work closely together with, and you will receive professional support from Marco Swan (Sr. Program Manager) and Jamie Holton (Program Manager, Gender Equality)

RECRUITMENT PROCESS

Please include the below documents in your email submission to Linda van Beek, Executive Director Global Compact Network Netherlands, beek@gcnetherlands.nl before 14 October 2022:

  • Cover letter (max 1 A4)
  • Resume

If selected for the interview round, you’ll be invited for an in-person meeting at the Malietoren (Bezuidenhoutseweg 12, The Hague) sometime between 17-25 October.

Meet the new Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

Meet the new Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

Meet the new Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

Global compact Network Netherlands has since 1 September 2022 a Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality. amie will support organizations in setting and achieving ambitious human rights and gender equality goals. She does it, among other things, by guiding UN Global Compact participants in two programmes: Target Gender Equality and the Business & Human Rights Accelerator that will be launched shortly.

Jamie Holton, Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

My name is Jamie Holton. I am 26 years old and live in Hoofddorp. Different cultures were introduced to me at an early age. With a South African father, a Dutch mother who grew up in Libya, and relatives all over the world, I have always felt at home in an international environment. I became interested in traveling and languages at an early age. I learned German, French, Spanish at secondary school and Mandarin and Korean at university. Through these experiences, I believe that people all around the world have a lot of similarities and we can learn a lot from each other.

Jamie Holton

Jamie Holton

Program Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

During my studies at Leiden University College The Hague, Leiden University and the London School of Economics, there was a lot of attention for Sustainable Development Goals. I focussed mainly on the social issues of human trafficking, development cooperation and gender equality. In my previous roles at the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNOCHA, Save the Children and a research at NGO Publish What You Fund, I had the opportunity to concentrate on these topics. I learned that working with different types of organizations is crucial – all hands must be on deck to jointly combat human rights violations and gender inequality. The role in the UN Global Compact Network offers the opportunity to motivate and support the business community with these important goals.

I look forward to be working together with you and your organization! Feelt free to contact me via LinkedIn

Bedrijfsdoelen verduurzamen

Order the book ‘Bedrijfsdoelen verduurzamen’

Most of the Dutch companies are motivated to make their corporate goals sustainable. This ensures their continuity, risk analysis and integrity, for themselves, the customers and the government. This book explains how companies can be more sustainable without an extra investment, knowledge, manpower, and competitively sensitive information

Bedrijfsdoelen verduurzamen” provides a cohesive, integrated view, rather than a cluttered list of regulations, standardization, subsidies and taxes. The language that is used in this field will be explained, and the English terms are translated, such as impact, social responsibility, due diligence, and etc) In addition, clarity is provided about the period within which you can achieve your goals, and incorrect assumptions are removed.

Hugo von Meijenfeldt was a lawyer and manager at the Ministry of the Environment. After that, he was the first Climate Envoy for the Netherlands, Consul-General in San Francisco, and the first National SDG Coördinator. At UN Global Compact, he uses his acquired comprehensive and focused vision to help companies set and achieve ambitious sustainable goals. This publication is a result of this.

Recording conference: ‘Integrating Sustainability in your Corporate Goals’

On 21 October 2021, the conference ‘Integrate Sustainability into your Corporate Goals’ took place. The book ‘Bedrijfsdoelen verduurzamen’ by Hugo von Meijenfeldt was presented here.

The conference provided participants with the tools to help shape a successful regular business, aimed at combining long-term prosperity and achieving social,