On Thursday morning 5 May H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf, Honorary Chairman of Global Child Forum, opened their first forum hosted in Southeast Asia. Global Child Forum was initiated by the Royal Family of Sweden on the occasion of the 2oth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2009.
“Global Child Forum is an independent Royal Foundation with special focus on children’s rights and the business sector. Our vision is a world where children’s rights for future generations are respected and supported by all actors in society, and where the business and financial sector can have a special role to play,” said H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf opening the event.
Held in Kuala Lumpur this is the organisation’s third regional Forum (tailored to the region in which they are hosted), themed ‘Mobility and Connectivity: Children’s Rights and Sustainable Business’.
King Carl XVI Gustaf described the Forum as a “unique platform” that bosts “dialogue”, as H.M the King also outlined Southeast Asia as being one of the most dynamic in the world.
“The countries in the region are home to more than 600 people, which is the same as the entire population of Europe, and who are much younger, increasingly digital, mobile and connected.”
The King had noted that some of the countries here are among the highest percentage of smart phone owners.
“The region is also home to many globally competitive companies and is projected to be the fourth largest economic power by 2050. Hence, economic growth and the focus on further development is looking bright for this part of the world. But this development also raises some critical questions regarding children’s rights. When business is booming how do we ensure Children’s Rights are protected?” King Carl XVI Gustaf called out to the audience of 250 delegates from the ASEAN region and beyond.
The Forum brought its attention on children’s rights as a corporate sustainability agenda in the era of hypermobility and connectivity.
A high-level session on children’s rights and sustainable business in the region set the stage for business leaders to share their best practices. The Forum also includes ActionLab sessions focusing on four topics unique to the ASEAN region. These are:
Reframing challenges as opportunities – youth employment as a driver for change; Children in the digital age – how the ICT sector can support and respect children’s rights; Safeguarding children’s rights in the travel and tourism sector; as well as
The children’s rights and Business Atlas as a tool for responsible business.
In attendance is also H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden as well as Ulf Karlberg, Chairman, Partner Advisory Board and Åse Bäckström, Managing Director, Global Child Forum. H.M. Queen Silvia will hold the closing speech.