As we conclude the first season of our podcast series, we would like to highlight an impactful initiative that The Centre for Child Rights and Business (The Centre) has been working on in Sri Lanka. In collaboration with strategic partners such as Save the Children (Sri Lanka and Hong Kong) and key stakeholders from the tea industry, we have introduced the Mother and Child-Friendly Seal for Responsible Business. This certification programme assesses the impact of businesses on the lives of their employees and supply chain, particularly in relation to children and their families. In this article, we will recap the SEAL Initiative's objectives and emphasise its significance in promoting and fulfilling children's rights.
Promoting Children's Rights:
While the primary responsibility for promoting, protecting, and ensuring children's rights lies with the government, other stakeholders such as parents, civil society, and businesses also have a role to play. The SEAL Initiative serves as a pathway for businesses to ensure that their operations do not hinder the enjoyment of children's rights throughout their supply chains. By adhering to child rights and business principles and implementing human rights due diligence, businesses can actively contribute to the well-being of children and their families.
Objectives of the SEAL Initiative:
The SEAL Initiative has four primary objectives, each crucial in advancing the cause of children's rights:
Creating a Family-Friendly Supply Chain: The Initiative aims to strengthen businesses' commitment to establishing a supply chain that supports the human rights of children and their families. By encouraging family-friendly practices, businesses can contribute to a nurturing and inclusive work environment.
Promoting Meaningful Investments: Businesses are encouraged to make sustainable investments that positively impact the lives of children and their families. The SEAL Initiative provides a framework for businesses to assess and improve the outcomes of their investments in areas such as education, health, and protection.
Facilitating Collaboration: The Initiative seeks to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors, fostering collaboration to enhance service delivery in crucial areas. By partnering with government entities and civil society organisations, businesses can create a more comprehensive and effective support system for children and their families.
Creating Market Differentiation: Through the Seal Initiative, the Sri Lankan tea industry can demonstrate its commitment to being a family-friendly industry. This commitment can serve as a market differentiator, showcasing the industry's efforts to prioritise the rights and well-being of children throughout its supply chain.
While the current focus of the Seal Initiative is on the tea industry in Sri Lanka, the long-term vision is to expand its reach to other sectors within the country. By incorporating child rights principles and encouraging responsible business practices, the initiative aims to inspire positive change across various industries.
Engage and Participate:
To learn more about the SEAL Initiative, interested parties can visit the "Mother and Child- Friendly Seal for Responsible Business" website. This platform provides comprehensive information about the initiative, including how companies can enroll and engage in the programme. The website also features the "Child Rights in Business Tea Network," a forum where stakeholders from the industry, development agencies, civil society organisations, and government entities can collaborate, exchange ideas, and explore partnerships.
Additionally, we are excited to announce the launch of the Child Rights and Business Tea Challenge in conjunction with International Tea Day (May 20). Companies within the tea industry are invited to participate by proposing pilot initiatives that address priority issues concerning children in their estates and factory spaces. This challenge encourages collaboration among stakeholders and aims to create innovative solutions that positively impact the lives of children.
Throughout the season one of this podcast series, we have discussed important issues within the tea sector, and we hope you found our episodes useful and interesting, enabling you to engage with and support various stakeholders. Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for an exciting season two filled with more enlightening content.
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