Children's Rights and Business Principles Initiative (CRBPI)
Call for endorsement of IBFAN’s comments on Children's Rights and Business Principles Initiative (CRBPI)
This is an URGENT message about a new initiative being devised by the UN Global Compact Office (GCO) in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children - our long term partners
We are writing to you because children and adolescents are now being specifically invited to explore to submit comments by 15 July http://www.business-humanrights.org/Documents/CRBPI-consultation/youth
If any of your groups are thinking of responding can I ask you as a matter of urgency to first read IBFANs comments on the proposals which can be found here: http://info.babymilkaction.org/news/policyblog/CRBPIcomment
While we support the idea that the UN should adopt a set of principles on children’s rights and business, and understand that this initiative is a genuine attempt to scale up action in this important area, we are worried that the CRBPI as formulated, has such fundamental flaws that it will actually do more harm than good. We are concerned that this initiative is being instigated in partnership with the Global Compact Office (GCO) which has been shown to be ineffective, lacking accountability and transparency. Like the Global Compact, this initiative focuses on self-assessed voluntary measures rather than on State Parties’ obligations to regulate the impact of business on child rights. Moreover, the development of the CRBPI at this time pre-empts and undermines the forthcoming general comment of the Committee on the Right of the Child on child rights and the business sector, which should underpin all action on children’s rights in this area.
We are calling on UNICEF and Save the Children, whose backbone is the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to: 1. Disengage from collaborating with the Global Compact Office (GCO) unless and until specific reforms, recommended by the UN Joint Inspection Unit, are put in place. It is not acceptable to support a process that essentially serves only the needs of business, and that has proved to damage UN reputation while showing no clear results.2. Support the development of the forthcoming general comment by the CRC Committee, expected in 2012, and rely on it as the unifying framework on children’s rights and business, as the general comment will guide state parties in establishing regulatory frameworks that protect child rights.3. Promote an initiative on children’s rights and business that integrates strong accountability measures, including independent monitoring of business practices, and does not rely on voluntary commitments.
If you support IBFAN’s comments and would like to endorse, either as an organization or as an individual, please send an email at email@example.com by 14th July.Feel free to forward to other groups/persons who might be interested.We will be submitting the comments to the online consultation which ends on 15th July, at this website: http://business-humanrights.org/Documents/CRBPI-consultation. We also intend to write a letter to heads of Save the Children and UNICEF directly to express our concerns.The background documents are here: http://business-humanrights.org/Documents/CRBPI-consultation Thank you for your help! Patti Rundall, Policy Director, Baby Milk Action and Ina Verzivolli, Human Rights Project Officer, IBFAN/GIFA