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THIS IS MY BUSINESS Four Perspectives on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles


THIS IS MY BUSINESS Published for Reach for Change as a part of “Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Practice” – a Unicef and Reach for Change project, funded by Postkodlotteriet Editors: Johanna Hallin & Evelina Fredriksson Publisher: Lumen Behavior Graphic Design: Pondus Kommunkation Writers: Natalie Engdahl, Evelina Fredriksson, Johanna Hallin, Frida Skog, Katarina Wikström Copy Editing: Clem Auyeung Photographer: Alexandra Ellis Print: Taberg, Sweden 2014 ISBN 978-91-637-5405-0 www.reachforchange.org


THIS IS MY BUSINESS Four Perspectives on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles


THIS IS MY BUSINESS Contents

9 Companies Impact a Unique Time of Rapid Development Foreword by Sara Damber

15 “Children are part of our families today, but they are also our future experts and co-workers.” Interview: A CR Perspective

20 Insights from the Studies Summary of Conclusions

24 Children as Stakeholders A Study of Six Corporate Policies

56 Children’s Voices A Three-Continent Study

70 Child Protection in the Digital Age Case Study on Tele2

84 Children’s Rights in a Media Company Case Study on Metro


CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND BUSINESS


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Companies Impact a Unique Time of Rapid Development Companies have direct and indirect impact on children and their rights, therefore they have a responsibility and an opportunity to respect and support children’s rights. We’ll all be better off because of it. There are about 2.2 billion children under 18 years old in the world, wich is one third of the world’s population. This fact might be hard to take in if you’re having just another day at the office – in a world where adults quietly buzz around the coffee machine, give power point presentations in meeting rooms, tap on key­ boards, and answer phone calls. But what one third of the world’s population means is that approximately one third of the ­people around you are children. When we take our time and open our eyes, ears, and hearts, the children who are often invisible, become visible. They include my child, who will soon be born, my colleagues’ children, and my friends’ children. They include school classes and soccer teams. The one m ­ illion children supported by Reach for Change’s Change Leaders last year. They ­include the millions of children interacting with our partner companies. They are all part of the 2.2 billion children across the world. Companies impact these children, either, directly or indirectly. Therefore they have a responsibility to respect and an opportunity to support their rights. The impact of companies on children takes a myriad of forms. One of the studies in this book looks at the media industry. On one hand, media companies – from publishers to creative agencies to cartoon producers – can carry harmful content, like sexualized or sexist images, content that glorifies ­violence, or trolls creeping


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in comment fields. On the other hand, media companies can provide price­ less educational materials for example. I have met middle school teachers, in an underfunded school in a deprived area, who used the Metro news­ paper every day in their teaching. They found the short, journalistic texts perfect for improving comprehension, and the news gave material for ­civics and social studies. The content became food for thought and discussion, bringing the students closer together and to society as a whole. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecom, the ­industries which we will explore in the other case study in this book, can also become the carriers of grave violations against children’s rights. For example, child porno­ graphy and images of child sexual abuse can be spread over the Internet. This is one way that clients within this industry can use these services horrendously. On the other end of the spectrum, the Internet helps facilitate the most basic functions of democracy and beyond. For example, the ­contemporary ­translation services allow people from all over the world to cross language ­barriers and com­ municate on a scale never seen before. The Internet can be the means by which a young person, who feels like he or she is outside the norms of the physical community, can find friendship, connectedness, and empowerment. It may seem that companies impact children in these extremes, but most impact occur in a much more mundane way. Just think about how many companies you come into contact with before you even leave home in the morning. Maybe you poured milk over your cereals this morning. The milk obviously came from a ­dairy farm, another company made the packaging. A third company – maybe our ­partner, BillerudKorsnäs – made the paper for the packaging, and a fourth ­designed the logo. Maybe you turned on the morning news and flipped through the channels. Companies that own the comercial TV-channels and the commercials that get shown between the news spots add to the number. If you start adding them up, you will have come into contact with close to 100 ­companies before you even walk out the door. Companies impact the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the ­ everyday we consume in ads from our local stores. They affect our ecological ­footprint and our culture. Companies are with us all day and everywhere, adults and children alike.


Abysinia, 8 years old

Âť I want daddy at home more than at work. And I want the managers to be kind to my parents. I want my dad and mum to have more money so I can buy a good bike. The worst thing companies can do is to not be kind. ÂŤ


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So why should we look specifically at children, even though companies impact everyone regardless of age? First of all, almost all societies on earth have ratified the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which states that children are especially worthy of protection. Secondly, children often do not have their own resources to allocate, influence over any decisions, or forums to speak for them­ selves. We have to go the extra mile to give them a voice. Acting alongside states, local governments, civil society, schools, and parents, companies should take responsibility for their impact on children since: • Childhood is a unique time of rapid development. The things that children are exposed to during their childhood can affect them for the rest of their life. • Since the area of a child’s skin is greater in relation to their body weight com­ pared to adults, children absorb toxins more easily, and thus, they are more vulnerable to pollution and toxins. • Children have limited opportunities to influence society since they do not have the right to vote. That’s why adults have to come up with other ways of finding out what children think so that their interests can be heard and considered. • When we think of how companies affect children, the first thing that often ­comes to mind is child labor. But companies affect children in many other ways, too. For example, children might have parents who work at the company and use products that the family buys from them. Children might also be affected by companies that operate near them, or they could benefit from companies’ socially responsible policies. Reach for Change has a dual mission of improving the lives of children and supporting the local and regional business objectives of the Kinnevik group. We are especially interested in the relationship between children and companies ­because we believe that we have an opportunity to create change in this intersec­ tion. Drawing on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, we support social entrepreneurs so that we can jointly make a positive impact on local communi­ ties in our markets. We strive to actively grow social ventures by leveraging the expertise of our business partners so that we could positively impact the lives of as many children as possible. Last year, we supported over one million children through our Change Leaders in nine countries.


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Since the stakeholder perspective is at the core of sustainability, we need to grow our understanding of children as stakeholders to help our partners develop their businesses to meet the future. Tele2, which you will meet in one of the case studies in this book, has already come a long way. They have been recognized as a role model among over 1 000 publicly listed companies for their thoroughness in addressing and incorpo­ rating children’s rights in their business strategy and operations. They have policies addressing child labor and other child related issues, explicit board accountability, materiality assessment, collaboration with stakeholders, and strategic social investments in programs regarding children’s rights. We were also very happy and proud of Mia Brunell Livfors, the CEO of Kinnevik and the Chair of Reach for Change board, when she made a statement in ­support of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles when they ­launched in 2012. Her speaking ­­­ out for children’s rights as the head of an international group of ­companies operating in over 90 countries, has the potential to influence the conversations that often take place within closed boardrooms. I am grateful to work with such important and inspiring ambassadors for this ongoing work. We are still only in the beginning of a long-term effort to increase the knowledge and understanding of children’s rights and the businesses’ r­­esponsibility of and impact on them. I hope you will enjoy this humble contribution to a ­global field that is about to bloom.

SARA DAMBER CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF REACH FOR CHANGE STOCKHOLM, MARCH 2014

Sara Damber is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of Reach for Change. Since founding the anti-bullying organization, Friends at age 19, she has been working for children’s rights in cross-­sector collaborations. With Reach for Change, she is transferring the strengths of the ­Kinnevik group to the social arena by canvassing for entrepreneurship and innovation, ­challenging perceived limitations, and scaling inspired ideas.


CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY


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“Children are part of our families today, but they are also our future experts and co-workers” Taking responsibility for children’s rights is a given for ­Karin Holmquist, Vice President of Group Internal Audit and Assurance, and Mala Chakraboriti, Vice President of ­Corporate Responsibility, both at Atlas Copco. “We have to tackle all the areas where we are likely to affect society or the environment. We work with ­ human rights in general and must also see the children in this work. Children are particularly vulnerable in that they­ often lack influence over decision-making, and therefore, we have to take responsibility for their rights,” says Mala. Atlas Copco is one of the listed Swedish companies that decided to ­incorporate the Children’s Rights and Business Principles into its operation from the time they were released. But the ­ company’s engagement with children started long before this. “Children have always been important for Atlas Copco. We are a 140 year-old Swedish corporation with several generations working at the company. It is only natural for us to think of children as our future,” says Karin, who was respon­ sible for Corporate Responsibility when Atlas Copco started working with the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in 2012. Having seen children grow, develop, work, and even grow old, Atlas Copco’s understanding of children as future stakeholders is deep. At the same time,


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the children are very much present in the minds of the company. From the ­ ltra-modern office, you can go straight into the mine, and school groups are u invited to visit an exhibition of Atlas Copco and mining. “Women are underrepresented in this industry, and a way to improve it is to ­introduce science to girls at school in a playful way. We have opened our­ Swedish headquarter to visits, and one such activity is inviting students from the eighth grade to go directly down into the mine. These 14 year-olds come here to learn more about mining, our products such as compressors and rock drilling equipment, and the minerals we extract. They also take part in ­thinking ­creatively and ­innovatively about our future products. It is great for us to see what ideas they come up with, so it is really a win-win approach. We created an exhibition from the best ideas, and among them, one was a ‘unicorn drill,’ which looks like a screwdriver in the form of a unicorn,” says Karin. “In our policy on community involvement and charity, one of our focus areas is a safe upbringing of children where we support them in different ways. In one example from Venezuela, we donated a compressed-air exhibition to a ­museum where children learned about science in a playful way. In ­another e­ xample, our staff supported a school in Brazil by acting as mentors to the ­children. Mentors motivate kids to make an effort in school and give them a bit more stability in everyday life. These are often children who are at risk of falling into extreme forms of exclusion, and the employees who engage them ­appreciate the chance to make a difference in their life.” “In the project, ‘Water for All,’ we’ve seen what water can do for a c­ ommunity when women and children do not have to put all of their time into fetching­ water. Drilling a well in a schoolyard can make it possible for girls to go to school. I have also been in Zambia where wives of our employees were educating com­ munity members about HIV/AIDS. They would wear their Atlas Copco shirts and would be out and talking about HIV/AIDS. We contribute money and medicines. We think it may be easier for these women to give this information when they are seen as business representatives,” says Karin. How do you influence kids today? Through our work with human rights, through our community involvement


Ayla, 10 years old

­ ompany » I think every c ing should think about giv re their employees mo can time off so that they th spend more time wi think their families. I also ld be the ­employees shou hard. rk paid well if they wo e ye ­Never fire an emplo ey. on ­ just to save more m ’t Companies shouldn they ­advertise as much as g do. It’s just so borin after a while. «


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and by being a good employer to parents, we affect children. We have no direct impact through our products. Our products are sold from company to company and are then in the mines or industries so they are not accessible to children, says Mala. What is the biggest challenge when it comes to children’s rights? Being a family-friendly employer, we set a high standard for all our employees, since it is a challenge to get such work that make ends meet, and preserve family life, says Karin. How do you create engagement internally? One way is for us to actively gather information from local offices and spread the best practices on our website. We are also working on different ways to­ involve employees and their families. For example, we created a drawing competition for the children of the employees, where the winning ­entries are now framed on the wall in the main office. Many employees thought it was an amazing experience, and it created a sense of pride within the company. ­Another example is that we encouraged employees to nominate projects that would get Solvatten, a home water heater unit that harness sunshine, to heat and treat ­water. They submitted applications for schools, daycare centers, and villages that they knew through their own commitments, and we were able to distribute 100 units as a result, says Mala. How do the Children’s Rights and Business Principles relate to CSR work in general? They are definitely related. We work with what is relevant for us. We will ­probably not work with all ten principles, but we will integrate what is relevant for us in the rest of our CSR work. We are proud of all the work we have already done on the basis of ethical guidelines and the UN guidelines on business and human rights. We are happy to have a good foundation to build on when we take on the new principles, says Karin. What do companies need help with? We really need structured guidance. It is one thing to have the Rights of the Child in mind, but it is another to get concrete examples of how companies have  ­managed to navigate through complex situations. Although every situation is unique, so we need concrete starting points and examples of realistic solu­


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tions. We need to gain a more clear perspective on our operations, says Mala. “Experts on children’s rights who have the theoretical knowledge are ­interesting, but we need to focus on the application of the theory. Because it is new, we understand that this area will not be easy. By engaging in this discussions with our network of peers in other companies, we hope to get a much better under­ standing of how to apply this knowledge,” says Karin. “We could gain a lot of knowledge from children’s rights organizations, but we would love to learn more by the way of an e-learning tool. For example, we have used an online tool that the UN developed to work against corruption. It featured short films and was very interactive. At given times the films would stop and you would be asked questions. After you had answered, you would be presented with the reasonings from the experts,” says Mala . How can children be involved in the process? We would love to find ways to talk to children in collaboration with an NGO. Then we could also provide opportunities for new dialogues when we have children here on field trips. And who knows? Maybe a drawing competition could be a new form of stakeholder dialogue, says Mala. What is the greatest threat to a successful implementation of child rights principles? It is difficult for us to reach out to all employees. But I am not worried about it taking time. We’d rather do right than fast, says Karin.

