The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) offers a comprehensive grounding that outlines the rights and entitlements of every child, covering their right to survival, protection, development, and participation. In an ideal scenario, these principles would guide each country’s sectors and systems. However, children’s rights continue to be violated, affecting millions of children worldwide.
- Approximately 290 million children worldwide do not have their births registered, leaving them without legal identity or proof of existence. This creates significant barriers for them to claim their rights throughout their lives – challenges that mean they struggle to access education, health services, and future employment opportunities.
- It is estimated that one billion children have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year.
The immediate and long-term consequences and costs stemming from violations of children’s rights undermines investments in education, health, and overall child well-being. Child rights violations have significant direct economic costs that affect not only children themselves, but also society as a whole. Recent data indicate that the economic cost of violence against children is estimated to be as high as 8% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5% of GDP for countries, nationally.
While there have been significant innovations in using finance to create social and environmental change in the last few decades, efforts focusing on protecting and promoting child rights are still in early days and many obstacles remain. Children are often overlooked in corporate policies, due diligence and reporting.
However, for investors who want to be part of the solution, there are a number of actions that can be taken. This report represents a start to the conversation – an expansion of ideas of what might be possible for using finance to protect and promote child rights. We invite you to use these as a starting point and expand what is seen as possible.