Principle 7

All business should respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use.
Each year, around 3 million children under five years old die due to environment-related diseases. Gordon, 9, collects drinking water from the open pool of dirty water in South Sudan. The contaminated water means exposure to various illnesses and parasites. 83% of the world’s population who lack access to an improved drinking water source live in rural areas.
Colin Crowley/Save the Children

The corporate responsibility to respect includes:

a. Respecting children’s rights in relationship to the environment

i. When planning and implementing environmental and resource-use strategies, ensure that business operations do not adversely affect children’s rights, including through damage to the environment or reducing access to natural resources.

ii. Ensure the rights of children, their families and communities are addressed incontingency plans and remediation for environmental and health damage from business operations, including accidents.

b. Respecting children’s rights as an integral part of human rights considerations when acquiring or using land for business operations

i. Where possible, avoid or minimize displacement of communities affected by land acquisition or land use for business purposes. Engage in meaningful, informed consultation with potentially affected communities to ensure that anyadverse impact on children’s rights is identified and addressed and that communities participate actively in and contribute to decision-making onmatters that affect them directly. Seeking the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples is specifically required for any project that affects their communities, and it is a desirable goal for any community impacted by acompany’s use or acquisition of land.

ii. Respect children’s rights – especially their right to education, protection, health, adequate food and adequate standard of living and participation – when planning and carrying out resettlement and providing for compensation.

The corporate commitment to support includes:

c. Supporting children’s rights in relationship to the environment where future generations will live and grow

Take measures to progressively reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from company operations and promote resource use that is sustainable. Recognize that these actions and other initiatives to better the environment will impact future generations. Identify opportunities to prevent and mitigate disaster risk and support communities in finding ways to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

83% of the world’s population who lack access to an improved drinking water source live in rural areas.
Advance your understanding of Principle 7.