KARIN HOLMQUIST, VICE PRESIDENT OF GROUP INTERNAL AUDIT AND ASSURANCE, AND MALA CHAKRABORITI, VICE PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, OF ATLAS COPCO

Karin Holmquist, Vice President of Group Internal Audit and Assurance, and Mala Chakraboriti, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, of Atlas Copco were both engaged in the development of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. When the principles were released in 2012, Atlas Copco were able to focus on aligning their work with the new international guidelines.


FIRST STEPS OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CRBP Insights from the Four Studies. Summary of Conclusions.


Summary of conclusions 21

Two Years of Getting to Know the Children’s Rights and Business Principles Reach for Change had the amazing opportunity to be involved in the drafting of Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) as one of the many stakeholders giving ­input into this process. It has been two intense years ­since the launch of the Principles in May 2012, and we have ­learned a lot about the potential and the power of this framework as well as about the challenges related to the cause. We have deve­loped processes and relationships crucial to ­supporting companies in taking on some of ­those ­challenges, and we have deepened our knowledge of children’s condi­ tions in the different markets where we ­operate. In four different studies, using multiple methods for data collection and analysis, we aim to explore different aspects of the work we’ve done so far with the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. This book does not aim to be a full disclosure on all activities; rather, it is an attempt to inspire businesses and others interested in children’s rights. We have also taken this opportunity to reflect on our work with the CRBP and capture some of the insights made in dialogue with companies and children. These studies are part of a long-term commitment to develop our own understanding of the relationships between children and companies, as well as a small contri­ bution to the work that is now being put forward in this field globally. We still


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have far to go, but this is clear: Companies have a significant impact on children. By committing to respecting and supporting children’s rights, companies can improve the conditions of children all over the world.

FIVE OVERALL INSIGHTS

Since all companies are unique, everyone has unique information and insights to contribute to the collective learning processes. We need to learn from eachother and help eachother, but always start the process in our own specific context.

When working with the four studies we have found five insights, wich we believe, can be of interest in the collective development process. • Children are stakeholders. Just as the definition of CSR has implications for the relationship between businesses and children’s rights, so does the defini­ tion of a stakeholder. It affects whether or not children can be considered stakeholders and, if so, how many of the various relationships between businesses and children can be recognized. Children are often made invisible in ­corporate policies and are not acknowledged for being highly affected by companies’ operations. Companies are failing to recognize how the impact they have on children in many situations differs from impact they have on adults. But what is more important is that they miss out on an opportunity to safeguard a corporate ­behavior that respects and supports all humans rights. This is in many cases the key to a ­sustainable market. • Childhood is conditioned by geographical, economic and political circum­ stances, and social and family relations. Therefore, it is not useful to reduce all children to seem vulnerable and blissfully ignorant, and portray companies as predators invading childhood. On the other extreme end, the child is perceived as a competent consumer with unique knowledge of the market. This is of course just another simplified picture of reality. What needs to be recognized is that childhood is a period of dependency and that children are in need of protection and nurturing for their well-being. The key ques­ tion is not whether children are passive ­victims or capable consumers, but rather what the relationship between children and companies should be.


Summary of conclusions 23

• Children are interested in corporate life, and they also value platforms from which they can be heard. Even through children feel that it is important to have a say in issues that are affecting them, they also recognize that they are not being listened to. Children are concerned about the world and share a sense of injustice because their views are not being ­acknowledged. • Respect and support. Every company has their own set of relationships to stakeholders, and therefore, different opportunities to support and respect children’s rights. By starting from this unique position and using the strengths of their core business in supporting actions, companies have the opportunity to change the conditions of children. Involving stakeholders in all of these activities can be the key to achieving both business objectives and social change. However, companies should also be aware of the most common risks, such as spending more money on marketing a social initiative than investing in it. • Rights vs. needs. Protecting children’s rights is a large commitment, and it is a more difficult one than focusing on the needs of vulnerable groups or indivi­ duals. When we work to fulfill someone’s rights, it is not because we are kind; we are being responsible. On the one hand, recognizing the human rights or child rights perspective is a larger commitment, but on the other, it provides an opportunity to understand the stakeholder groups in a profound way and to gain valuable insights into society, the market and the future.

JOHANNA HALLIN SENIOR ADVISOR, REACH FOR CHANGE AND CEO OF LUMEN BEHAVIOR

Johanna Hallin is a child rights and business development expert, and has been involved in Reach for Change since the birth of the movement. She has worked with children, social entrepreneurs, organizations, and businesses in over 50 countries, and believes that business’ obligation to respect and opportunity to support children’s rights are the most innovative field of global development today.


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UNDERSTANDING CHILDREN AS MORE THAN JUST CHILDREN Companies’ Different Relationships to Children. A Study of Six Corporate Policies.


Children as Stakeholders 25

Children as Stakeholders “It is inevitable that business, whether small or large, will interact with and have an effect on the lives of children both directly and indirectly.” 1 Stakeholder theory is based on the idea that people want to take ­­­­­­­­respon­­­s­­­i­bility for their effect on others and that this links business, ethics, and ­human beings together. However inclusive and holistic this approach may seem, it ­assumes awareness of the implications of business operations, which may, in fact, not be so straightforward. A person, or business, can’t take responsibility for its effects on others without recognizing that effect. These discussions are of great relevance to the discussion on business responsibilities towards children, as children are rarely recognized as stakeholders.

EXAMINING STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIPS

Identifying and understanding their relationships to stakeholders is a key part of ­companies’ operations. This study aims to examine how children can be understood as stakeholders. In the text, six different categories of ­children are presented in order to provide a framework functional to any business willing to examine their relationships to children. By looking into how six Swedish companies describe their relationship to children to an external ­audience, we find insights on corporate perception of children as stakeholders as well as useful examples of how the framework can be applied. The study ­focuses on the businesses’ construction of their relationship to children. It does not­ ­include the children’s understanding of or the construction of said ­relationship; it limits the scope to the businesses’ perspective.


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LEARNING FROM A SLICE OF TIME The materials in this study are part of the publicly available texts ­comprising the corporate responsibility articulations of the Kinnevik group in 2012. It is the nature of a study to freeze a moment in time, so that we could look at it and learn from it. We are grateful for this chance to draw insights and learn important lessons on how ­children are shaped as stakeholders. We do this while remembering that the companies that took part in this study have continued their rapid ­development, and the information in this study does not necessarily reflect where they are today.

CHILDREN AS STAKEHOLDERS

Companies can, by specifying their relationships to various stakeholders, arti­culate their responsibilities to each of them. This gives a good point of depature when they decide to create or evaluate a CSR strategy.

The Definition of a Stakeholder However, just as the definition of CSR has implications for how the relationship between businesses and children’s rights is interpreted, so does the ­definition of a stakeholder. It affects whether or not children can be considered ­stakeholders, and if so, how many of the various relationships between busi­nesses and child­ ren can be recognized. Scholars have suggested different definitions for stakeholders. R. Edward Freeman’s definition is the most commonly cited: “A stakeholder in an organization is (by definition) any group or ­individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the o ­ rganization’s ­objectives.” 2 It is clear that children can be considered stakeholders with this definition ­since they could affect the business as employees and customers, or be affected by


Children as Stakeholders

Emmy, 17 years old

ve the » Get a grip! You ha ge power to create chan the g kin ta t no e and you’r t’s chance to do it. Wha for ing ait W ? lem the prob ns in all the right conditio be d an up e ak place? W ift sh a ith W e! ­responsibl g rin ca ly on m fro in focus, lot of about the money, a ppen ha uld wo s good thing at the same time. «


Elvis, 5 years old

» Companies shouldn ’t toss their batteries into nature because then the flowers won’t grow. And I think a company sh ould ­invent an engine that can be used in all the ca rs. An engine that does n’t give out any pollutio n. I’ve also been thinking ab out machines that tear stu ff down. It’s dangerou s if there’s a person clo se by. They could get hit by the heavy stuff. «


Children as Stakeholders 29

the business as family members, consumers, and as members of society. Others define stakeholders as those who have invested their capital in the company, e.g. shareholders, employees, and customers. 3 This definition excludes children from being considered as stakeholders in various ways as they do not usually invest capital but could be significantly affected. The Hidden Relation to Children Children are rarely recognized as stakeholders, and when they are, they are rarely given a voice. Especially within the context of globalization, it may even be more difficult to acknowledge and take responsibility for the ­effect of business operations on children. As stated in the introduction of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), “[i]t is inevitable that business, whether small or large, will interact with and have an effect on the lives of children both directly and indirectly.”4 Further, the effect ­businesses and other actors have on children “can be long-lasting and even irre­versible.”5 It has also been discussed that the effects of businesses on child­ ren are irremediable,6 making it even more important for businesses to foresee, prevent, and take responsibility for their effects on children, however difficult this may be. Value Creation For most businesses today, stakeholder theory means taking into consi­ deration the interests of customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and financiers. However, there is great concern both among professio­ nals in the field7 and scholars8 about what this means for managers, and if these groups can be considered with equal importance or be given equal influence. Even though Freeman and his colleagues clearly state that acknow­ ledging a group of stakeholders does not necessary mean giving them a place in the boardroom – but rather managers should take into consideration how to create value for them, many still debate the legitimacy of the stakeholders and their claims. The Legitimate Stakeholder A group or person can not be perceived as a legitimate stakeholder if they are not perceived to be a legitimate entity, have a legitimate claim, or behave in a legitimate way.9 Since children have not been recognized to fulfill the first two of these criteria, they have not been perceived as


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legitimate stakeholders. The only way in which they have been perceived as one is in the child labor debate. There, they are seen as a legitimate entity – since they have been included in the labor force, which is widely considered a legitimate stakeholder group. They would also have a legitimate claim – the articulated rights to develop safely and to receive an education, both of which are ­violated by child l­abor. Other than that, children often have neither been seen as a legiti­mate entity nor been allowed to articulate a claim. Various NGOs have been representatives for children’s claims, but in that context, it is the NGO – not the children – who is the stakeholder. However, with the articulation of Children’s Rights and Business Principles by three ­widely recog­nized organizations, opens for the possibility to alter this ­perception into one where children are seen as legitimate stakeholders.­10

THE ANALYZED COMPANIES

The materials used in the study are obtained from six companies that articulated their corporate responsibility in 2012. As they are all vastly different companies, the combination presented an interesting collection of policies for the study. Companies studied: • Invest AB Kinnevik – an investment company based in Sweden • Tele2 – a telecommunications company operating in Sweden, Norway, and parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia • MTG or Modern Times Group – a media company consisting primarily of television channels and radio stations, operating mostly in Europe but also since recently, in Ghana and Tanzania • Metro International S.A. (Metro) – a worldwide newspaper company delivering free newspapers in metropolitan areas • Millicom International Cellular S.A. (Millicom) – a telecommunications company operating in emerging markets in Africa and Latin America


Children as Stakeholders 31

• Korsnäs 10 – a production company in the silviculture industry primarily producing packaging materials Kinnevik is the sole or the majority owner of these companies.11 Although ­ innevik invests in many other companies, these are its main holdings, and K ­together, these six companies are referred to as the Kinnevik group in this study. Through the CEO of Kinnevik, the company group has expressed a commitment to work with the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.12 Their commitment makes the group relevant for this study. These companies do want to take the next step within their CSR work and integrate a perspective on children’s rights into their core business operations, as the CRBP calls for.

SIX CATEGORIES OF STAKEHOLDER CHILDREN

The categorization system we developed models after ­stakeholder relations and the idea that companies have many different types of ­­­rela­tion­ships, and therefore, have responsibilities to different groups of ­children. ­Categorizing children into subgroups makes it easier for companies to identify children as stakeholders. These categories are not intended to be ­exclusive, but rather general categories that can apply to most ­businesses: • Children as Employees • Children as Family • Children as Consumers • Children as Society • Children as Affected • Children in Business Relations


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To demonstrate how companies can positively view children or are failing to recognize them in corporate responsibility policies, we analyzed their official, public policies and their website presentations. Those texts are relevant since they are produced with a wide audience in mind. Since corporate transparency is becoming a norm, companies are increasingly expected to publish internal policies on their websites. Further, with technology allowing for expedient revisions, companies could make their policies more responsive to external events and changes in expectations, even though some texts require board app­ roval. Since the material is naturally occurring, the intended audience is not the researcher and their intention is not to study it. Each company and each section of the text may have a ­different intended audience. Kinnevik, for example, is an investment ­company with its base in Sweden. The typical visitor of its website can be ­assumed to be a Swedish investor or person interested in investments. In contrast, Tele2 is a telecommunications company, and most of its customers are private citizens who might be interested in the social responsibility of their service provider.

