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Children should be key consideration in ESG assessments: UNICEF Vietnam expert

Children should be key consideration in ESG assessments: UNICEF Vietnam expert

Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 16:58 GMT+7
Children should be key consideration in ESG assessments: UNICEF Vietnam expert
Panelists at a child rights and business forum co-held by UNICEF and VCCI in Hanoi on May 30, 2023. Photo: UNICEF

Business practices are not sustainable if they do not take account of their impact on children, said a UNICEF Vietnam representative at a child rights and business forum held on Tuesday in Hanoi.

The forum, co-held by UNICEF Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), underlined the need for responsible business practices that respect child rights and prevent adverse human rights impacts.

Speaking at the event, Rana Flowers, representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, said that children, whom she described as the present and the future, should be a key consideration in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) assessments.

Businesses should assess impacts and risks objectively, and identify key practices that can minimize those risks and create a positive impact on children. 

In doing so, businesses will be able to enhance their competitiveness and sustainability and win the support of stakeholders, especially investors, who are socially conscious and looking at ESG risks and how businesses are managing them, the UNICEF representative said.

Vietnam is increasingly involved in the global supply chain and more rigorously integrated into the global economy. 

The Southeast Asian nation has signed over 15 trade agreements and has reaffirmed its commitment to respecting international fundamental principles and rights in the workplace.

Also, Vietnam is in the process of developing a national action plan to improve laws and policies to advance responsible business practices for the 2023-27 period.

The draft plan adopts the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, ensuring that all business practices are underpinned by clear human rights commitments. 

At the forum, participants discussed and agreed that greater attention and distinctive measures should be included in the plan to ensure the prevention and mitigation of adverse impacts and accelerating outcomes for children in health, nutrition, education, protection, and participation.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, vice-chairman at VCCI said, "Prioritizing the practice of ESG not only helps domestic businesses meet international standards, but also equips them with the ability to enter the global market. This, in turn, promotes responsible business operations and creates a more sustainable future for everyone.”

The forum, entitled 'Responsible Businesses for Vietnam’s Thriving Next Generation,' gathered representatives from over 100 businesses, government, social organizations, and academia.

The event provided a platform for participants to exchange their knowledge, experience, and best practices on integrating child rights into business operations and supply chains; adopt policies, assessments and practices that uphold child rights; and identify challenges and opportunities for businesses to implement child rights practices. 

The participants also talked with children and the youth to listen to and understand their needs.

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Hong Ngan / Tuoi Tre News


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