Children's rights and business principles

In January 2017, the Telia Company Board of Directors decided to make Children’s Rights a focus area within the company’s approach to Responsible business, which is an area with high priority for the board. It was decided that Telia will use the “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” (CRBP) as a framework for this.

The CRBP are like the Convention of the Child for corporations. The principles have been developed by Save the Children, UNICEF and UN Global Compact and considers the company’s workplace, market and its touchpoints with the community where the company operates. We follow the actions described in CRBP and use them as guidelines in our work.

In collaboration with Save the Children we made a GAP analysis of our business, which resulted in an action plan based on materiality in the perspective of our specific business as a telco operator, where Principle 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10 stood out as areas where we could make a difference.

Participating, evolving, sharing

In the autumn of 2015 Telia Company was invited to participate in the Global Child Forum at the Stockholm Royal Palace, where we were inspired to listen to children’s own thoughts and initiated the Children’s Advisory Panel. After two successful rounds of listening to children (approximately 1500 children in total), we again participated in the next Global Child Forum in Stockholm in spring 2018, where we shared our experiences.

Hearing what children have to say about the opportunities, challenges and benefits of life online helps us improve our approach to children as tech users, and it’s good for business. “They give us insight,” said Johan Dennelind, CEO of Telia Company, “but that’s not why we were originally doing it. That’s a spillover, and we shouldn’t be shy talking about this. They’re future customers and stakeholders, so there’s a real business meaning. Otherwise, it would not be sustainable.”

The report from the Global Child Forum

Process for working with children’s rights

Based on our own experiences we propose a simple process for other companies to start working with children’s rights in relation to their business.

  1. Look for management commitment to run a sustainable business
    “In order to be a responsible company, we work hard on sustainability, which is aligned with the UN SDG’s, Global Compact principles and our compliance framework.” Johan Dennelind, CEO, Telia Company.

  2. Build awareness of children’s rights and the framework
    Education of key internal stakeholders, preferably by knowledgeable child rights professionals. 

  3. Choose a company-specific approach and assessment
    Perform a gap-assessment based on the company’s own specific business.

  4. Acknowledge Children’s Rights as a focus area
    Awareness and commitment from top management. Supported by insights around the business value of supporting children’s rights.

  5. Formalise an action plan based on materiality
    Prioritise, specify and divide responsibilities based on the gap-assessment. Implement and follow up. 

  6. Seek support by child rights professionals
    Most companies don’t have the knowledge in-house and hence need support from a child rights organisation, with whom you can build a long-term, trusted relationship.

Want more information?

Visit Save the Children's Centre for Child Rights & Business

Contact Anna Augustson at Telia Company