Improving Children’s rights through private sector innovation in Mali

The validation workshop of the study “The Impact of the Private Sector promoting Children’s Rights in Mali – Mapping and analysis of the private sector developing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the Promotion of Children’s Rights ” was held on the 20th and 21st of September at the Hotel L’Amitié Laico in Bamako, Mali.

The study, first of its kind worldwide, has been conducted by CAD in partnership with “The Partnering Initiative” of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC) of Mali. The objective was to analyze CSR practices in Mali and determine the potential of the private sector to improve living conditions of Malian children.

The workshop was held to present and validate the main results of the study, which is based on interviews with more than 80 national companies and other national and international organizations about the link between private sector activities and childhood. The event was designed especially to hold a debate on recommendations made in an attempt to implement a roadmap and an action plan to achieve greater involvement of the private sector and its stakeholders for the children in Mali. During these two days, nearly 80 participants from the public sector, private sector, international organizations and civil society organizations were asked to make comments and reflections during the interactive work groups.

The official ceremony was attended by Mr. Marcel Rudasingwa, UNICEF Representative in Mali, Mr. Youssouf Maiga, Technical Advisor of the Minister of Industry, Investment and Trade, and Mr. Maiga Boncana, President of the National Parliament of Children. On this occasion Mr. Maiga Boncana read the declaration of children on CSR, reaffirming the importance of increasing private sector involvement in improving children’s rights if we are to achieve a better social development. For his part, Mr. Rudasingwa, said that the forthcoming publication of the report by UNICEF “The Impact of the Private Sector on the Rights of the Child in Mali” is part of the overall approach to the organization’s partnership with the private sector, and will be integrated in the framework of a joint initiative of the Global Compact, Save the Children and UNICEF, “Business Principles for children’s rights,” which will be officially launched in the first quarter of 2012. The report counted with the participation of The Partnering Initiative-IBLF and the authors Paula García Serna, Philippe Jochaud and Fernando Casado.

Also see the press release UNICEF
Executive summary of the study