On the 27th and 28th of April, the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC), in collaboration with UNICEF Malaysia conducted a two-day training on Children’s Rights and Business Principles at Sunway University. These global modules were done within the Sunway University Master of Sustainable Development Management (MSDM) programme’s Corporate Sustainability Strategies Course. The training attendees comprised of mostly MSDM students, with some staff from other departments within SEG.
The morning began with a sharing of UNICEF’s work as well as an overview of the modules by UNICEF trainer and Corporate Partnership (CSR) officer, Iris Soh. She began by introducing background on key content which included the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs), Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business. After the morning coffee break, participants were exposed an overview of key child rights international frameworks and standards.
After lunch, Dr Ooi Pei Boon from the School of Healthcare and Medical Sciences along with Prof Leong Choon Heng of JSC discussed how business impact children and methodology and framework to understand how businesses impact children. This was illustrated through group discussions and case studies.
There were also engaging discussions by the participants whom shared relevant experiences from their place of work.
Power Walk Activity as an experiential way of learning about inequality.
In the morning of the second and final day of the workshop, participants learned about taking action for children. Dr Ramasamy spurred discussion around decent working conditions for children and the ethics, grievance mechanisms and supply chain management. This helped contextualize the previous day’s learning as it required participants apply their child rights lens from the perspective of corporate governance. Before lunch, Prof Leong discussed case studies related to integrating child rights into business processes. Reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and materiality were covered. Prof Leong and Dr Ramasamy further challenged participants to consider ways to raise issues of children’s rights in both policy development and implementation in their respective institutions.
The final session of the workshop was conducted by all the instructors in a group discussion of key takeaways and steps to move forward. The two-day workshop concluded with a group photo in front of the Jeffrey Sachs Center office.