How to respect and support children’s rights in your business

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Ensuring children’s rights are met in Australian businesses…

Last updated: 2 September 2016girl teaching social media

As a business owner, it’s important to make sure that you respect and support children’s rights while running your business.

You might deal with children in your business as:

  • customers
  • employees
  • your target market or
  • as part of your supply chain.

What are children’s rights?

Children have human rights in the same way adults do, but they are also entitled to special protection because of their greater vulnerability.

Children’s rights are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)—an international human rights treaty.

There are four general principles which underpin all of the rights in the Convention. These are:

  • the best interests of the child
  • the right of the child to life, survival and development
  • the right of the child to be heard and to express their views on matters that affect them
  • the right of the child to be treated fairly, without discrimination.

Children’s rights as a consumer

Children have the same rights as adult consumers, including legal protections under consumer, privacy and anti-discrimination laws.

Here are some ways your business can help protect and promote the rights of children as consumers:

  • Help children understand their rights as a consumer, for example, provide simple instructions about how to access warranties or give them information on where they can find help if they have an issue with your product.
  • Make the terms and conditions for your products or services clear and easy for a child and young person to understand. 
  • Ensure you have parental consent where required and make sure it can’t be bypassed.

Employing children in your business

Do you employ children in your business? There are a laws in Australia to protect the rights of children who are employed, including the right to attend school and the right to not participate in dangerous work.

The employment age of a child depends on a number of factors, including the:

  • state or territory you’re in
  • type of work they’re employed for
  • hours you’re asking them to work. Check out What age can I start work from the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

It’s also important to understand that:

  • you may need to re-evaluate Work Health & Safety requirements for children based on their size and age
  • children may have different pay rates to adult workers.

Find out more…

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