UNICEF Calls on Corporates to Promote and Protect Child Rights

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

RANCHI, (Jharkhand) : UNICEF organized a consultation on ‘Child Rights and Role of Business’ in the capital today, calling on businesses to promote and protect child rights in Jharkhand.

The 10 Child Rights and Business Principals (CRBP) developed UNICEF, Global Compact and Save the Children were also released at the event. Ruchira Gujral, UNICEF Corporate Engagement Officer called upon business houses to contribute to elimination of child labour, use marketing & advertising that respects child rights and ensure protection and safety of children in business activities amongst others.

UNICEFMs. Mridula Sinha, Principal Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development called on the corporates to leverage their potential and support the Government in achieving results for children of the state. She said, “Companies Act lists out activities which maybe included by companies in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. Some of these activites are- promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.”

“Now there is a greater need to be more targeted and focused with the same resources. There are certain gaps which need to be filled and I request business partners to come forward and contribute. There is a need for greater synergy in the efforts of the corporates, NGO partners, other stakeholders and the government,” said Ms. Sinha.

Mr. A P Singh, Secretary, Industry highlighted the role of corporates in promoting children’s rights. He said, “Most CSR activities are rooted by the corporates through their own NGOs and are limited to health camps and subsidized schools for their employees. There is a need to look beyond and create models villages with 100% literacy, full immunization, open defecation free, etc. Some monitorable targets can be fixed to monitor the impact. He sought the support of the corporates in the livelihood programmes like Jharcraft has initiated and also in the skill development of the people in the state.”

Job Zachariah Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand said, “business operations have significant impact – both positive and negative – on child rights. Companies interact with children directly or indirectly on a daily basis. Children work in factories and fields, they consume company products and their parents work in companies.”

He added, “It is estimated that the CSR funds would come to about Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 crores in India every year. The CSR funds to be utilized in Jharkhand may come to about Rs. 300-400 crore every year. UNICEF can act as a link between the corporates and the government in the area of corporate social responsibility, besides providing support to companies on effective use of CSR funds.”

Mr. Behera, Chaiperson, CII said, “CSR should be from the heart. It is our responsibility to provide good education, food and health care to the children as they are our future. We need to invest in children. A social reform is needed and I thank UNICEF for organizing this consultation today and I would like to support and such endeavor in the future as well.”

The consultation decided to map out the CSR activities of corporates and business houses in Jharkhand and prepare a list of interventions and activities that the corporates could support.

Representatives from the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries, ASSOCHAM, TATA Steel, TATA Power, CCL, Jindal Power & Steel, Aditya Birla Group, Bhushan Power & Steel, Usha Martin, HEC, HDFC, PNB, Adhunik Group, ICICI, KGVK, NBJK, CINI, Vikas Bharati, XISS, amongst others attended the event.


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