1. CHILDREN AS EMPLOYEES

Children as Employees refers to the relationship between companies and any person under the age of 18 whom they have employed, including both young workers and child labor. Restrictions for the employment of children are provided in the ILO Minimum Age Convention (1973) and the ILO Worst Form of Child Labor Convention (1999). The legal employment of children, i.e. young workers, is kept in accordance with these restrictions as well as relevant ­national law. Children are explicitly mentioned as possible employees only in Millicom’s and Tele2’s policies. The other companies do not explicitly discuss the possi­ bility of having employees below the age of 18 or any specific and unique needs they might have. Policy Context Prioritizing and focusing policies are sound and necessary corporate behaviors. However, the foci in policies are often determined without keeping children as stakeholders in mind. This limits companies’ understanding of their relations to children. One example is the way MTG and Metro define their broad­casting and publishing responsibilities, in which readers and viewers are ­covered, but not participants in shows or those written about.


Children as Stakeholders

Zakariya, 13 years old

a» People who run comp are o wh le op nies and pe in charge in our society, you must take responsibility. The worst thing a it ­company can do is to em the oy str de t tha pollutants loit ­environment. It is to ­exp ce for d an s yee the emplo them to take part in harm ks. tas us ero ng ful and da Companies should pay the employees enough for them to live on. «


Ebba, 6 ye

ars old

» Adults wo rk too muc h! I want to p lay with the m and they d o not have time. Comp anies should be nice to k ids, animals , and ­nature . Never thro w bottles. Ne ver fight or say mean thing s. When th ey let oil out in to the ocea n, the fish can ’t breath an d they die. «


Children as Stakeholders 35

These children are not employed with the same rights and regulations as an adult worker or employee, and therefore they are not protected by the enter­ tainment industry’s ordinary regulations. Too often companies use children in promotional ­photographs on their websites without first recognizing a professi­ onal relationship to them. In this way, companies treat these children as objects rather than individuals who are performing a job, giving them certain rights. Unrecognized Workers Since most of the companies do not recognize young workers as members of their workforce, their overall employee policies affect even younger workers. Tele2 and Millicom are the only companies that explicitly recognize the pos­ sibility for employing young workers. Their policies specify that any children below the minimum working age, the minimum age of schooling or the age of 15 shall not be employed and that employees under the age of 18 shall not “be engaged in hazardous or heavy work or in night shifts,” in accordance with the ILO and Unicef. However, neither of these companies recognize that young workers might need other special considerations in regards to grievance procedures or labor u ­ nions, as suggested in the CRBP. All of the companies state that employees has the right not to be discriminated on the basis of age. Young workers could be thought of as a form of margin­alized group that would benefit from a support network for young workers or first-time employees. Although several of the companies ­recognize their employment of interns, they do not construct them as a group who may need targeted support in realizing their rights. Labor Laws Varies In Operating Countries Several of the companies recognize that the protection provided by labor laws varies in operating countries. This is an important aspect of ensuring young workers, as well as adult workers and their families, are not discriminated based on their nationality or country of origin. Kinnevik articulates this consideration in the following statement:


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“In cases where portfolio companies are actively growing in countries with inadequate protection of human rights, it is particularly important that these companies promote human rights to increase the standard within the company in question.” This sentiment is reflected within most of the other companies where it constructs a view of workers and people being equal regardless of the country in operation and local legislation. However, there are variations within these views, and the companies do not always acknowledge that the inadequacies of human rights protection might be context specific. MTG, for example, constructs a specific interpretation of this situation in the following statement: “[A]ll staff in Ghana will be treated according to MTG standards; they will ­receive competitive salaries for that country and enjoy terms of employment similar to those working at any of our other offices worldwide. So on this level, human rights problems in new operational countries should not affect our employees in the office environment.” This ensures that regardless of location, all workers are equals with the same protection of human rights. Under this standard, they still receive equal protec­ tion of rights across countries, even though some may encounter inadequacies and obstacles to its protection in their own countries. Conclusion Children are not thought of as employees despite having that sort of ­­relationship to several of the companies. They are a legitimate entity with a legitimate claim and should belong in that category. Children do work for the companies, and since their work situation is different from adults, they might need special consideration in some settings. Acknowledging children here would empower them; it would say that they play a role in the core business of a company.


Children as Stakeholders 37

EASY ACTION: CHILDREN AS INTERNS Interns might need targeted support for recognizing their rights. When a company recognises children as interns and makes a clear statement about how the special rights of a young intern are respected, it acknowledges their claim on the company.

2. CHILDREN AS FAMILY

Children as Family refers to children whose parents, siblings, or other suporting family members are employed by the company. Businesses have an indirect yet strong influence on these children’s lives through their labor policies, employee benefits, and support. Family members of employees, and specifically children, are mentioned in all of the companies’ policies, although in varying degrees. It ranges from protection against discrimination based on parental status, to Korsnäs’ funds providing children of employees with educational scholarships, a summer camp, and more. Further, children are significantly affected by all policies regarding employees, i.e. their parents or caregivers, as this is a clear and unique relationship between businesses and children.

Parental Discrimination All companies mention parental discrimination. Some of the companies recognize that certain worker’s rights, including the right to parental leave, might not be enforced in the countries where they operate. Despite this, they state that the companies shall respect these rights even in cases where local law does not require it, thereby creating a universal child-parent/employeebusiness ­relationship.


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Metro and MTG explicitly state their responsibility to support their staff in balancing “obligations to the workplace as well as towards their ­ ­ families.” Neither company specifies children in this aspect but rather ­refers to home and family lives. The following statement from MTG ­clearly articulates this: “We strive to be flexible employers, making it possible for all employees, especially those with special needs or family members to care for, to successfully combine their personal and professional lives.” Korsnäs is unique in its approach to its employees and their families. Korsnäs’ sites of production – its mills – are located in or outside smaller towns. Due to this, Korsnäs has a history of providing extra services for its employees and their families such as education, health care, and recreational activities, which it continues to do today. Korsnäs abides by its positive voluntary commitment with mandates such as: “Korsnäs’ ambitions span many areas when it comes to contributing to a richer life for our employees. As an employer, it is natural for us to work with various types of preventive healthcare. Through our foundations and funds, we also help promote stimulating and meaningful l­eisure activities. For example, we support sporting activities, non-profit ­associations, and cultural activities. We provide opportunities for ­families to take vacations on attractive terms. We also work to stimulate young ­people’s thirst for knowledge and ­their entrepreneurial spirit. That ­benefits everyone.” In this way, Korsnäs expands its social relationship to not only include its current employees and their families, but adult age family members as well as retired employees. Conclusion The area of anti-discrimination is in many ways regulated by law, and simply falls within core legal responsibilities. The focus on discretionary or philanthropic responsibilities and on corporate social engagements, might lead to a neglect of certain legal or economic responsibilities. This shows the importance of ­distinguishing between the two and making sure that those aspects that are promoted in discretionary responsibilities are also respected in legal and ethical policies.


Children as Stakeholders 39

EASY ACTION: PARENTAL STATUS To write “maternity status” in a policy suggests that it is only the mother who could be discriminated against or who deserve ­special consideration. By using “parental status,” a company could consider family structures where there is no mother as well as acknowledge that fathers have responsibilities to their children.

3. CHILDREN AS CONSUMERS

Children as Consumers refers both to the children who themselves are the com­ panies’ customers as well as to those who are the consumers although someone else, such as a parent or a caregiver, who is the direct customer. The distinction between the customer and the consumer in this context highlights the fact that the company might not have a direct contact with the consumer but rather with the customer.

A company has a specific relationship to its customers and a different one to its consumers. It is normally an adult customer who is engaged in the relationship in which the money changes hands. The consumer might still be a child. The responsibilities of the consumer involve the content of the product or service, and can include one customer’s or consumer’s ability to restrict the use of another. Children are present as customers and/or consumers in most of the companies. Tele2, Millicom, and MTG all highlight children by stating that children need protection from “inappropriate content.” They explicitly talk about how child­ ren need to be protected – Tele2 even talks about “young adults” needing this protection – and how they educate parents and offer services to help them protect their children. The Internet may well contain content that can be considered unsuitable for children; however, it also presents an innovative educational opportunity, especially through mobile services in more remote areas. It could also increase access to the political debate, which children are otherwise excluded from.


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Stated within the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to educa­ tion – articles 28 and 29 – and the right to form and express one’s own views – article 12 – are two important rights for children. By protecting them from adults rather than acknowledging those opportunities for empowerment, we create a child without the capabilities nor the competence to claim their rights. Conclusion The distinction a company makes between customers and consumers in defining its responsibilities is significant. The perception of child consumers as vulnerable rather than capable adds to the general perception of children needing protection. They need it for creating a safe environment to develop, in which is a fundamental right of children described in article 6. However, the call for protection is not motivated through the perspective of children’s rights, but rather through the assumption that they are weak and vulnerable. By reframing the the protection through children’s rights, we could strengthen the rights themselves while ensuring adequate protection.

EASY ACTION: EDUCATING CHILDREN DIRECTLY Whenever you are considering to educate parents, investigate whether you could provide education directly to children. In many cases, it would be highly beneficial to educate both the child and the parents.

4. CHILDREN AS SOCIETY

Children as Society refers to children as members of the society in which the company operates. The society can be a local or regional society, a nation, or – as in the case with any multinational company – multiple local communities and nations forming a regional or global society. Businesses have an impact on the societies in which they operate. The impact might be different on children’s lives compared to the lives of adults. Because children have little, if any, influence


Children as Stakeholders 41

on the society in which they live, even if the company consults with the society in some form, it would be difficult to capture children’s voices and take their interests into consideration. All companies discuss their relationship with society to some extent, and children occupy a unique place as members within these societies. But because children do not have certain citizen rights held by adults, companies do not explicitly discuss their relationship with them in societies in which they operate. Com­ panies build a relationship with society following these three themes: the first is their core operations’ contributions to society; the second is their way of doing business; and the third is philanthropic contributions. Tele2, Millicom, and Metro all explicitly discuss the impacts of their core business operations on society. Metro acknowledges its role in forming public opinions while the others promote their role in bridging the digital divide. As mentioned earlier, they do not highlight children in this regard despite the fact that their impact on them might be different from adults. In some instances, the companies interact with local communities or governments in order to ensure integrity in their operations. But none discusses the lack of children’s voices in many governments or how to ensure that their perspectives are ­incorporated. For example, Korsnäs engages with the indigenous Sami population in the north of Sweden to ensure that the special needs and rights of this minority group are considered. Similar consideration for children could be made, but this is not articulated by any of the companies in the study. Conclusion All companies impact on the societies in which they operate through their business ethics, which most of them recognize. They all have clear policies against corruption and commit to complying with local legislation, both of which contribute to a positive effect on society. This includes committing to go beyond the local legislation when it proves ­inadequate. Although this does not explicitly ­target children, it does impact them as members of society.


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EASY ACTION: COMPENSATE FOR LITTLE INFLUENCE Children have little, if any, influence on the society in which they live. This means that stakeholder dialogues with society in general do not automatically include children’s perspective. In many cases, there are good opportunities to engage directly with children.

5. CHILDREN AS AFFECTED

Children as Affected refers to children who are affected by the ­company’s activities more directly than those in the category of Children as Society, but they are not consumers of the products. This might include children who live next to the company’s operations. It could also include children who interact with the company through focus groups. There are many examples of business affecting children; through various ways such as focus groups, environmental changes near ­community, or exter­ nal effects of CSR activities, including work opportunities that are lost when employees volunteer to unskilled labor. However, we will examine the following two groups of impact more closely. The first group takes into account the external impacts of the product or service that is delivered to children. In the case of telephone services, both Tele2 and Millicom discuss the effects of electromagnetic or radio frequency fields on the user as well as on the people in the surrounding area. Both explicitly mention that the impact could potentially differ between children and adults. In another industry, Metro and MTG explicitly discuss their responsibility towards the content they produce for their customers. However, neither takes a ­responsi­bility for those who are featured in the product, which include those written about in Metro, or ­those ­involved in broadcasts for MTG, or more generally, those ­influenced by a show displaying for example sexist content. Children of those who watch such shows are especially affected by companies that shape cultural norms through their product.


Children as Stakeholders

Carla, 9 years old

» One thing I’ve been thinking about, though I’m not exactly sure if it has anything to do with companies, is that people should not litter. It doesn’t look nice and It isn’t good for the environment. I think it has something to do with companies. Like if there are wrappers thrown on the ­­­ground and all the trash in the dump. The dumps are not good. «


Patricia, 14 years old

Âť Let children decid e more. Let children se e their parents a lot. I give advertising for children a thumbs down. ÂŤ


Children as Stakeholders 45

The second group looks at the marketing that children either consume or play a role in its production. MTG, Millicom, and Korsnäs all use images of children to a great extent in their presentations of responsibility. The use of children in a visual presentation, especially when there is no connection between the children and the related text, turns the child into an accessory for the company. It becomes merely a visual symbol for something else. However, this could mean making children as a symbol of the future in the presentation of its sustainable business. Conclusion Even though companies can’t describe every specific impact caused by their relationship with children, they could focus on general business ethics and a few obvious impacts in their policies. There are some relationships where the impact on children is different than the impact on adults, such as when children are used in marketing. This kind of impact falls within a company’s ethical responsibility since it might not be regulated by legislation and might actually go against ­the company’s economic interests. It is obvious that if a company can’t ­identify or chooses not to acknow­ ledge its impact on an issue, it can’t take ­responsibility for it. This remains a core limitation of CSR, especially with regards to less apparent, but still significant, effects on social issues. Companies are inclined to recognize an ­environmental impact, such as the radiation from phones and base stations, but fail to acknow­ ledge their ­social impacts, such as writing about or broadcasting about a person and their family.

