Put children’s rights top of mind

Seen a kid with an iPad lately? Telia is definitely present in many children’s lives and that’s why children are important stakeholders to us.

Children’s Rights has just recently made it to our list of Responsible business Focus areas. This means that we need to consider children as stakeholders when we develop and sell our services, when we optimize our network and when we source the devices that we sell to our customers.

“Children are affected by our operations in ways that we normally don’t think about. We know that they are users of our services, but they are also children of users or our employees, children watch our advertising, they visit our shops and children in other countries may be directly or indirectly part of our supply chain” says Anna Augustson, Responsible for Children’s Rights and Senior Advisor Sustainability at Telia Company.

As a New Generation Telco, Telia wants to act responsibly and we already have a positive track record and image in the children’s rights area, but more can and should be done. During the autumn Save the Children has assessed our business’ impact on children, using the UN Global Compact’s Children’s Rights and Business Principle, a framework to understand how business can support and respect children’s rights.

“It is obvious that Telia is a mature and professional company in many ways within the area of children. Several aspects regarding children are already in place and there is a great foundation to build from when supporting Telia in implementing the Children’s Rights and Business Principles into concrete actions”, says Malin Dahlberg Markstedt at Save the Children.

Through workshops, online surveys and interviews with key stakeholders in the company Save the Children has come up with a number of recommendation for Telia Company to improve. At the same time the involved persons have been trained and now have an improved perspective on children as stakeholders to our business.

“We are eager to incorporate how our services empower children in the communication to our customers”, says Eva Öjert, responsible for Brand & Content in the Swedish marketing team. “We have already started building a “family hub” where parents get support around their children’s online life.”

“Child safeguarding tools are services that we want to have in our portfolio and they should be marketed stronger, but we must be careful with the communication explaining them to our customers. We always have to have integrity and privacy for the children in mind. These are aspects we will now work on to understand better”, says Anna Lundström-Gars, Group responsible for Value Added Services.

“Adults often worry about their kids spending too much time online. But what about ourselves, as employees at Telia. How are our employees’ children affected by their parents dealing with work tasks at home? That is one aspect that we should look into”, says Juha Pentti at Group People and Brand.

The work to make children’s rights top of mind in our company will now continue and the first part is about training and understanding the direct and indirect business impact on children.

“We have now analyzed Save the Children’s recommendations and discussed prioritization with the key internal stakeholders. Based on that we will establish an action plan mirroring our efforts to respect and support children’s rights”, says Mikael Eliasson co-lead for Children’s Rights in Group Ethics & Compliance.