Barnrättsprinciperna – ”för företag vad barnkonventionen är för stater”

SWEDISH SUMMARY: På gårdagens möte med svenska ICC:s Referensgrupp CSR deltog Parul Sharma från CSR Swedens Academy for Human Rights in Business. Parul gav en kort introduktion till Barnrättsprinciperna (en verklig kortversion av den utbildning ni kan läsa mer om via denna länk). Paruls presentation och diskussionen som följde uppskattades helt klart av mötesdeltagarna. Många tankar kom upp och vi var nog alla överens om att det finns mycket att göra om vi inom näringslivet fullt ut ska ”inte bara skydda barnet utan faktiskt skydda barndomen”…

Parul Sharma

Parul Sharma

At Swedish ICC’s CSR reference group meeting yesterday we had the opportunity to listen to Parul Sharma from CSR Sweden’s Academy for Human Rights in Business. Parul gave a brief presentation of Children’s Rights and Business Principles, developed by UNICEF, Save the Children, and Global Compact. The presentation to us was a ”short version” of the training she gives on the topic in collaboration with UNICEF. The presentation and the following discussions were very good and thought provoking. How should we work, and how should we conduct our businesses, in order to secure that ”we do not only safeguard the child itself but actually the entire childhood”? Several of the meeting participants were very supportive to Parul’s perspective of ”bringing home” the human rights/children’s rights issues. In our day-to-day operations we very often look upon these issues as a topic for safe-guarding our supply chain and something being a challenge in foreign countries. Parul asked us to aditionally look on our business practices at our home offices. Is there a good balance between the hours we spend at work and the hours we spend at home with our own kids? Could our own kids be negatively impacted by our work practices (e.g. overtime work, business related dinners and parties, business travel etc.)? Definitely an interesting perspective to Children’s Rghts and Business Principles…

My own story (or testimonial) on this is that I strongly believe it is crucial to find the balance between work and private life. I have always been very clear to my managers that my son’s (and my own) health and wellbeing is the top priority. And my own experience is that if you are clear and open with it from the very beginning, managers/organizations tend to respect your priorities. We have to speak up and use ”straight talk”! People may say that I have been lucky to work for managers and a company that understand the importance of a good balance, but I do believe that it is not only luck. We all have the possibility to influence the culture of an organization and be leaders in a change process if needed. And, if the organization does not change and start valuing the health and wellbeing of the employees (and hence also their kids, spouses etc.), we should probably leave that company and go elsewhere!

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