EASY ACTION: SMALL BODIES, GREATER VULNERABILITY The company could potentially have different impact on children compared to adults. Children, for example, are more vulnerable to pollutions and toxins. Since the area of a child’s skin is greater in rela­ tion to their body weight than adults, they absorb toxins more easily.


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5A. CHILDREN AS CSR-RECIPIENTS

What all of these companies have in common besides supporting Reach for Change is that they are all involved in philanthropic CSR activities with children as the recipients. However, they portray the children who receive this CSRgiving, including those who are recipients of Reach for Change’s work, in vastly different ways. These companies view children differently because their purpose for serving children – the ‘why’ – is different, just like the description of their CSR activities – the ‘what.’ Kinnevik does not mention children in its description of Reach for Change, but rather focuses on the entrepreneurial aspect of the organization’s work. Despite the fact that Reach for Change exclusively works to improve children’s rights and is motivated by a desire to “work for a better world,” there is no recognition of children as the recipients because it implicitly sees the children as the only/ main focus to achieve this “better world.” Korsnäs motivates its CSR activities with a discussion on the ­knowledge and understanding it needs to preserve the common heritage in the future – thus the need to educate the next generation. Therefore, the CSR work, ­specifically targeting today’s children, is motivated without any mention of their rights or conditions, since children hold the key to achieve sustainability in the future. Tele2 states that its CSR activities have “children as a primary focus” without providing a reason – a ‘why’ – for this focus. The children themselves are moti­ vating enough; It should already be clear, without the need to explicitly mention it, that they are the focus of its socially-responsible activities. It doesn’t need to mention that children need or deserve this. In contrast, Metro does not single out children in its CSR activities – not in the ‘why’ or the ‘what.’ Instead, it states that it aims to “support the local communities of which [they] are a part of” and maximize the “impact on society,” as well as recognize that they have an impact on public opinion and have an accompanying responsibility. Conclusion Despite all forming a relationship with children through Reach for Change, each company sees these children differently, and sometimes, inconsistently


Children as Stakeholders 47

within the same company. Companies can see them as either non-existent, vulnerable, and helpless, or they could see them as capable. Even though the company focuses and develops its CSR program from the perspective of child­ ren’s rights, its website might only depict children as vulnerable, which is the case with MTG. This could stem from the belief that the company is better re­ presented on the website by showing how it is helping the vulnerable child. Or, the company might be unaware that its engagements are motivated by helping a vulnerable child while another part of the organization is focused on respecting children’s rights and supporting their capabilities. This problem is common to most strands of CSR theories. The company can choose to become more marketable towards their customers through causerelated marketing or towards their employees through strategic philanthropy or stakeholder ­management. Or, it could choose to become a business citizen who engages in socially-responsible activities in a realm where it neither has a connection to the area nor has expertise on the issue. The intricacies of this category show that corporate social engagements are not without complications and that there might be limitations to the business ­citizen approach.

EASY ACTION: WORK WITH AN NGO Companies can provide great value to an NGO by promoting their ­cause. One effective way to create empowering marketing communication together is to work closely with the stakeholders. Working with an NGO can provide a unique opportunity to ­involve children in devising communication that follows a high level of ethics.

6. CHILDREN IN BUSINESS RELATIONS

Another main group we identified was Children in Business Relations. We first believed that we could analyze these children within the other groups, but as the research progressed, it became clear that ­children in business relationships are perceived differently than those in direct ­relations with the company.


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A company’s relationship to children in its supply chain differs from those in its own operations. The companies vary ­greatly in their recognition of this group of children, from Millicom’s strong focus on child labor in their supply chain policies, to Korsnäs who does not ­explicitly mention these children or any social issue related to their ­supply chain. The relevant questions here are related to how the company articulates its responsibility for children in their supply chain, i.e. whether or not the children are included in the company’s ­responsibility. Kinnevik’s main “supply chain” or business relations is their investments and holdings. Because these relationships are a key part of Kinnevik’s operations, they also constitute a significant part of its corporate responsibility, which is recognized by their prominence in Kinnevik’s ­corporate responsibility discus­ sion. Further, human rights issues are given a significant amount of attention in the discussion. Children’s rights abuses are not singled out, but are instead placed within human rights abuses in general without special status. However, Kinnevik explicitly states the need for evaluating the unique human rights situa­ tion for each possible investment, thereby taking into consideration the specific context of each case. Although this does not highlight children, it includes them. Tele2 and Millicom present two different approaches to social responsibility regarding their suppliers. Tele2 equates suppliers with its own operations by requiring them to sign Tele2’s own Code of Conduct. This suggests that it is concerned with children being affected by its suppliers in the same way that they are being affected by its own operations. The children included in the code of conduct, e.g. the minors needing protection from unwanted content, are viewed in the same manner whether they have a relationship with the supplier or with Tele2. In contrast, Millicom articulates specific requirements of social responsibility for its supply chain, which differ in many ways from its own social responsibilities. In its Supplier Code of Conduct, Millicom describes many issues that suppliers are required to take into consideration, which are not highlighted in Millicom’s internal Code of Ethics. This includes human rights violations such as corporal punishment and inhumane treatment. The Supplier Code of Conduct further prohibits discrimination based on health status, especially one’s HIV status. These differences exist because Millicom could be assigning more


Children as Stakeholders 49

extensive responsibilities to an external party, i.e. raising the bar when another party is the implementer. However, Millicom could also recognize that certain violations are more likely to occur in the supply chain than in it’s own operations, thus presenting a need to highlight them in regards to the supply chain but not in its internal code of conduct. The responsibility that the supply chain needs to oversee centers on child labor. Millicom articulates its own responsibility regarding child labor in a ­position paper on the topic, which integrates the supply chain’s responsibility to children into Millicom’s own r­ esponsibility. Further, it clearly states that Millicom only intends to work with partners who take responsibility in regards for child labor, making it the most important criteria for supplier selection. Conclusion In this category, it becomes especially clear that each company has a different interpretation of their own social responsibilities based on the structure of their business ­operations. A company’s business relationships determine the impacts it will be responsible for, which ultimately shape how the company perceives children and builds a relationship with them. When a company’s core business is its relations, like ­Kinnevik’s, its responsibilities follow the same pattern. A company can either equate its responsibility for a supplier’s impact with its own, as Tele2 does, or highlight the most relevant impacts of the supplier, like Millicom. A company’s responsibility for suppliers tends to reflect other aspects of its own responsibilities as well. Both Metro and Korsnäs focus on their own environmental responsibilities to a great extent, and these are also the qualities highlighted in their responsibility for their suppliers. A company’s sense of responsibility for their business relationships in many ways reveals their general motivations for CSR. Increasingly, a company is held accountable for actions committed by its ­business partners further out in their supply chain. Also, another emerging trend is holding companies ethically responsible for their customers. Regardless of the type of responsibility or the motivation for CSR, if the expectations follow these trends, companies will need to correspondingly take greater responsibility for their suppliers’ and their customers’ impact.


Ruben, 10 years old

» Come on, compan ies. Make the cars more ­environmentally frien dly! And overall, compan ies should produce gree ner things. The worst th ing a company can do is to ­destroy nature. Or ­p roduce nuclear weapons.«


Children as Stakeholders 51

EASY ACTION: SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT If you use a specific Supplier Code of Conduct, it could be interesting to compare it to your internal codes of ethics. Are there any gaps, and how are children perceived in the codes?

DISCUSSION: VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND KIND COMPANIES?

The perception of children must also be understood in the context of how companies see themselves. As the companies form their relationships with the children, they are forming themselves:

1) Children are vulnerable and less fortunate company helps children in their difficult life company is a kind and generous organization those working for or associated with the company are kind and generous. 2) Children have rights and are capable company must respect their rights, listen to children, and incorporate their perspective if the company does this, it is neutral and is fulfilling its obligations by respecting children’s rights if it does not, it is a violator of children’s rights company and people associated with it risk being seen as uncaring towards children and lose their in positive image. The policies and text on the website are part of the company’s communication with several different groups, such as employees, shareholders, and customers, which influence and restrict the perception of children. In instances where a company uses a business case to motivate the respect of human rights, its primary audience is shareholders rather than employees.


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Vulnerable or Invisible? Children are perceived differently depending on their category as well as on a company’s policies. In both situations, the perceptions follow the general ­outlook of a company’s responsibilities in that area as well as norms specific to that category. Children as Employees are often invisible even though they are a legitimate ­entity with a legitimate claim. This is a category where acknowledging child­ ren could ­empower them to form relationships with adults. This in turn would ­require specific considerations by the company, thus resolving to the lack of recognition. Children as Family is one of the categories where children are the most explicitly recognized, though not all aspects of this relationship are taken into conside­ ration. Each company has this relationship with children, but they recognize it to varying degrees. This relationship includes both explicit recognition of parental rights and responsibilities, and also ethical treatment of employees in general. Children as Consumers depend heavily on the acknowledgement of ­consumers in general, which is not done by most companies. In the cases where children are explicitly identified as consumers, they are portrayed as needing protection and never appearing capable or ­empowered. Children as Affected are identified by companies to a varying degree, and they are mostly impacted by environmental issues. There are several ­areas w ­ here children ­are clearly affected by the companies without being ­acknowledged at all. Although much of these impacts are covered by ­general principles of busi­ ness ethics, there are areas such as marketing where children have a legitimate claim on their own since they are affected differently than other groups. Children in Business Relationships refers to children forming a relationship with a company’s supply chain. During the analysis, it became clear that


Children as Stakeholders 53

this relationship is a unique one, involving a specific perception of children. Their portrayal is not consistent within each group nor within each ­company. Therefore, there is no obvious hierarchy between these groups of children. In ­ general, the children are portrayed more explicitly in ­ categories where they are perceived as weak, vulnerable, or in need. This occurs within child labor, ­children of employees, consumers in need of protection, and vulnerable recipients of CSR initiatives. This is the same for categories within business relationships. Although children who benefit from CSR initiatives are the most explicitly mentioned, they are mostly portrayed as vulnerable. CSR Theories and Implementations The overall portrayal of children in the policies studied shows that the concept of integrating a perspective of children’s rights in core and ­everyday activities still has a long way to go. Few of the portrayals of children ­departed from a perspective of children’s rights. Children’s rights were only included in texts regarding external philanthropy and child labor, even though children were identified in several internal policies as well. This study does not claim that the companies used here as examples are representative of the private sector as a whole or that the analysis applies to other companies. However, it is u ­ nlikely that other companies have come as far at integrating this perspective as we have. The notion of integrating a child rights perspective is new and unfamiliar to most. It is difficult for adults to take a child’s perspective in general, and this is possibly even more difficult in the private sector where it has not been previously expected. However, the analysis shows that children are present in the policies and core business activities, which suggests that it is possible to ­integrate a perspective of children’s rights into companies. Corporate social responsibility includes both being responsible for the impact of one’s actions as well as acting in a responsible way that benefits ­society as a whole. Much of the focus has been on philanthropic activities and not so much on taking responsibility for the impact of one’s actions. If the discussion on CSR instead shifted to taking responsibility for one’s impact, the criticisms of both ­shareholder capitalism and corporate citizen­ship would be mitigated as ­companies with


54

hold spending money on things unrelated to their mandate. ­Companies will still increase value for their stakeholders while keeping the social development agenda from shifting. This creates a case for ­separating ­Corporate Responsibility from Corporate Social Engagement, making a clear distinction between taking responsibility for the impact of one’s own actions and making a discretionary contribution to society as a whole.

Based on master thesis ”Children’s Rights in Corporate Responsibility – A Study of Child Construction in the Policies of Swedish Companies” by Natalie Engdahl, Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University, as a part of the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and the Best Interest of the Child.

Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Unicef, The Global Compact, Save the Children, 2012. 2 R Edward Freeman, Jeffrey S Harrison, Andrew C Wicks, Bidan L Parmar & Simone de Colle. Stakeholder theory the state of the art. Cambridge Press, 2010. 3, 8 Sandra Waddock & NeilSmith. Relationships: The Real Challenge of corporate global citizenship. Business and Society Review, 2000, 47-62. 6 Margaret Wachenfield. Children’s rights are finally getting the attention they deserve. The Guardian, March 30, 2012. Retrieved from www.guardian.co.uk 1, 4, 5

Lisa Whitehouse. Corporate social responsibility: Views from the frontline. Journal of Business Ethics, 2006, 279-296. 9 Adele Santana. Three elements of stakeholder legitimacy. Journal of Business Ethics, 2012, 257-265. 10 This study was written before Korsnäs merged with Billerud to form BillerudKorsnäs. 11 Since the study was written Kinnevik sold its interests in BillerudKorsnäs, in late 2013. 12 Sjöström, Veckans Affärer, Hållbarhet, April 3, 2012. 7


Children as Stakeholders

Lucia, 10 years old

» Companies think they own everything. That isn’t respectful and that doesn’t make people very happy. They should respect every­ one. Bosses should let their employees out early, so they can hang out with their families. You know, be nice to them, give them reasonable salaries, and not make them work all the time. «


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CHILDREN READY TO TAKE PART IN SHAPING THEIR OWN FUTURE Insights from Stakeholder Dialogues. Children’s Voices Surveys with over 6 000 Children in 8 Countries, 2012-2014.


Children’s Voices 57

Children’s Voices: Hope, Fears, and Social Change From 2012 to 2014, Reach for Change conducted large-scale stakeholder dialogues with children. More than 6 000 children from Chad, Ghana, DRC, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Sweden, and Tanzania participated in surveys and focus groups. This chapter takes a deeper look at these dialogues. One clear message that stands out is children want to be agents of change and be engaged in the development of their society. Because their views on of the world and their societies are different from those of adults, it is unique and crucial for us all to listen and understand. Previous research on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and childhood are largely focused on child labor and the welfare of poor families. 1 Taking off from the idea that children are stakeholders, 2 we asked the children to describe their situation and voice their opinions on corporate and government responsibility. By including information from the children who are placed in different con­ texts and in different regions of the world, the material provides unique infor­ mation about the lives of children whose voices might not be heard very often (or not at all). These voices and perspectives are important for understanding the potential of corporations’ relationship with children, but they have not previously been considered in CSR research.

PRESENT AND FUTURE CITIZENS

Children in different local settings are asked to express their feelings, hopes,and fears. It is clear that children, as present and future citizens, are affected by many different kinds of decision-making processes and have a right to be involved in them.


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Sometimes it is assumed that children are not affected by power and politics. In reality, children are not only affected by power and politics but also are con­ tinuously discriminated against through political processes. A large number of children are deprived of their human rights, such as access to health care, education, and social services. In some countries where birth registration is low, children are deprived of an identity, and along with it, access to health care and education. There are different perspectives that could be used for analyzing children as stakeholders. 3 One is taking a structural approach: seeing business processes, advertising, and other corporate institutions as invading childhood – for example, using advertising to exploit children as media consumers, and in some cases, as labor. But one can also emphasize children’s active participation and their creative appropriation of goods and media content.4 What is clear is that industries, structures, and economic arrangements encompass and precede every child and every cohort of children. While companies do affect the lives of children, we also conceptualize childhood as a period of innocence, unaffected by economic arrangements and business. The fact that childhood is often portrayed as a period of innocence is signifi­ cant for understanding how children have been viewed in relation to corporate power and capitalist markets. 5 Innocence refers to a state of peaceful ignorance about things in the world of which money and social relations are a part of, such as corporate structures and financial targets. But innocence also refers to a lack of experience and knowledge that makes it difficult for the child to make rational choices. The common notion is that it is inappropriate to intervene on behalf of children and that it is also wrong to expose children to (sophisticated or unethical) marketing that might confuse them since they are thought to lack the ability for critical thinking.

“THE LOSS OF CHILDHOOD”

Children are implicitly perceived as ‘innocent’ and ‘blissfully ignorant’ under the widespread concern that their exposure to commercial media content, especially on TV or the Internet, may be harmful for them.6 Apart from ­these concerns there is also a growing awareness of how not only markets invade children’s lives, but also urban planning. Many ­children lack opportunities to play freely


Children’s Voices 59

outdoors, and the ­importance of parental supervision has also been under­ scored when it comes to ­children’s residence on the Internet.7 Sometimes these trends are referred to as “the loss of childhood.” Parental fears followed by heavy parental oversight might actually cause problems for children’s well-being since they may be cut off from their social space and lose important opportunities to understand and cope with risk. While parental concerns for “the loss of childhood” are sometimes legitimate, they are at times exaggerated and rarely take into account the children’s perspective. Naturally, it is important to identify threats to the safety and well-being of children, but children’s social development and independence must also be considered. While these concerns emphasize children’s right to be protected, they do not consider their right to choose, to create their social spaces, and be a part of the process of social change.

CAPABILITIES OF CHILDREN

Another perspective focuses on the capabilities of children, and conceptualizes children as interactive learning participants.8 One may also perceive children as individuals offering a unique view of the world, while at the same time, per­ ceiving them as the next generation of a powerful market force. What needs to be recognized is that childhood is a period of dependency and that children are in need of protection and nuturing for their well-being. The key question is not whether children are passive victims or capable consumers, but rather what the relationship between children and companies should be.9 The above mentioned perspectives on children and their childhood do not emphasize the relativity of childhood, i.e. childhood that is conditioned by geo­ graphical, economic and political circumstances, and social and family relations. The image of the childhood as an innocent space is, to a large extent, a Western construction based on the experiences of Western researchers carrying out their studies within the context of the advanced economies of the West. In some cultures, childhood is not seen as an age of innocence, where children instead are seen as capable and as contributing members of their families. For many children around the world, childhood is not a period of innocence and play, but rather of exploitation. Child labor, child soldiers, children in war, and children without safe and secure homes are disturbing, but yet are all too


Tom, 17 years old

» There are companies that do contribute to a better world, but not in ­everything they do. Like American Apparel. ­People only talk about the bad stuff – their ­sexist ­marketing methods. But what many don’t know is that they’re also sweatshop-free, and use ­organic materials and green energy. I wish more ­companies were like that (apart from the sexism)! «


Children’s Voices 61

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Reaffirming the status of the child as a subject of rights and as a human being with dignity and evolving capacities

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Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure

common aspects of childhood. The truth is that it is not possible for many children to enjoy even their most basic rights, including the right to survival. Obtaining a safe place for childhood in which children can play, grow, and develop in a healthy and loving environment, is simply not a reality for many children in the world. In many cases, these children are not easily integrated into the framework of CSR. They can be present in corporate policies against child labor, but even then, they are not fully seen and rarely empowered. In reality, most margin­ alized children have complicated and hidden relationships with companies, since they and their parents are not direct customers or employees. But they are nevertheless stakeholders in developmental processes, and they can be empowered as important citizens and future decision makers, of civil society.

CHILDREN’S VOICES ON COMPANIES

Companies are conceptualized in relation to adults, but children’s experiences are also shaped by globalized consumer culture. Children live in households that are strongly linked to the market through family purchases. Their world is constructed around consumption, homes, electronics, cars, food, literature, and clothing. Their parents’ work hours and incomes are conditioned by the companies they work for. Many children are aware of these things, and they do feel that companies need to make certain that adults can provide for and take care of their children. They also reflect upon the impact businesses have on their community and the environment. While they see certain projects such as build­


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ing school as important, they also think that companies should compensate for their actual impact, such as their environmental impact. A fair share of children feel that companies can contribute to a better world. The context of the African children is worth noting in particular, where compa­ nies are regarded as having the power to transform the country through longterm investment. Companies are supposed to stimulate economic growth and lift countries out of poverty. On an individual level, they are also perceived as economically beneficial since they create jobs. From this perspective, individ­ uals and companies may grow, interact, and transform in processes through which new markets and new childhoods in other cohorts and generations are created. Companies are the key to a better life. Children are interested in corporate life and they also value platforms from which they can be heard. Even if children feel that they should have a say in issues that are affecting them, they also recognize that they are not being listened to. Children are concerned about the world and share a sense of in­ justice because their views are not being acknowledged. Among stakeholders, children are often the most marginalized, despite the fact that being heard is an important precursor to their future involvement in political development. Listening to children’s voices will help ensure that company structures are designed to not only eliminate exploitative and hazardous practices such as child labor, but also make sure that they are locally sustainable and childcentered. By not listening to children, companies will make children feel power­ less and unable to participate in introducing any changes. We need to challenge the way we look at both businesses and children: Businesses are not merely oppressive exploiters and/or invaders of childhood (or adulthood for that matter), and children are not completely independent and autonomous in relation to the global economy. By acknowledging and analyzing the interplay between corporations and children, we will learn more about the conditions for creating change.


Children’s Voices 63

CHILDREN’S VOICES ON MARKETING

When it comes to marketing, academic work tends to confirm that children are not victims of easy manipulations. Accordingly, the surveys also indicate that children do understand advertising as being manipulative and are intended to drive consumer behavior. They also react to sexist and racist images, as well as skewed body images. Children may not have as much experience and knowledge as adults but as consumers, they are in many ways as knowledgeable and critically aware. Furthermore, children are early adopters and avid users of new technology. They also have consumer desires with detailed knowledge of on going trends, different kinds of brands, and different kinds of products. Children do identify themselves as consumers, and they also have a clear desire to fulfill their roles as stakeholders. The common way of placing responsibility primarily in the hands of compa­ nies and parents excludes children as possible consumers. This is done on the grounds that they are incapable of choosing healthy and good things, since they lack the experience and knowledge necessary to negotiate between a wide range of choices before coming to a rational decision. The placing of responsibilities on actors other than children is problematic because it fails to acknowledge children as stakeholders. Also, it hides the relationship between companies/ markets and children by placing responsibility on certain actors rather than consider the responsibility as situated within the relationship between actors.

CHILDREN’S VOICES ON INTERNET

Children have reported negative experiences from the Internet, such as other children writing mean things, but this also includes adults crossing boundaries. While cyber bullying and child grooming are a reality that needs attention, it is important to note that children mostly reported positive experiences when asked about their Internet use. For children, the Internet is not only an important source of information and social support, but also a platform for the expression of opinions and creative practices.


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“I think that the non-discrimination issue and the information go together. We have a lot of prejudice in our society.” Boy, 13 years old, Russia 2012

CHILDREN’S VOICES ON EDUCATION

Another major concern for children is their education. While children do acknowledge how important it is, they also articulate concerns about the quality of their education. They express their need to have good teachers, adequate amounts of learning materials, and the ability to attend school. While some children work and do not have as much time for school as they need, other children can not attend school due to the lack of transportation. Long and dangerous roads to school expose children to risks, and the school itself may also not be a safe and secure place for children. Abusive teachers and bullying peers are part of many children’s school days.

“Avoid nepotism at work.” Girl, 17 years old, Rwanda, 2014 “Create businesses in all areas of Chad to hire young people.” Girl, 15 years old, Chad, 2014 “Give us grants to improve our small businesses.” Boy, 17 years old, Chad, 2014


Children’s Voices 65

VOICES FROM DRC 74 % of 1 300 children surveyed in DRC in 2014 think that companies can contribute to a better world.

CHILDREN’S VOICES ABOUT CHILD LABOR AND CHILD WORK

A large number of children work, and while not all work is exploitative, harmful, and hazardous, physical harm should not be the only concern when it comes to children working. Child labor must be placed in a social, economic, and cultural context. For this reason, it is important to not only consider children’s own feel­ ings about work, but also about school and social relationships. Most children agree that working takes time away from other activities such as school and play, but work also has an economic value and may be beneficial for their develop­ ment and social integration. For this reason, even though the interviewed children demonstrate their ability to handle multiple considerations such as income and independence, they also deal with the demands, stress, and concerns about managing both school and work. They are aware of the benefits of education,

VOICES FROM SWEDEN AND RUSSIA 700 children in Russia and Sweden participated in focus groups and surveys in 2012. Among the Russian children, only 21% consider themselves affected by commercials compared to 54% of the Swedish children. According to the surveyed children, the most important things for companies to consider while advertising are: 42 % Not make advertisements that tricks people 34 % Not make advertisements that are racist or sexist 22 % Not make advertisements that encourage people to do things that are bad for their health


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Âť

I think the information issue is the most important because all the other problems come from it. If children received correct information, there would be less discrimination and abuse and they could act on it more easily.

Âť

Girl, 13 years old, Russia, 2012

but they also worry about the costs that come from both fees and loss of income. They see work as a contribution to their family and future. It may be beneficial to distinguish between child work and child labor. Whereas child work may not be harmful and possibly even be beneficial, child labor sits at the other extreme end. The International Labor Organization (ILO) states that work is generally regarded as being something positive when it does not affect children’s health and personal development or interfere with their schooling.10 Child labor refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous and harmful to children and which interferes with their schooling. The worst forms of child labor involve children being exposed to serious hazards such as in the mining industry, for example. Impoverished, vulnerable children are at risk of child labor as it may be essential for their survival. Rural and refugee children are especially vulnerable to economic exploitation. This work is often in forms that are considered to be slavery. Children are also victims of trafficking for the purpose of labor and prostitution.


