"Globally, there has yet to be a concentrated focus on the
positive role businesses can have on children, or on the considerable negative impact that business
strategy and operations can have on children's lives," the workbook states. "Business also has the
power to disregard or even imperil the interests of children, so many of whom find themselves
invisible and voiceless."
The legal and ethical framework for the workbook is based on Children's Rights and Business Principles, a draft of which was launched in
March of this year. The Principles "are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide
companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to
respect and support children’s rights," according to the UN Global Compact.
workbook provides guidance to companies on how to minimize or prevent harmful impacts on children
as well as methods to enhance their positive impacts in the workplace, marketplace and community,"
UNICEF stated. "Companies now have a practical framework for understanding and assessing their
footprint on children's rights as well as recommendations for making substantive changes in their
behavior as it relates to children."
In addition to providing guidance for integrating
children's rights into core business practices, the workbook addresses issues associated with the
workplace, the marketplace, and the community and environment.
An increasing number of
companies are issuing corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports and publicizing their adoption
of sustainability measures. To fully realize the goals of sustainability—commonly defined as
"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs"—companies will need to act today upon their responsibility to
children affected by their operations. Children are Everyone's Business provides an important
template for companies to do so.