Principle 1

All business should meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children.
Girl with pencil at school
171 million people can be lifted out of poverty if all children simply learned how to read. Education is one of the key factors for children’s development.
Photo: 
Laurent Duvillier/Save the Children

Actions for all business includes:


a. Recognizing the core principles underpinning children’s rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines basic entitlements and freedoms that apply to all children without discrimination, and has four coreprinciples that should underpin any action concerning children, whether taken by governments, parents, communities or the private sector. These four coreprinciples are: the best interests of the child; non-discrimination; child participation; and survival and development.

b. Meeting the responsibility to respect children’s rights
This requires avoiding the infringement of children’s rights and addressing any adverse impact on children’s rights with which the business is involved. Thecorporate responsibility to respect applies to the business’s own activities and toits business relationships, including but not limited to those activities andrelationships identified in subsequent Principles.In order to meet this responsibility, all business should put in place appropriatepolicies and processes, as set out in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

c. Making a commitment to support the human rights of children
In addition to respecting children’s rights, business can have a significant role in supporting children’s rights throughout their activities and business relationships. This may be through core business activities, strategic social investments and philanthropy, advocacy and publicpolicy engagement, and working in partnership or other collective action. Opportunities to support children’s rights will often be identified through a business enterprise’s human rights due diligence processes, including through consultation with children and their families, as well as with appropriate experts in children’s rights. Voluntary action in support of children’s rights must be in addition to and not a substitute for action taken to respect children’s rights,and should be guided by the core principles of child rights.

d. Becoming a champion for children’s rights
Business is encouraged to promote children’s rights, these Principles and related best business practices, including among suppliers, business partners and peers.

Business should respect and support the lives and rights of children.
Advance your understanding of Principle 1.