Children’s Voices 67

DISCUSSION: CHILDREN ARE READY TO TAKE PART

Children are dependent on another person’s decisions and need other people to take responsibility for their welfare and futures. Childhood is not a universal state of innocence and ignorance, rather, it is conditioned by geographical, eco­ nomic, and political circumstances and social and family relations. While we need to recognize that childhood is a period of dependency, we must also regard children as social beings, capable of responsibility. In relation to children, responsibility involves being dependent, but at the same time, competent.

VOICES FROM SENEGAL 95 % Think school is important 81 % Think that their teachers are good. 53 % Can’t afford the things they need for school 38 % Lack good school materials 43 % Do not get help with homework

Acknowledging children’s expertise by giving them a voice can be empowering for children. The notions of dependency and empowerment can be used to connect children’s rights to corporate responsibility. A negative view of childhood – conceptualizing children as victims or problems – is not useful for involving children in processes of social change. Children are capable social beings with experiences and knowledge, and they are ready to take on responsibility as stakeholders. They offer an important perspective, but they are also the next generation of a powerful market force. It would be more useful to see the relationship between business and children as one of responsibility, rather than seeing such business processes and advertising as exploitative or occupying childhood. It may sound counter-intuitive to consider exploited, marginalized, and abused children as responsible beings. But while they are victims, they also need to


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be recognized as capable persons – without such recognition, meaningful participation cannot happen for them. They too, have past experiences, and they too, have visions of the future. Ignoring these experiences will not provide the support necessary for them to become engaged members of a better society. Children have the right to protection, but they have also the right to be heard. The Reach for Change stakeholder dialogues not only show that social transformation is needed, but also that children are capable and willing to partake in shaping their own futures.

FACTS FROM SIX AFRICAN COUNTRIES A large share of the surveyed children work, but not full time and not always for a company. It found that 39 % work extra or work during the summer, and 7 % work/do chores that they get paid for at home. 5 % work and don’t go to school. 62 % of the children who work do it because they or their family need money and 72 % do it to buy things they want. Another strong motivation to work is that it is fun and they learn a lot. 75 % of the children point out that they learn things at work that will benefit them in the future.

1 Daniel Tschopp. “Corporate social responsibility: A comparison between the United States and the European Union”. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 2005, 5559. Richard Welford. ”Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe, North America and Asia.” Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2005, 33-52. Peter Newell and Jedrzej George Frynas. ”Beyond CSR? Business, poverty and social justice: an introduction.” Third World Quarterly, 2007, 669-681. Lisa Whitehouse. Corporate social responsibility: Views from the frontline. Journal of Business Ethics, 2006, 279-296.

Read more in chapter “Children as stakeholders,” page 24. 3 Allison James and Alan Prout (eds). Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood. Routledge, 1997. William A Corsaro. The sociology of childhood. Thousand Oaks, 1997. 4 Kirsten, Drotner, and Sonia Livingstone, eds. International handbook of children, media and culture. Sage, 2008. 2


Children’s Voices 69

»

All my friends attend school except me. I have no parents. They are dead. I live with my uncle and he forces me to sell sachet water. Once while working, I drank caustic soda, which made me really sick and I had to undergo surgery.

»

Boy, 8 years old, Ghana, 2012

5 Henry A Giroux. Stealing innocence: Youth, corporate power, and the politics of culture. St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2001. Faulkner, Joanne. The importance of being innocent: why we worry about children. Cambridge University Press, 2011. 6 David Buckingham. After the death of childhood. John Wiley & Sons, 2000. 7 Read more about children on the Internet in our case study on Tele2, p. 70 8 Elisabeth, Barratt Hacking, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, & Robert Barratt. (2012). Children as Active Researchers: The Potential of Environmental Education Research Involving Children. In

M. Brody, J. Dillon, R. Stevenson & A. Wals (Eds.), International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education. Washington, DC: AERA/Routledge. 9 Beryl, Langer. Research note consuming anomie: Children and global commercial culture. Childhood, 2005, 259-271. 10 http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/lang-en/index.htm


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THE INTERNET IS A PLACE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN Child Protection in the Digital Age. Case Study on Tele2.


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Case Study on Tele2

Understanding and Creating a Safe Place for Children The Internet is an important place for many children. Growing up in the digital age, children have to learn to navigate this landscape with all of its threats and opportunities. As a telecom company, Tele2 is a provider of this space. Tele2 have identified Child Protection as one of three focus areas for their Corporate Responsibility, and this strategic decision has been implemented in policies and processes at a global level. On a national level, as illustrated by this study in Kazakhstan, this also means engaging with children and the community. INTERNET IS A PLACE

“It is not bad to grow up in Almaty, but there is no place to play,” says 12 years old Nikita Nugaev. In a city surrounded by mountains and with constant fear of earthquakes making it difficult to build high buildings, the lives of these children are defined by the lack of space. Older children go to school in the night, while the younger ones take the morning shift, making it possible to keep the school premises to a minimum. There are hardly any playgrounds and little space for bicycles, skateboards, and hockey games. “When the weather is good, I go for a walk or something. Every weekend I go and play hockey, which is very popular here but better developed in Astana,” says Nikita Nugaev. Even though the space for playing is very limited in Almaty, he has access to one huge arena where he meets new friends, talk, discuss, play, have fun, and get help with his homework: the Internet.


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“I chat with my friends so I will not get bored, and it is so easy to find something to do on the Internet. It is also a good way to increase your number of friends,” he explains. Nikita Nugaev is well aware that the Internet with all its possibili­ ties comes with risk. Dangerous individuals and sites with damaging content are some things that he tries to avoid. However, the Internet is mostly a positive arena, a large playground. Internet is a place. This is clearly seen in the way the interviewed children describe the Internet as the most attractive place to spend their time. Sashe Evstifeev, a 12 year-old, tells a story about being grounded – but the punish­ ment for low grades was not being forbidden to go out and play with his friends, but a month without Internet. It is clear that the Internet can be a social arena for development, socialization, play, and learning, provided by Tele2 and other companies in the Information and communications technology (ICT) Industry. The Internet can also be a very dangerous place for children, and become a tool used by those who spread and produce child sexual abuse images (CSAI).

GLOBAL COMMITMENT TO PROTECTION

Marie Baumgarts, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Tele2 AB, developed the CR strategy in her first four months on the job – where child protection is one of three focus areas for the global Tele2 operations.

“When I came to Tele2, all basic functions were in place. The Code of Conduct was in place and signed by all employees. The heavy work was already done and I could start by looking ahead,” says Marie Baumgarts. “I started with strategic stakeholder dialogues to determine the new strategy. It involved the management team and a few thematic experts. I asked questions that were open, like ’If this is where we want to be in 2020, what do we need to do to get there?’ This is coming from a sustainability perspective of course.” “I chose this type of dialogue, but it was a bit of a risk. Each person is a primary stakeholder and owns their areas. They also represented stakeholder groups and their interests. HR represented the entire co-worker perspective; they already did co-worker surveys and had all the information about the needs and


Case Study on Tele2

Julian, 3 years old

ple » I want adults, the ­peo re the be to in charge, ke when I need help. To ma can y the r, tte be the world y pat me. Be nice and pla rst wo the t Bu . with me thing would be if they say ‘you’re horrible’. «


Hanna, 14 years old

 Money isn’t everything! Please, companies, concern yourselves with your carbon emissions instead. And let children be children. Child labor is the very worst thing a company could be involved in. 


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Case Study on Tele2

wants of this group. Our communications director had market and media. Our CFO had all the financial stakeholders.” “I did the dialogues and most of the needs and wants of the different stakeholder groups correlated. I even got the structure in one of the dialogues. It was with Joachim Horn, our Chief Technology and Information Officer, who just said, ‘You need one category with the stuff that is not important, one category with the areas where we make an effort. And one category with the areas where we stand out.’ I was just like, ’thank you.’” The process led to a global CR Strategy focusing on three areas: 1. Child protection 2. Privacy and integrity 3. Environment and CO2 “Child protection was there at the top all along. Our most important stakeholder – our main owner, Kinnevik – has child protection on top of their list. They even founded their own foundation dedicated to a better world for children. That’s Reach for Change, of course. Also, several of our other investors rank child pro­ tection highly, such as Nordea, SEB, and The Church of Sweden.” As a part of Tele2’s global policy commitment to protect children, the company has decided to block and remove child sexual abuse images (CSAI) in coopera­ tion with authorities. “Children and youth are very vulnerable in digital environments. We want to contribute in the best way we can. One thing we do involves CSAI. We block and detect. We block for our customers and employees, and detect among our employees. This was already in place in Sweden and Norway when I started. And it is now in place in most our markets. We are very happy about this work and have reached our targets. Now we might set new targets, we’ll see.” Also, Tele2 has been working proactively in trying to influence the upcoming EU Data Protection Regulation, which they hope will both create a level playing field for the industry - and give better protection to customers, specifically youth and children.


Agnes, 12 years old

can » I believe companies r contribute to a ­bette world by supporting lp ­organizations that he an people. Or be such es. elv s ­ em th ion at niz orga od go It’s a part of making t choices, caring abou d people’s feelings, an t ou not only thinking ab ­making money. «


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Case Study on Tele2

Tele2 has identified the boundaries of their responsibility, regarding child pro­ tection and freedom of expression. “We don’t go into bullying on the Internet for example – this is more about content. And so that’s more on content providers’ responsibilities. Like Facebook, for example. To us, this comes too close to freedom of expression and privacy.” The strategy has been in place since fall of 2012, and has led to the company being praised as a role model in considering children in the sustainability work. “The strategy stands strong; it has really proven itself. This is also what we wrote in our annual report. It has also grown and become more important. And it is really about teamwork. Everyone owns his or her own part. There is ownership in the Board, with the CR working group lead by Mia Brunell Livfors. Our CEO Mats Granryd owns it and is a driving force. I am more of a coordinator. The CFO has a great management system in place, and I can use that to connect with the different parts. We work, make adjustments, and then it’s there.” Tele2 was given top score when the Global Child Forum assessed 1 000 listed companies. “It is because we have integrated the issues of child protection. It is not just for show or PR. We have the governing documents, the Code of Conduct for our employees and for our business partners – the same standards. We do more than child labor; we also do child protection. We assess our risks for child­ ren, even though we have very few interactions with children. And we report on the GRI indicators, which include child labor – HR6 in the GRI G3. This is because we let our strategy guide our materiality process. Creating the strategy was a materiality process; it was about prioritizing and children were on the top of that list.”

LOCAL ENGAGEMENT IN CHILDREN

Tele2’s global strategy is accompanied by local operations’ and employees’ com­ mitment to prioritize child protection and promote children’s rights. Unlike many global companies in the digital sector, ICT companies like Tele2 have a strong local presence and local operations. Those operations have another kind of relationship to the community and are active members of their local societies.


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Mariya Chechina, Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer and CR Country Manager, has worked at Tele2 Kazakhstan for four years, where she was on the team establishing the brand in Kazakhstan.

CHILD PROTECTION AT TELE2 – POLICY STATEMENT 1 “Tele2’s Code of Conduct states that the company is particularly careful in protecting the safety of children and young adults in regards to child sexual abuse images (CSAI) content. Taking a stand against CSAI content and blocking such content are important parts of our sustainability, and we want to do what we can in order to reduce further propagation of illegal content relating to such abuse. Identified CSAI content shall, as a first measure, always be removed from the Internet. This is the duty of legal authorities, the police and Interpol. However, in some instances the removal of CSAI is not possible since the content is located outside the jurisdiction of authorities responsible for them. In these situations, blocking CSAI content may be used. Tele2 is closely cooperating with Interpol, and in some instances the national in order to prevent access to CSAI content. Interpol and local judicial authorities will identify the material containing CSAI and provide Tele2 with blocking lists.”

“It has been an interesting journey in rocket speed. Today, we have 300 local employees and are providing mobile services and Internet to a large share of the market.” The first experience of engaging children in the Tele2 Kazakhstan operations was when Reach for Change had the jury session to select social entrepreneurs,


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Case Study on Tele2

It is so easy to find something to do on the Internet and it is a good way to increase the number of friends. But there are dangerous individuals and bad sites on the Internet that I try to avoid.

»

Nikita Nugaev, 12 years old, Almaty, Kazakhstan

so called Change Leaders, in Kazakhstan. Children of employees were invited to sit on the jury panel, together with Tele2’s senior management. “Through the window of the meeting room, we could see Mats Granryd, the CEO of Tele2, the vice president, and others on the management team standing while the children were sitting. I think that all the employees understood how a company could engage with children and involve them in making decisions on matters that concern them. The kids were full of energy and they were proud that they had participated in such a big decision,” says Mariya Chechina. Engaging social entrepreneurs who fight for children was also an eye opener, bringing to light a complex view of society. “I did not know that we had so many social gaps in our society. I knew a few of them, but when the candidates started to describe their initiatives and the issues that they addressed, it opened my eyes widely.” The initiative was a positive experience, and it showed that the commitment to children is broad within the local operations.


