UN Treaty Bodies: guide to the CRC’s General Comment on business and children’s rights

Document Type: Publication
Date: 2016

The ICJ and Child Rights (CRIN) launched today a practical guide on how to use the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s 16th General Comment to make its recommendations and guidance a reality.

The 16th General Comment focuses on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights.

The guide also provides examples of how NGOs have intervened on behalf of children, as well as advice on litigation, monitoring, advocacy and activism on behalf of children.

The impact of business on children is often overlooked by many human rights advocates and while attention given to the impacts of business on human rights has increased recently, the ways in which children are affected by business operations have not yet attracted sufficient attention.

CRIN and the ICJ hope that this guide goes some way to filling this gap and will be a useful starting point for further research and discussion.

Businesses can have a huge impact on children, with the potential for violations of their rights present in virtually every industry.

There are also vast power imbalances between children and business and, often, prohibitive costs involved in litigation against companies which have violated children’s rights.

Such cases are frequently settled out of court, while in many countries children do not even have standing to bring cases on their own behalf.

Violations of children’s rights continue to take place despite States’ obligations to cooperate to achieve the realization of children’s rights beyond their territorial boundaries.

Ultimately this means that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) must work together to push for change alongside governments if children’s rights are to be respected.

Universal-Guide UN Committee on Rights of the Child-Publications-Reports-2016-ENG (full report, in PDF)

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