Children’s Rights and Business Principles

"Business support for children is not only about making grants, but has to start from within..." UNICEF Child Rights report 2017

"Business support for children is not only about making grants, but has to start from within..." UNICEF Child Rights report 2017

(September 2017) Millicom has received high commendation in a report published by the United Nations program UNICEF for taking ownership of and addressing its business impact on child rights within its operations.

The detailed study, entitled “Assessing the Impact of Mobile Network Operators on Children’s Rights: the Millicom Experience”, describes Millicom’s work in mapping the risks and opportunities that the telecommunications sector faces with respect to children’s rights as “a lesson for its peers”.

An assessment tool has been developed from this work as a broader template for other companies looking to support children’s rights in their business operations.

Andrew Mawson, head of UNICEF’s Child Rights and Business, writes in the report’s foreword, “The positive consequences of Millicom’s child rights journey goes beyond its own (and supplier and retailers) impact on children. While each company is to some extent unique, Millicom‘s journey represents a lesson for its peers and industry at large.”

Millicom’s initial undertaking to assess its own internal polices and processes began in 2012.

The company became the first to pilot a UNICEF framework for identifying, managing and mitigating possible negative impacts on child rights.

Millicom has since deployed the assessment tool in five other markets - Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Rwanda and Tanzania - with more to follow.

“We are proud to have partnered with UNICEF and to have taken ownership of addressing the impact that our industry can have on children”, said Rachel Samrén, EVP, Chief External Affairs Officer at Millicom. “The Children’s Rights Assessment Tool has helped us broaden our understanding of potential impacts on child rights in order to reduce these risks in policies and processes. This effort has also helped us refine our global corporate responsibility strategy to better prioritize our social investment and corporate responsibility programs.”

According to UNICEF, companies that integrate child rights considerations into their policies and processes acquire several distinct advantages. These include better risk management, deeper trust within communities, customer retention, staff motivation and greater shareholder confidence.

Mawson also writes: “I encourage other companies to think carefully about what child rights means for them and hope that this report serves as an example for how to undertake or broaden their own child rights journey.”

We invite you to read the report here: Assessing the Impact of Mobile Networ4k Operators on Children's Rights: The Millicom Experience