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“Everyone knew about Reach for Change and they were interested in the contest when the Change Leaders were chosen. Everyone had his or her favorite. On my team, I had a few people reading applications, and all of them were keeping their fingers crossed for a particular finalist. It was also very clear that the contest result was not set up in advance. It was a transparent, honest process. After­ wards, everyone saw the press conference and the community’s interest of it was high.” Working with Reach for Change has been beneficial, thanks to the close collabo­ ration and the shared values. “Tele2 is currently targeted onto achievement of the challenging business tasks, therefore support from Reach for Change on such a huge project is vital. If talking about local NGOs, majority of them are just seeking for one-time financial aid without going too deep for further support to those who are in need of that. Tele2 is also donating to Reach for Change, but both of us have the same goal – providing of a long-term support and elaboration of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Change Leaders. At the same time we are absolutely sure that Reach for Change will represent interests of Tele2.” “Reach for Change has engaged with all the stakeholders from NGOs to govern­ ments, and has improved our relations to them. The perception of Tele2 has significantly improved thanks to the activities started by Reach for Change and also personally by the Reach for Change Country Manager of Kazakhstan.” Children of the employees are another stakeholder group that Tele2 Kazakhstan engages. “It is important that the company offers activities for the children of employees. We have a children’s day where children make pictures and play games. We also have a New Year’s event where children come and dress up in costumes. It is important to create a relationship with the younger generation. We want to in­ vite them into the Tele2 family.” Lastly, the commitment to children and to supporting the Change Leaders has been inspirational on a personal level for Mariya Chechina.


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Case Study on Tele2

Internet makes any kind of work easy because you can find everything. I talk to my parents about how to find information for school sometimes, and they put time limits on how much I can use the Internet for play. Other than that they are not really involved in how I use it.

»

Sashe Evstifeev, 12 years old, Almaty, Kazakhstan

“I admire the Change Leaders and they inspire me to be more courageous in my everyday life. They are a proof that you actually can fly if you try.”

DISCUSSION: TAKING A CHILD RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE

Children’s right to express their opinions and access relevant information is pro­ tected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children also have the right to play, learn, and develop as social beings. The interviews revealed that children see the Internet as an arena on which they enjoy those rights. However, this does not mean that the Internet is a safe place for children in all cases. Harmful content exist, and children could be exposed to such using the Internet.


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Children are often described as particularly vulnerable in digital environments, and the discourse on children’s need of protection has a strong presence in research and in debates addressing these issues. Taking a children’s rights perspective means to focus on the rights of children rather than on the needs of children. This involves recognizing that children have rights within themselves at this moment in time rather than discussing what they need in their development to become “good” adult citizens. Taking a child rights perspective on the use of the Internet implies that the dangers and threats on the Internet should be recognized as a violation of a fundamental right as well as potentially harmful for individual children. Protecting the right to a safe environment on the Internet is a larger commitment for a company than just supporting the protection of vulnerable children, since a company doing so is obligated to do more than just trust in the abilities of parents and other caregivers to keep children away from harmful content. Tele2 has made a huge commitment in creating a safer environment on the Internet by implementing a global policy of child protection – blocking and removing CSAI in cooperation with authorities. This makes the Internet a safer place for children, and it is a powerful way to ensure that children are able to enjoy the right to express their opinions and find accurate information. Tele2’s local operations in Kazakhstan has committed to protect children’s rights on a local level by engaging in Reach for Change. The engagement extends far beyond the limits of economic support; Tele2 also share experiences and support the organization with advice and infrastructure. Tele2 work closely together with Reach for Change and learn about social issues from social entrepreneurs and deepens the company’s understanding of opportunities to contribute. The local operations’ physical location also make them a natural member of the community. As a large employer, they affect a number of families and has a unique opportunity to support and protect children’s rights on a local level. By inviting children to the office and involving them in relevant decisionmaking processes, Tele2 promotes children’s right to participate and be involved


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Case Study on Tele2

in the community. The local operations also arrange a variety of opportunities for employees to engage in activities promoting children’s rights. By choosing social initiatives that support a highly transparent process, e.g. participating in the selection process, Tele2 safeguards the trust and commitment from employees. The process also allows employees to learn more about children’s rights and empower the children participating in the work.

1 www.tele2.com/Our-Responsibility/ social/blocking-of-child-sexualabuse-images/ Accessed 2014-03-24


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HIGH JOURNALISTIC S D R A D N A ST T C E P S E R TO CHILDREN’S RIGHTS CSR and Children’s Rights in a Media Company. Case study on Metro.


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Case Study on Metro

Reaching Millions with a Message of Children’s Rights Metro has a large reach: Every week, 37 million people in 24 countries read news and ads in Metro. The business idea is based on a unique channel of distribution – the public transportation networks. Metro is free to the readers and is financed by the ads. The aim of this case study is to explore how a business can relate to children as stakeholders and articulate their responsibilities toward children’s rights. Each company in each specific setting has a different relationship to children and operates from a unique motivational perspective and context. Therefore, although the issue can be discussed in general terms, it is inherently impossible to make general conclusions about the relationship. By applying some theo­ retical perspectives of CSR and the fundamentals of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) – “respect” and “support” – to the topics surrounding our case study on Metro, we surface insights on how a company can relate to children’s rights. CSR THEORY There is no agreed-upon definition for what responsibilities businesses have in addition to their financial responsibility, but Paul C. Godfrey and Nile W. Hatch identified five categories of CSR-theories that could be used to analyze the different approaches to children’s rights.1 Shareholder Capitalism On one end of the spectrum is shareholder capitalism, in which businesses have no responsibilities other than profit-maximization. This theory relies on the


Isa, 17 years old

Âť By focusing equa lly on the origin of produc ts as well as their destina tion, companies can have great impact towards a be tter world. Such as impa ct on human rights an d on the environment. Co mpanies should care about the people producing the materials and the sm allest details of the end pr oduct. People often work under poor conditions. ÂŤ


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Case Study on Metro

government regulating negative externalities of corporations, which is often inadequate in regards to children’s rights. Further, it does not allow for he con­ sideration of multinational companies operating in emerging markets where human rights protection is limited and legislation not enforced. Cause-Related Marketing The next group is cause-related marketing3 which argues that a company can support a specific cause, often financially, if it encourages customers to engage in revenue-producing transaction with the firm.4 This is a marketing tool for the corporation and could bring more positive effect for the corporation than for the cause. Cause-related marketing runs the risk of replacing private donations with corporate donations through consumer behaviors.5 If the amount given to the cause is less than the amount perceived by the consumer – or less than they would have given otherwise – the cause loses resources from the activity. Children are often the beneficiaries of donations since they are in many ways an easily marketable cause. Strategic Philanthropy Strategic philanthropy means engaging in social activities if they reinforce other strategic objectives. This can come from building loyalty, trust, or brand equity.6 Children typically are a non-controversial recipient group since they are per­ ceived as innocent and people typically feel positively about donating to them.

»

I feel that if a company makes a difference, it always the customer who has to act first, like buy something or put a coin in a jar… Boy, 12 years old, Sweden, 2012

»


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Strategic philanthropy allows the company to work within an area they are closely connected to, and if the program is done well, it increases the positive impact the company gains in its field – much more so than unrelated phil­ anthropic giving – even though it is motivated by a strategic benefit for the company and not by responsibility. Godfrey and Hatch7 criticize this approach by saying that there might be pressing social needs that do not lie within the firm’s strategic objective. Stakeholder Management The fourth group, stakeholder management, develops the notion that a firm has responsibilities to all its stakeholders and not simply its shareholders. Managers are required to balance the demands of all stakeholders, which may compromise profitability. The firm’s obligations are limited to its specific areas of expertise and/or direct influence.8 The scope of the firm’s responsibilities is broad, similar to strategic philanthropy; the difference is that motivation is articulated as responsibilities to stakeholders rather than strategic objectives. The implications for children’s rights depend on the process of identification and management of stakeholders. Business Citizenship The final group, at the other end of the spectrum, is business citizenship. The firm is recognized as a citizen in a larger community and have an obligation to contribute to the broader social welfare, e.g. through policies, technology, philanthropy.9 It places a great responsibility on firms to contribute broadly to society without providing restrictions on or a structure for this involvement. The implication is that private firms become increasingly involved in social issues without having a mandate from or accountability to those affected.


Case Study on Metro

Sofonias, , 11 years

old

Âť Companies should ensure that people are happy and satisfied. Children should be allowed to make vis its to all businesses in the city. The worst thing a company can do is to fire my parents from work so we do not ge t any money. ÂŤ


Theodor, 3 years old

» A company is abou t ­ riting and building w . About cars! It is abou t ­water that can chan ge the color of cars. An d ­companies have to be nice. I have to play nice with our baby. Mom s and dads and aunties ha ve to be nice to children. They can’t fight and shoo t ­animals and stuff. Th at would make me angr y.«


91

Case Study on Metro

MEETING METRO

We conducted four interviews in this study. We interviewed the Vice President, Global Director of Commercial, Marketing and Logistics; the Managing Director of Metro Sweden; the Chief Editor of Metro Sweden; and a 17 year old reader.

“TO ME THIS GOES STRAIGHT TO THE QUESTION: WHAT CAN WE DO?”

Jeremy Bryant is Vice President, Global Director of Commercial, Marketing and Logistics at Metro International. Jeremy has been with Metro since 2002, and has been involved in the launch of a number of Metro national editions all over the world. In the past five years, he has been responsible for executing and implementing new printing and distribution channels throughout the Group, as well as collaborating on and executing marketing strategies.

Why should companies take responsibility for children’s rights? Children’s rights might be the most important cause to support. Not only do kids represent the future of our society, but also when we support the less fortunate regardless of nationality or region, it helps build a better tomorrow. There are two possible approaches for corporations to answer this question: one is passively agreeing to the cause and the other is to take actions. I mean, if you bring up children’s rights to any company, they will express their support since the cause is so obvious. For Metro, we have been very proud to be able to contribute our strength in communication and visibility around the world to support those on the field trying to make a difference. What actions has Metro been taking? Metro reaches young, active urban citizens who are usually very keen on being part of causes but sadly does not know how. We decided last year to create one of our most powerful global marketing project to provide all our readers not only an opportunity to learn more about Reach For Change, but also a way to contribute in making a difference. The answer was the Metro Photo Challenge, a competition where people all over the world can share their photos on a web plat­ form. Metro partnered up with the non-profit organization, Reach for Change, to award two Global Grand Prize winners with an expedition to Ghana. A grand prize was added to bring more attention to Reach for Change’s entrepreneurial initiatives on improving the lives of children in Ghana. This merging of CSR into the competition created great engagement and reached over one billion people


Amon, 9 years old

a » The world would be s nie pa better place if ­com l started paying equa omen ­wages to women. W y pa don’t get as much rst as men. And the wo color is when children of the Or are badly treated. d. te llu ­environment is po ke ta Be responsible and care of nature. «


93

Case Study on Metro

in over 200 countries. Through the success, it was comforting to know that our readers enjoyed making a difference while supporting children’s rights. Every company wants to create their own CSR project, and at Metro, we are lucky to have Reach for Change within the Kinnevik group. This makes it possible for us to closely work with and support a cause that has many of our values. How does Metro affect children? Because it is a free daily newspaper, we help activate a reading culture, which is in some ways linked to education. What about the ads, how do they effect children? We create a place where brands can communicate with our readers. At Metro, we do not create ads or their products. However, our responsibility is massive since we reach a daily audience of over 18 million readers, and advertising the wrong service or product could create harmful consequences. We have a strict internal code for deciding what can be advertised, and for ensuring that we remain neutral politically and religiously and not be offensive. Some countries already have regulations against advertising towards children, which we respect carefully. Does Metro engage with children? Our latest worldwide effort targeted a younger audience – our future readers – by working with Justin Bieber, the Canadian pop phenomenon, who has topped every music chart recently. Metro ran an exclusive interview with Bieber and held a special contest. One lucky winner had the opportunity to win VIP tickets and meet Justin Bieber himself. The contest ran through our Facebook channels where participants could upload a photo of where they wanted to take Justin on a date. Participation shot up very rapidly and resulted in over 520 000 unique visitors, 6 634 participants, and 225 000 votes in less than 2 weeks. It was a different world, and to be honest, we were surprised in terms of engage­ ment. How we had to deal differently with this younger crowd was to carefully monitor the security of the participants’ identity and putting a strict admin on the comments and forums. For instance, many youngsters publicly left their phone numbers, mail addresses, etc. which we had to protect. It is obvious that when you create projects for children, you need to adapt your terms and condi­ tions, and ensure extra protection for the good of the project.


94

What did you learn about teenagers? I find it fascinating that teenagers nowadays would be very similar even though they live in a different country or continent, thanks to rapid communications channels and an ease for accessing information. A teenager from New York is not that different from a teenager living in Hong Kong or Paris. They share the same passion for music and sports, and are well informed on what is happening around the world. It definitely reminds me that we live in a very small world.

“CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN TO BE SKEPTICAL”

With 600 000 newspapers delivering 1.2 milllion readers every day and various online operations, Metro is the largest newspaper in Sweden. Andreas Ohlson has been the Managing Director of Metro Sweden since 2007.

