Call for endorsement of IBFAN’s comments on Children's Rights and Business Principles Initiative (CRBPI)
A new initiative is being devised by the UN Global Compact Office (GCO) in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children - IBFAN's long term partners.
While we support the idea that the UN should adopt a set of principles on children’s rights and business, and understand that this initiative is a genuine attempt to scale up action in this important area, we are worried that the CRBPI as formulated, has such fundamental flaws that it will actually do more harm than good.
We are concerned that this initiative is being instigated in partnership with the Global Compact Office (GCO) which has been shown to be ineffective, lacking accountability and transparency. It focuses on self-assessed voluntary measures rather than on State Parties’ obligations to regulate the impact of business on child rights.
Moreover, the development of the CRBPI at this time pre-empts and undermines the forthcoming Committee on the Right of the Child (CRC Committee) General Comment on Business and Children’s Rights which should underpin all action on children’s rights in this area.
We call on UNICEF and Save the Children, whose backbone is the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to:
1. Disengage from collaborating with the Global Compact Office (GCO) unless and until specific reforms, recommended by the UN Joint Inspection Unit, are put in place. It is not acceptable to support a process that essentially serves only the needs of business, and that has proved to damage UN reputation while showing no clear results.
2. Support the development of the forthcoming general comment by the CRC Committee, expected in 2012, and rely on it as the unifying framework on children’s rights and business, as the general comment will guide state parties in establishing regulatory frameworks that protect child rights.
3. Promote an initiative on children’s rights and business that integrates strong accountability measures, including independent monitoring of business practices, and does not rely on voluntary commitments.
Our full comments are here:
Other Useful reading:
United Nations Corporate Partnerships: The Role and Functioning of the Global Compact” (JIU/REP/2010/9):http://www.unjiu.org/data/reports/2010/JIU.REP.2010.9_For%20Printing_17%20January%202011.pdf
We will be submitting the comments to the online consultation which ends on 15th July, at this website: http://business-humanrights.org/Documents/CRBPI-consultation. We also intend to write a letter to heads of Save the Children and UNICEF directly to express our concerns.
The background documents are here:
There is also a children and adolescents consultation here:
Thanks once again if you can help with this!
Patti Rundall, Policy Director, Baby Milk Action and
Ina Verzivolli, Human Rights Project Officer, IBFAN/GIFA
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