The Role of Business in Protecting Children’s Human Rights


Monday 27th June, 2022

3.00pm-4.00pm AEST

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The fourth in this year’s child rights webinar series aimed at developing greater knowledge and understanding of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) focuses on the responsibilities of business. It coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles – and the launch of revised and updated principles. One essential aspect of the CRC is its emphasis on children’s right to participation.

In its Concluding Observations on Australia’s CRC reports, the UN CRC Committee made recommendations relevant to business, including in relation to the environment and health requiring companies to make full public disclosure of impacts on children’s rights and measures to address these. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) set out the responsibilities of companies to respect all human rights, and to exercise due diligence in doing so. Australia’s Modern Slavery Act requires companies to assess the risks of child labour in their supply chains.

Professor Surya Deva of Macquarie University and Ida Hyllested from UNICEF’s Regional office in Bangkok will provide introductions to the UNGPs and will share reflections on progress and gaps in business and regulatory action in the 10 years since the release of the UNICEF Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Focusing on Australia, they will comment on the Concluding Observations, and on CRC General Comment 16 on State Obligations regarding the Impact of the Business Sector on Children's Rights.

Kylie Porter, Executive Director Global Compact Network Australia will reflect on challenges that businesses face in conducting human rights due diligence and argue that properly respecting children’s rights significantly reduces legal and reputational risk and enhances an organisations social licence to operate.

NOTE: At least half an hour will be allocated for questions and answers, and comments


Professor Surya Deva is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of business and human rights. He served as a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (2016-22). He has advised UN agencies, governments, national human rights institutions, multinational corporations, trade unions and civil society organisations on issues related to business and human rights.

Ida Hyllested is the Regional Child Rights and Business Manager for UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific. She led the development of UNICEF’s global strategy to address adverse child rights impacts by business and has shaped UNICEF’s work on child safeguarding and business, child rights in investment decision-making as well as the family-friendly policies agenda.


Dr Natalia Szablewska, Senior Chair, Business and Human Rights Sub-Committee, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.

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