“Daily news is incredibly fun to work with. Every morning when I come in, the sales people are busy filling up our products with advertisment, ringing bells when they succeed. It’s a bit like the floor of a stock market. At the same time, the editorial staff pours in to capture the latest news. It’s a very vibrant workplace where every day includes new business deals and exciting news,” says Andreas. Should companies take responsibility for children’s rights? Every company needs to reflect on how social responsibility can support their business from a strategic point of view. It can be anything from the environment to children or animals. I believe that every company has to find its own identity within the charity world depending on their brand, customers, and audience. Social responsibility is a natural part of modern business today. Does Metro affect children? I’m confident that we affect children more than we know. I know that our reach gives our content impact both among kids and their parents. I also know that Metro is widely used in schools as an educational tool. Teachers strive to create interest in news, and our “news in breif” approach is perfect for that purpose. What challenges do Metro face, regarding its impact on children? Like every printed newspaper, Metro faces challenges related to digitalization but we are opportunistic and embrace these challenges by building new business. What scares me when it comes to children and youth facing the new online jour­


95

Case Study on Metro

nalism is that it’s difficult for the untrained eye to judge what is written with journalistic integrity or not. In the digital world, the rules surrounding publish­ ing are far from the same as for printed news media. Children need to be trained to be very skeptical to everything that is published online. What ethical considerations do you make regarding the ads? We follow the legislation but are very careful not to do anything more. A publicist should never be a censor. But there are always cases when we have to take action. If an advertiser send us ads with criminal or discriminating messages we will chose to not publish them.

“IT WOULD BE VERY GOOD IF MORE CHILDREN READ THE NEWS”

Mona Johansson is chief editor of Metro Sweden. She leads the work of the editorial staff and is responsible for the news captured in Metro every day. She has a great interest in social issues and is passionate about journalism the Metro way: important news written for the readers, not the peers.

“Metro affects children indirectly. When children are affected by crime or injustice, it always has news value. This way, we affect the debate but our mission is not to advocate, rather to inform. However, this can create commitment and make people engage with children. We also do specific cooperations with NGOs. For example, we worked with SOS Children’s Villages and wrote a series of articles about infants in a hospital in Kosovo that deeply touched our readers. Our articles resulted in increased funds raised, and it was important to us that we could contribute,” says Mona. Do you consider children as potential readers? There are children reading Metro, and we need to consider that our readers rep­ resent a wide spectrum of people with different experiences. We want to write for the readers and not for our peers. We should always make the text easy to understand for everyone, including young people. Metro gives people an easy access to information because we are free, and also we write in a way that makes it possible for people who don’t normally read papers to get relevant news and information.


96

What is important to think of when children appear in the news? When it’s relevant, we interview children. We always make sure that the parents give consent. That is important since it would be difficult to fully understand how others perceive you from a statement in the paper. We also need to treat children with the same respect that we treat everyone else. In the media, it often happens that children are presented without names and they just represent children. The same thing could happen to immigrants and other marginalized groups. To avoid that, we always strive to treat everyone the same. I’m sure that we make mistakes but being aware of the risk is the first step on the way to avoiding it. How does your core product affect children? Journalism is needed in the society to provide the full picture. We make it possible to understand the world, and I think it would be very good if more children read the news. The purpose of journalism is to sort amongst all the information and make it understandable. While searching for information on the Internet is a good way to go into details, the printed news provide a much better overview.

“THERE HAS TO BE ADVERTISING, BUT WITH STRONGER RESTRICTIONS”

Hilda Sjöwall Wying is a 16 year-old who loves linguistics and studies Swedish, English, French, and Latin. She is also engaged in a youth organization of a Swedish political party. The rest of her time is spent doing homework and meeting with friends. There are different kinds of media, such as journalism, advertising, and social media. Is it hard to tell them apart? No, I don’t think so. Like you said, there are different categories, and it is quite easy to tell them apart. But the different categories affect people in different ways. Advertising is probably what creates ideals; it aims to create a dream of who you can be or look like. Social media and journalism rarely want to push people in one direction or another.

What are the ideals you see in the media? The first thing that comes to mind is the very sharp image of the female body, and what it’s supposed to look like. You should be skinny, tall, and preferably


97

Case Study on Metro

white. Personally, I have not been affected in a destructive way. I think that you can fulfill the ideals as much as you want, just as long as you don’t do it to satisfy someone else. There is another aspect of media: when media helps mobilizing ­people for a greater cause. What’s your comment on that? Yes, that’s great! Media creates an open debate. Where else would we get it? If people can unite in a common cause and create positive change in society, that’s great. But it depends on the cause. If we were to have a hundred percent freedom of speech, it could be like neo-Nazi organizations calling to action, and to me that is morally wrong. How big is the potential to affect society through media? It can be huge. For example, when the host of Melodifestivalen (European Song Contest in Sweden), Nour El-Refai, showed her hairy armpits, she was criticized for it and #hairriot was created. It was a protest saying there is nothing wrong with girls that leave their hair under their arms. It became a huge thing on social media. It happened just over one night! I mean, it’s the whole point with social media, that it happens super quick. In that sense, social media is a thousand times more effective than regular newspapers. What would you like to see less of and more of in the media? Less advertising, especially less of those ads creating ideals. However, I do feel that if we skip all advertising, almost all consumption goes away too, and that’s what makes our society work. So of course there has to be advertising, but with stronger restrictions for what’s okay and what’s not. “Moreover, I would like there to be some kind of chat forum at Dagens Nyheter’s webpage. For example, after the editorial, there could be a chance for readers to discuss. It would be good with forums connected to the serious journalism. I think we need it,” says Hilda.

DISCUSSION: A PAPER’S RELATIONSHIP TO CHILDREN

The foundation of CRBP is the obligation to respect and the commitment to support. In this analysis, we explore how Metro respects and supports children’s rights in their relationship with children.


98

Obligation to Respect Metro defines their largest impact on society and on children’s rights as tied to the content in the papers. Metro has since long gone beyond the shareholder, and balance the demands of several stakeholders, of which the reader is number one. They also acknowledge the impact they have on the environment, and work to mitigate the negative effects of distributing a large amount of papers. The obligation to respect children’s rights is closely connected to Metro’s obligation to keep high journalistic standards and maintain a strict code of conduct regard­ ing ads. Distributing daily news and ads in 24 markets, Metro keeps an eye on national legislation that varies greatly, not the least when it comes to targeting children. Metro is also part of the media community and is obligated to act in line with sector standards and norms. The child, Hilda Sjöwall Wying, expresses the importance of strict regulation of commercial messages. She considers advertising deeply problematic because it creates ideals and unrealistic standards, especially for women’s appearances. This, she argued, could be corrected through stricter laws and regulation. This implies that she places the responsibility for a company’s conduct and its impact outside the business itself, suggesting that corporate responsibility has limited influence on acting in compliance with laws and creating profit. In line with the theory of shareholder capitalism, she relies on government regulations to miti­ gate negative impact of corporate activities. In the interview, she describes her life in Sweden, where a high confidence in laws can be motivated by an extensive regulation protecting children and controlling marketing. This argument can­ not be used in emerging markets where human rights protection is limited and legislation not enforced. In some cases, children in emerging markets are more likely to address government and corporate responsibility separately.10 The child admits that Metro has an important function, and expresses that she is not in favor of a completely ad-free world because it would be the same as saying no to the capitalist system – something she does not want to do. This argument is best understood from the framework of business citizenship since it recognizes the firm as a citizen in a larger community with an obligation to contribute to a broader social welfare.11 However, the main discourse relating to this theory is the acknowledgement of journalism as a keystone of democracy.


99

Case Study on Metro

Journalists – acting as protectors of human rights – and free media – acting as the most important source of information – are building blocks for creating newspapers that are very active and supportive. The media has obligations to democracy, and journalists are supposed to criticize power abuse, inequalities, and violations of vulnerable groups. Commitment to Support In addition to respecting human rights, Metro takes a number of voluntary actions that seek to promote children’s rights. Even though Metro is a relatively small company, they have a unique opportunity to be a powerful advocate and supporter of children’s rights through the core product: the newspaper. Metro’s voluntary efforts to support children’s rights revolve around communi­ cation, but they are not classified as traditional cause-related marketing since Metro does not use it to motivate a higher price in a business-to-customer relationships, since the papper is free to consumers. The campaigns are sooner used to create non-monetary value in building a closer relationship between the readers and the brand. Metro made a commitment to support children’s rights through the Kinnevik group’s initiative, Reach for Change. The support is mainly non-financial. Metro has been giving in-kind support to the organization in the form of free ads and large discounts on advertorials. An important effort was the competition, Metro Photo Challenge. It focused on the entrepreneurial initiatives to improve the lives of children in Ghana for Reach for Change. Metro uses their core operations, marketing channels, and product to advocate for action, aiming to create a ripple effect that enables as many people and companies as possible to take action and support children’s rights. Metro demonstrates this through their global collaboration with Reach for Change and Metro Photo Challenge, and through Metro Sweden’s collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages. These campaigns connect their core product with a social cause, but it is not regular cause-related marketing – it engages the readers, its consumers, and not the paying customers, the businesses buying advertising space. The campaign


100

does not aim to raise funds; awareness of a problem – and its solution. The specific design of this effort avoids some of the most common risks associated with cause-related marketing, such as spending more money on marketing the initiative than the amount donated to the cause, creating a negative effect on private donations, etc. Opportunity to inspire Metro is a small company and does not have a staff dedicated to CSR. Being part of the Kinnevik group, they have access to Reach for Change and could engage in social actions that are clearly connected to their brand and identity. The main opportunity for Metro is using their core product to support children’s rights. Metro can advocate for children’s rights and put problems facing children on their agenda. They also have an opportunity to inspire their readers and shine a light on innovative solutions and social initiatives in different local contexts.

1 Paul C Godfrey and Nile W. Hatch. Researching corporate social responsibility: An agenda for the 21st century, Journal of Business Ethics, 2007, 87-98. 2 Milton Friedman. Capitalism and freedom, University of Chicago Press, 1962. Milton Friedman, The social responsibility of business is to increase profit, New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970, 32-33, 122-124. Paul C Godfrey and Nile W. Hatch. Researching corporate social responsibility: An agenda for the 21st century, Journal of Business Ethics, 2007, 87-98 3 Paul C Godfrey and Nile W. Hatch.

Researching corporate social responsibility: An agenda for the 21st century, Journal of Business Ethics, 2007, 87-98 4 Rajan P Varadarajan and Anil Menon. Cause-related marketing: A coalignment of marketing strategy and corporate philanthropy. Journal of Marketing 1988, 58-74. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 Paul C Godfrey and Nile W. Hatch. Researching corporate social responsibility: An agenda for the 21st century, Journal of Business Ethics, 2007, 87-98. 10 Read more on this in our chapter ”Children’s Voices” on page 56.


Case Study on Metro

Vilgot, 4 years old

 I like my mom’s work. I think it is fun. At her work, she gets to put clothes on hangers. I think the best thing a company can do is give work to adults. More work. The hard thing is when you have to give them money. 


Iris, 4 years

old

» I think co mpanies should pro duce more letters: A’s and B’s and C’s. ­Letters tha t I can reco gnize. Anoth er thing the y can produc e is a child size armch air. Because I don’t have one ­company sh . I think a ould build a bridge. I ca n walk ove r the bridge, and on the othe r side there’s a horse. An d under the b ridge there should be w ooden boa ts so I can sail away. «


Recourses The Children’s Rights and Business Principles childrenandbusiness.org The Global Compact unglobalcompact.org/issues/human_rights/childrens_principles.html Unicef CSR unicef.org/csr Save the Children resourcecentre.savethechildren.se/childrens-rights-and-business-principles Business and Human Rights Resource Center business-humanrights.org/ChildrenPortal/Home Guardian Sustainable Business theguardian.com/sustainable-business/child-rights-business Global Child Forum globalchildforum.org/resources Reach for Change reachforchange.org/impact


CHANGING THE WORLD BY MAKING CHILDREN OUR BUSINESS Learn more and be movement at reach a part of the forchange.org


THIS I S MY BUSIN ESS Four P ersp Rights ectives on th and B usines e Children ’s s Prin ciples

ct ect and indirect impa Companies have dir e ir rights. Therefor on children and the m ibility to respect the ns po they have a res ’s ren ild ch ort pp to su and an opportunity siness” gives four Bu My is his “T . hts rig d Children’s Rights an ­perspectives on the t firs the th wi along Business Principles, tion by Reach for nta me ple im of steps vik group. ne Kin Change and the s” is published as a “This is My Busines s Rights and Busines part of “Children’s ach Re d an f ice e” – a Un ­Principles in Practic by d funde for Change project, . iet ter lot od stk Po

This is My Business  

This is My Business – Four Perspectives on the Children's Rights and Business Principles. Published by Lumen Behavior, for Reach for Change,...

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