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Engaging Business to Promote, Protect and Respect Children’s Rights to a Healthy Environment

11:00-12:30 (Bangkok time, GMT+7), 3 June 2021

Organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

 

Background

No group is more vulnerable to environmental harm than children but engaging business on children’s rights to a healthy environment only emerged less than 10 years ago as a priority globally – in 2012, UNICEF and partners published  Children’s Rights and Business Principles. This was followed by the first-ever UN report on children’s rights to a healthy environment in 2018. This year UNEP, UNICEF, and UN Human Rights will launch the Principles and Policy Guidance on Children’s Rights to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment in the ASEAN Region and the business sector is one of the key target stakeholders. Each industry has its own particular characteristics but there are many measures that businesses of all sizes and kinds can adapt to the scale of their operations and take to respect and support children’s rights to a healthy environment.

Session Description

The session will begin with an introduction to the Principles and Policy Guidance on Children’s Rights to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment in the ASEAN Region as they specifically focus on business. This presentation will explain how UNEP, UNICEF, and UN Human Rights intend to begin piloting implementation of the principles and policy guidance and invite suggestions on how to focus these efforts. Case study examples of the current situation of climate and environmental impacts on children linked to the business sector in the region will be shared. 

This session will then bring young people and representatives of businesses together to talk about their mutual expectations, share examples of how they are already working together, and discuss what they can do to implement the principles and policy guidance targeted at businesses.

Session Objectives

The key objectives of this session are to:

 

  • Introduce the Principles and Policy Guidance on business and children’s rights to a healthy environment in ASEAN;

  • Consult businesses and  other stakeholders on the implementation guidance for businesses;

  • Discuss the roles of governments, businesses, intergovernmental agencies, children and youth in ensuring that children can live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment;

  • Give business representatives an opportunity to share experiences and ideas;

  • Provide examples that can inspire other businesses to take action in their own communities and industries;

  • Discuss any existing barriers and opportunities for business to engage on children’s rights to a healthy environment, including on transboundary impacts and opportunities.

 

Questions

Panelists will reflect on the following questions:
 

  • What feedback do businesses and other stakeholders have to further improve the implementation guidance?

  • What is the progress/ challenges faced by businesses with integrating child rights due diligence into business operations, including supply chain management?

  • What role do businesses see the Principles and Policy Guidance playing in relation to existing social and environmental disclosure standards and safeguards practices and frameworks?

  • What is the progress with introducing child impact assessments into business planning and operations?

  • What are the practical steps business could take to bring the perspectives of children and youth into their planning and operations?

  • What are the most important actions business can do at the local level to respect and support children’s rights to a healthy environment?

  • What kind of support is needed by businesses from UN agencies, governments and other stakeholders in supporting the implementation of the Principles and Policy Guidance on Children’s Rights to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment?

Contact
For questions, please contact unrbhrforum@undp.org