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Government of Canada Welcomes Release of Business Principles to Protect Children's Rights

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/13/14 -- Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, today welcomed the Canadian release of the Children's Rights and Business Principles. The Principles offer guidance to businesses on respect for children's rights in the workplace, marketplace and communities which they operate. Speaking at the Principles' Canadian release at the Canadian Club in Toronto, Ms. Brown encouraged Canadian businesses to integrate the ten principles into their business practices and help Canada achieve its international development goal of securing the future of children and youth while pursuing sustainable economic growth.

"The Government's top development priority is maternal, newborn and child health, and as such we are proud to support this initiative," stated PS Brown. "As governments, as companies, as civil society, as individuals-we all have a role to play in ensuring children, particularly those in developing countries, have a chance at a bright future."

Developed by UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact, the ten principles will provide a new tool for responsible business conduct, and are the first comprehensive set of principles that set out concrete actions, with accompanying tools, for businesses to respect and support children's rights.

"We are pleased the Government of Canada has taken an important first step by encouraging Canadian businesses to respect children's rights," said David Morley, President and Chief Executive Officer, UNICEF Canada. "By working together, we can ensure that we do not harm children, but instead help all children to grow to their full potential. Not only is this in keeping with our Canadian values but it makes good business sense."

Quick Facts

--  The Children's Rights and Business Principles were initiated in 2010 in
    response to a call from the United Nations for companies to address the
    needs of children. 
    
--  More than 30 countries have launched the principles since March 2012,
    demonstrating joint commitment from the private sector, governments and
    civil society towards children and youth. 
    
--  Prime Minister Stephen Harper has identified maternal, newborn and child
    health (MNCH) as Canada's "flagship development priority". 
    

Related Products

- Children's Rights and Business Principles

- Address by Ms. Lois Brown, on Behalf of Minister Paradis: Canadian Launch of the Children's Rights and Business Principles

Related Links

- Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_Dev

Backgrounder

Children's Rights and Business Principles

The Children's Rights and Business Principles are intended to guide and encourage businesses to respect and support children's rights as part of their activities in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Launched in 2012, the Principles were initiated in 2010 in response to a call from the UN for companies to address the rights of children. UNICEF, Save the Children, and the UN Global Compact worked with businesses, civil society and children around the world in their design and implementation.

Canada is one of more than 30 countries that have launched the principles.

The ten Children's Rights and Business Principles call on businesses to consider how their activities and business relationships affect boys and girls. Specifically, all businesses should:

1.  Meet their responsibility to respect children's rights and commit to
    supporting the human rights of children. 
    
2.  Contribute to the elimination of child labour, including in all business
    activities and business relationships. 
    
3.  Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers. 
    
4.  Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities
    and facilities. 
    
5.  Ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support
    children's rights through them. 
    
6.  Use marketing and advertising that respect and support children's
    rights. 
    
7.  Respect and support children's rights in relation to the environment and
    to land acquisition and use. 
    
8.  Respect and support children's rights in security arrangements. 
    
9.  Help protect children affected by emergencies. 
    
10. Reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill
    children's rights. 
    

For more information visit Children's Rights and Business Principles.

Contacts:
Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development
and Minister for La Francophonie
819-953-6238
[email protected]

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
[email protected]

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