This blog post follows an earlier blogpost on the UNICEF/CYFI discussion paper “Beyond the Promotional Piggybank” by the same author.
On May 9th 2013 at the CYFI Summit, a panel discussion titled “Children’s Rights and Business” was Chaired by Ms. Eija Hietavuo (UNICEF CSR). Panelists in the session were Prof. Jaap Doek (former Chair of UNCRC and em. Professor at Vrije Universiteit), Deniz Özturk (UN Global Compact), and Jennifer Rademaker (MasterCard), and Mr. Hidde van der Veer (Aflatoun).
In the discussion, cross-sector partnership came forward as a key way to move the common agenda and practice on respecting and supporting children’s rights in retail financial services. It is important that NGOs and public entities focus not just on savings, but also on e.g. electronic payments, social media, and mobile money, as these form the natural intersection of business interest and children’s and youth’s active and transformative involvement.
Furthermore, brand strengthening, improved risk management, and client and employee retaining and motivation were seen as stronger incentives for financial institutions to embrace children’s rights than a return on investment of child and youth accounts.