When people think of business, they don't necessarily think of children. 

But children are regularly and routinely affected by the operations and activities of businesses. They are consumers of goods, services, and advertising; they can be workers in shops, restaurants and offices; and they are community members affected by business decisions made both near and far. 

Much of the impact business has on children’s lives is positive, by creating jobs and increasing access to essential products and services. However, business is also responsible for significant harms to children and their rights which undermine our collective ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights set out the:
  1. The State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business;
  2. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and
  3. The need for victims of business-related human rights abuses to have access to effective remedies
While Australia has made some progress towards realising these principles, Building Better Business for Children, highlights several significant gaps in Australian policy, law, and practice that affect family life and children's experiences growing up.

These include:
  • Weaknesses in the regulation of marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages
  • Inadequate protections against child labour
  • Australia's relatively limited paid parental leave scheme
  • Limited financial security for employees and their children experiencing domestic and family violence

Key Recommendations to the Australian Government

  1. Adopt a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) - to fully implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  2. Commit to specific, measurable and time-bound measures - to better protect children and their carers as part of or in addition to, the NAP