Children's rights has been a focus area for the fund for many years. Child labour is perhaps the largest single problem concerning children's rights in many parts of the world. Companies may have an effect on children's rights through their direct operations, supply chains and other business relationships. The marketing and use of companies’ products and services, and companies’ interaction with local communities, may also affect children’s rights. The purpose of these expectations is to broadly set out how Norges Bank Investment Management, as a financial investor, expects companies to respect children’s rights.
The expectations cover company strategy, risk management, reporting and interaction with stakeholders. We have also put emphasis on how companies should have policies for their interaction with policy makers and regulators on children's rights, and be transparent about those policies.
Our expectations are primarily directed at company boards and serve as a starting point for our interaction with companies on the topic of children's rights.
Reports on child labour in specific high-risk sectors
Norges Bank Investment Management supports the work of academic institutions and research institutes in order to further increase our understanding of various issues. Oslo-based International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) has today published two reports commissioned by the fund. One concerns child labour in the cottonseed sector in India, whereas the other looks at child labour in the cocoa sector in West Africa.
The aim of the reports is to understand the status quo of child labour in specific high-risk sectors. The reports identify how child labour practices vary across sectors and between international and domestic companies. They also look at how wider social issues either impact on, or are impacted by, child labour.