Principle 5

All business should ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support children’s rights through them.
Little girl with a plastic toy
Toxic substances in plastic products are a big problem. The chemicals used can harm children’s development. A study from the Swedish Chemicals Agency showed that one-fourth of toys that were examined contained dangerously high levels of toxic substances. Criminal proceedings were initiated in ten instances.
Lina Höök/Save the Children

The corporate responsibility to respect includes:

a. Ensuring that testing and research of products and services likely to be used or consumed by children is conducted in line with relevant national and international standards.

b. Ensuring that products and services for children or to which children may be exposed are safe and do not cause mental, moral or physical harm.

c. Restricting access to products and services that are not suitable for children or that may cause them harm, while ensuring that all such actions align with international standards, including non-discrimination, freedom of expression and access to information.

d. Taking all reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination against any child or group of children in the provision of products and services.

e. Seeking to prevent and eliminate the risk that products and services could be used to abuse, exploit or otherwise harm children in any way. 

The corporate commitment to support includes:

f. Taking steps to maximize the accessibility and availability of products and services that are essential to children’s survival and development.

g. Seeking opportunities to support children’s rights through products and services, as well as their distribution. 

48% of people asked in a recent survey stated that they have bought products because of their positive impact on society.
Advance your understanding of Principle 5.