[JOINT PRESS RELEASE] UNICEF and Save the Children host forum marking the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Children's Rights and Business Principles
March 10, Phnom Penh: Today, UNICEF Cambodia and Save the Children in Cambodia jointly hosted a forum in Phnom Penh marking the 10th anniversary of the global launch of the Children's Rights and Business Principles. These Principles offer guidelines for businesses as they embed children's rights into their business strategies and activities. Fifty representatives from the private sector, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and development partners joined the forum to discuss business' responsibilities when it comes to children's rights, celebrate progress made, and agree on priorities for the next ten years.
Keynote speakers at the forum included H.E. Dr. Huot Pum, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy & Finance, Dr. Will Parks, UNICEF's Representative in Cambodia, and Reaksmey Hong, Country Director of Save the Children in Cambodia.
"The Royal Government of Cambodia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and remains absolutely committed to protecting and fulfilling the rights of all children," said H.E. Dr. Huot Pum, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy & Finance. "All children are affected by the actions of the business sector not only as consumers but also as future employees and business leaders. The Children's Rights and Business Principles have provided crucial guidance as the Government has worked with the private sector to embed children's rights at the heart of the Cambodian economy. Today we recognise the progress made in the last ten years and reaffirm our continued commitment to further progress in the ten years ahead."
The Children's Rights and Business Principles were developed by UNICEF, Save the Children, and UN Global Compact in 2012 to provide guidance for businesses on putting children's rights at the heart of their policies and practices. Children are influenced by the private sector as consumers of products and services, through exposure to marketing and advertising, as users of digital platforms, or through the environments where they live and play. The forum was an opportunity to encourage and inspire businesses to adopt responsible practices with children's rights at their heart.
"Children’s lives are affected every day by the private sector, and it’s essential that businesses act in ways that value, respect and support their rights,” said Will Parks, UNICEF’s Representative in Cambodia. “Fulfilling the promise of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles can only be achieved through close collaboration between businesses, the Royal Government, and development partners. We can be proud of the progress made, such as the Royal Government’s drafting of a new Child Protection Law, but we must also recognise that much more needs to be done. Today we call on the public and private sectors to double down on their commitment to embedding children’s rights at the heart of business operations.”
Other speakers at the forum reflected the progress made in line with the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. The Principles provided a foundation for advocating for stronger legislation around businesses protecting children’s rights, influencing major lawmakers such as the European Union (EU). European Chamber Cambodia, therefore, presented legislative trends within the EU, helping businesses understand and prepare for future responsibilities and legal requirements. The Principles also supported major Cambodian businesses, such as mobile network provider Smart Axiata to improve child protection, with Smart developing and promoting content educating children and parents on online risks. Smart joined the Textile Apparel Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia for an illuminating panel discussion about progress made, challenges faced, and future plans.
Reaksmey Hong, Country Director of Save the Children in Cambodia, closed the forum. He noted the positive impact of Cambodia’s economic growth on children but also highlighted that they continued to face many challenges, particularly after the pandemic. “I would like to call for your continued dedication and commitment to respecting children’s rights in every aspect of your business strategy and operations. Please remember that your support to your employees and community, and the changes you create in your work and in the marketplace, can have a positive impact on children’s lives. UNICEF and Save the Children will continue serving children, their families and communities, and we will always be there for you too, as partners, because a greater impact can be made when we collaborate.”
For more information, please contact:
- Mr. Meas Bunly, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Cambodia,
Tel: +855 12 733 909 or e-mail: email@example.com
- Mr. Taing Vida, Communications and Campaign Manager - Save the Children Cambodia
Tel: +855 016 541 616 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org