Swedish King and Queen attends first Global Child Forum in Southeast Asia

On 5 May 2016 Kuala Lumpur is hosting the first Global Child Forum on Southeast Asia, with Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden and Malaysia’s Minister of Women, Family and Community Development in attendance.

Swedish King and Queen attends first Global Child Forum in Southeast Asia
His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden Photo: Kate Gabor

Held at JW Marriott hotel the theme for this year’s conference is on ‘Mobility & Connectivity: Children’s Rights and Sustainable Business’, which will also include Their Majesties as speakers. The Global Child Forum was launched in Stockholm in 2009 with the active participation of the Swedish Royal Family, and patronage of their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

This international Forum will encourage the region’s business community to place children’s and young people’s rights on top of their sustainability agenda.
The event will be officiated by His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden – Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Global Child Forum, followed by speeches by Datuk Hajjah Rohani Abdul Karim, Minister of Women, Family and Social Development of Malaysia and YBhg Datuk Haji Mohd Amin Nordin bin Abdul Aziz, Mayor of Kuala Lumpur.

With participation of over 250 leaders and decision-makers from governments, business, civil society and academia, this high-level meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to reinforce and bring attention to the need for cross-sector partnerships for the fulfilment of children’s rights as an important part of the corporate sustainability agenda.

Four interactive “ActionLabs” will focus on youth employment as a driver for change, strengthening children’s rights through information communication technology, safeguarding children’s rights in the travel and tourism sector and using the The Children’s Rights and Business Atlas as a tool for responsible business.

“The ASEAN region enjoys increased mobility and connectivity, and with this comes new opportunities for the business sector to protect, support and advance children’s rights – that is in everybody’s interest,” said Ulf Karlberg, Chairman of Global Child Forum. “While the region boasts increased mobility in terms of skilled labour and travel and tourism, issues around illegal migration and trafficking are also on the rise. We hope to encourage more ASEAN responsible businesses and financial institutions to adopt best practices, for example, by building partnerships between different sectors of society to ensure children’s rights are respected and supported by all stakeholders in society.”

“The ASEAN region has a great potential opportunity to advance children’s rights arising from the region’s increased mobility and connectivity. We hope these two features of development can be harnessed for the best interest of the child and believe that all stakeholders – and especially business – can be a driver for immediate and lasting change in the lives of children and young people,” added Åse Bäckström, Managing Director of Global Child Forum.

”The ASEAN CSR Network is proud to be co-organising the Forum,” said Mr Thomas Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the network. ”We see the importance for business to take on children’s rights as part of their social responsibility. It is crucial for a prosperous region that we invest in our future – the children of ASEAN.”

The Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) will also launch the benchmark report on Children’s Rights and the Corporate Sector in Southeast Asia during the Forum. Results will be expanded upon by Dr. Simon Lord, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of Sime Darby Berhad, Dr Pipat Yodprudtikan Director of Thaipat Institute, Mr. Rick Ramli, Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group Malaysia, and Ms Wivina Belmonte, Deputy Regional Director for UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific

The Global Child Forum on Southeast Asia is organised in close association with UNICEF, UN Global Compact, ASEAN CSR Network, Save the Children, Plan International and ECPAT International.

Since its founding, the Global Child Forum has been addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing children today, and promoting the message that children’s rights are a shared responsibility among all members of society – including the business and finance sector. The Global Child Forum is an international independent platform for research, dialogue, information and action in support of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Global Child Forum showcases best practices and case studies from all over the world, illustrating pioneering ways of achieving and expanding cooperation across sectors with the goal of inspiring action and tangible results in the implementation of children’s rights.

The Forum is by invitation-only. Anyone interested in attending the Forum should contact [email protected].

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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