Principle 5 – deeper understanding

Ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support children’s rights through them

Principle 5 calls on business to ensure that its products and services are safe and do not cause harm to children. 

The principle also calls upon business to restrict children’s access to products and services that are not appropriate for children, such as alcohol. Business should also strive to prevent and eliminate the risk that its products and services could be used to abuse, exploit or otherwise harm children. Beyond these restrictive measures, business should take steps to improve the accessibility and availability of its products that are essential to the survival, development and better health of children. Finally, principle 5 calls on business to seek opportunities to support children’s rights through its products, services and distribution.

Helping children will give a company publicity which is an asset. It will help them gain recognition and support from the community. Young person in Peru

Case Study: Building Children’s Rights through Communication Media

In 2009, an NGO teamed up with an international mobile phone company to help empower children and youth in developing countries. The initiative – covering 14 countries across Africa – helps children and youth build life skills through a variety of art-related activities and also promotes children’s rights via various media outlets including radio, music videos, television, the internet, and mobile communication devices. Crucially, the initiative supports two children’s telephone helplines and provides services to children who have been victims of abuse or violence.

The Reputation of Products and Brands

United Minds and Metro International conducted a survey on people’s feelings about certain products and brands in terms of their impact on society. The survey was conducted in 2012 in 25 different cities around the world and included 29,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 49. Among some of the findings:

  • 53% of respondents prefer to buy products from brands with a purpose beyond profit

  • 34% of respondents have boycotted brands or products

  • 48% of respondents have actively chosen to buy products because of their positive impact on society

You can find the study here.