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

February 13, 2014 - Toronto, Ontario - 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".

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Contacts

Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie
819-953-6238
margaux.stastny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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