Children in Humanitarian Crises: What Business Can Do

This report highlights the urgency and need to reach children in humanitarian crises and outlines the positive and negative impacts of business on children. It also aims to inspire action and stimulate learning by providing examples of how business can support and advance children’s rights and well-being.

Every day, all around the world, millions of children are facing violent conflicts, epidemics and chronic hardship. Nearly 250 million children live in countries affected by violent, often protracted conflicts, and millions of children and families have been forced from their homes to flee violence, persecution, and hardship, risking their lives in search of a better future. In 2016 alone, 43 million children living in 63 countries require assistance to be protected from malnutrition, disease, violence, abuse and exploitation. These children are the future generation that holds the key to helping build stable, peaceful societies, but too often they are the most vulnerable, their rights violated.

While the scale of the issues affecting children trapped in humanitarian crises is enormous, so too are the opportunities for the global community to come together. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a new beacon of hope by placing children at the centre of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda presents unprecedented opportunities for companies to go beyond doing no harm to aligning their strategies with the Global Goals to serve the needs of all in society, especially the most vulnerable.

In this evolving global context, a new face of business is also taking shape, in which profit sharing is being redefined and social purpose is increasingly embedded, not only through philanthropy but also harnessing the core business of companies. Through a shared-value approach, the private sector can play a catalytic role in creating a positive cycle of prosperity that takes into account the needs of some of the most critical future stakeholders.