Better Business for Children

Better Business for

Children’s rights & business practice

Children account for almost one third of the world’s population. It is inevitable that business, whether small or large, will interact with
and influence the lives of children both directly and indirectly.


How does a company’s operation affect children’s lives?

The responsibility of business towards children has often focused on preventing or eliminating child labour. Whilst this is of tremendous importance, there are many other direct and indirect ways in which children’s rights and business practices intersect.

Children are, in fact, key stakeholders of business – as consumers, family members of employees, young workers, and as future employees and business leaders. At the same time, children are key members of the communities and environments in which business operates.

UNICEF encourages businesses across all sectors to integrate childs rights lens into core business activity.


Children’s Rights and Business Principles

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles were developed by UNICEF, UN Global Compact, and Save the Children in 2012.
These 10 principles guide companies on the full range of actions they can take to respect and support children’s rights
- in the workplace, marketplace, and the environment and community.



Children are affected significantly

Children employed or affected by a business are often invisible. Typical examples in the workplace include children working illicitly in the supply chain, children on or around company premises, and children of workers left at home.

In the marketplace children are exposed willingly or unwillingly to business products and marketing practices. And in the environment that companies are operating in, children are affected significantly more by hazards like pollutants due, for instance, to their hand-to-mouth behaviour and developmental physiology.

Charting the Course

”On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, UNICEF, UN Global Compact, and Save the Children published a report in October 2022 reviewing progress and looking ahead on embedding children’s rights in responsible and sustainable business conduct. The report offers a comprehensive overview of trends in action by states, businesses, and investors. It describes how, despite progress, children’s rights remain at risk of invisibility even though virtually all forms of business activity can have adverse impact on children.”

Download the report Charting the Course.


Let’s join forces and build business practices
that respect and support children’s rights

UNICEF advocates for and builds an evidence-base to strengthen efforts for children’s rights in business practices, partnering with governments, NGOs, academia, thought leaders and other influencers, local manufacturers, international brands and affected communities towards the aim of protecting and promoting children’s rights.

UNICEF Denmark draws on the thought leadership and evidence base of UNICEF globally to provide value for companies wishing to promote children’s rights and incorporate a child rights lens in their business practices. We do this primarily by

  • Facilitating access to relevant tools and resources across topics and industries
  • Convening dialogues between relevant business actors to work together and ensure the sharing of impactful ideas and solutions

Read more about
children's rights & business

Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment

The rights of every child must be respected, protected and fulfilled in the digital environment.

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The business sector has to play a key role in protecting children’s rights in the face of climate change.

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Tools & Resources

Tools & resources

UNICEF has developed a set of tools that support companies in integrating children’s rights considerations into their policies and processes.

Get the tools