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Wednesday, 5 December, 2012

First Children’s Rights and Business Principles Forum in Belgium

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On Monday, December 3rd, the Belgian Global Compact Network in close cooperation with Unicef Belgium presented the “Children’s rights and Business Principles” at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, in the presence of HRH Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and European Affairs, Mr Didier Reynders at the First Children’s Rights and Business Principles Forum.

The forum brought together many different stakeholders such as the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, Kauri, the private sector including companies like Rosy Blue, Solvay,  SNCB, Studio 100, Telenet, Glaxo Smith Kline, Ferrero, Ikea, , Ernst “ Young, Antwerp Management School…

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre supported this forum from the start.

The Principles are important as they address all the different dimensions in which children and business interact, including in the workplace, marketplace and community & environment.  They help make sure that children are seen as a key stakeholder by business, and act as a tool for businesses who are comprehensively and systematically looking at what impacts, both negative and positive, their business practices are having on children.

This forum is the result of the commitment made by Rosy Blue NV and Telenet at the LEAD meeting of the Global Compact at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2012, to His Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to promote children’s rights and business principles in Belgium and abroad.

Amit Bhansali, CEO Rosy Blue NV: "I am very pleased to have received so much support for this forum. Only together we can create positive impact. Children are at the heart of sustainable development. Every excluded child represents a missed opportunity. When society fails to protect its children it loses the social, cultural and economic contributions they could have made."

Ari Epstein, CEO Antwerp World Diamond Centre: "Somebody once said, that the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. In serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity. That is exactly why AWDC is proud to be part of this forum."

In this conference companies, government representatives, academics and civil society reflected about the important role they could play to promote and implement children’s rights in their strategic policy in Belgium and abroad. -